Don't like your way to interactivity burn-out

Don't like your way to interactivity burn-out

They crook their index fingers in your direction and beckon you over. They would love you to Like them and once you do, they will seize you by your Thumbs Up and pull you into their world.

From old brands to new malls, politicians to pals, so many entities already try to lure you into interacting with them online. With social media companies under pressure to monetise that fat amount of information you are chucking online, how much more intensely will our lives be massaged and milked for data that can be sold for profits? And from there, will we at some point be headed hotly for an interactivity burn-out? Perhaps your own finger is growing tired and crooked, bent stiff from all that tapping and clicking.

Last Thursday, shares in the micro-blogging site Twitter closed at US$44.90 (S$55.90), up by about 73 per cent from their initial price of US$26 each, reported BBC.

That means after its first day as a public company, Twitter was valued at a little over US$31 billion - said to be a lot of money for a firm which has yet to turn a profit. One day after the debut, shares fell by 7.2 per cent. So, no pressure, just think of how much more Twitter is going to butt into your online conversations to make money from you.

And think of how Facebook is reportedly in a new phase to read your life more closely by using natural-language understanding - a sub-field of artificial intelligence (AI) that teaches computers to decode the intricacies of human language - on the billions of posts it captures. Not your bog-standard search tool.

Meanwhile, navigating your way through Singapore already feels like interactive stimulation on steroids.

Peel open a magazine or newspaper in the morning and you see pages scarred by QR codes which look like the nasty remains of scabs after you have picked them. Step out the door and advertisements at bus stops and shop windows also have those square lesions on them. Come, scan the scabs with your smartphone, come closer to scratch that itch to watch a video, get more photos, get encyclopaedic amounts of text.

Perhaps you were one of the commuters who glanced at a digital screen along a walkway in Dhoby Ghaut MRT station and spotted yourself onscreen with a speech bubble above your head in an augmented-reality ad campaign earlier this year. Your image is no longer your own as you involuntarily star - gratis - in an ad as the digital wall's camera filmed your image as you walked by.

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