Book Review: The Asocial Networking

A review of Dhiraj Kumar's 'The Asocial Networking' by our reader Sai Kulkarni


A book review of The Asocial Networking by Sai Kulkarni ((Sai Kulkarni is a blogger who blogs about book reviews, about her experiences and reflections on simplifying things and on being a minimalist on her blog Thoughts and reflections.)), the winner of our book giveaway contest.

The asocial networkingWe are all social animals and addicted to the blue screen when it comes to socializing on internet, we call this ritual as ‘Social Networking’. No matter what’s the weather outside, how we are feeling, what’s happening at our workplace, where we are going out for tonight’s dinner; we just want to shout out every this and that and keep our virtual friends circle constantly updated. I think this is the biggest sign of having FOMO (fear of missing out) syndrome.

We just don’t want to be connected anymore; we just want to be constantly updated all the time without missing out on any of the small bits of updates.

I bet this is a true scenario for almost everybody irrespective of age, gender, occupation and so called ‘social classes in our monetary society. Exceptions are just those who utilize their time by some other means than sitting in front of computers and keeping eyes glued on blue screen.

IITian Dhiraj Kumar has done a great job by coming up with a book which speaks about behavioral observations and behavioral analysis of social networking users in his book ‘THE ASOCIAL NETWORKING Musings on The Real & Online Worlds.’

The book is all about the game of networking! And is a must read if you’re a mundane Facebook user, working with social media, student of psychology or a parent who is worried for their kids onscreen time for social networking. Even though you’re not any of those mentioned earlier you can still enjoy these non-fictional musings for self-introspection.

And before you start reading make sure that you’ve gone through the ‘Disclaimer’ mentioned at the very end of this book so that you can decide whether to read this book or not all by yourself!

The book is based on the author’s keen observation and his life experience; this makes it a truly non-fictional work and gave me a feeling of reading somebody’s notes. However, I think that the book being divided into 150 topics is not required since these topics are not unique but interrelated. Dividing the chapters under broader categories would have made this book more simplified. I think if we keep the same structure of chapters, this book could be alternatively titled as ‘150 Days of The Asocial Networking’.

Nevertheless, the content is good but it could have been even more powerful. The author could have provided some technical details, business aspects about social networking along with some history of networking such as details of the era when this concept became a wildfire, why and how can we afford to do this social networking for free, how social networking companies earn their income,  how these sites have affected the employment in information technology field, what technology they use to  store such vast data and reproduce every time we login into our account, how much advertisers and users benefit from popping ads on Facebook and how this has changed online marketing. I think some research on factual information would have helped this non-fiction to engage even more with the readers.

The most impressive thing about Asocial Networking is that the author is very truthful and straightforward in his opinion and style of writing, It’s very crisp and urges to think and rethink about yourself and your online presence.

I enjoyed reading topics ‘personality traits’, ‘profile photograph’, ‘the art of ignoring close friends’, ‘even dogs, cats, monkeys and pigeons may have Facebook accounts in future’, ‘I feel cheated’, ‘One Like or Comment, one moment of glory’, ‘Overdose of psychology’.

However I felt ‘Gtalk, testosterone and insomnia’ was dragged a bit and ‘I wish to keep a pet monkey’ was irrelevant to the main subject of this book. 100th topic which says about Facebook International People Rating Agency should have been provided with some more factual details instead of conceptual elaboration considering that this might happen in reality in the near future.

The 48th topic on ‘Tricks of the trade’ is the best of all – some of them true, some humorous, some spiritual – making this list of twenty-two points worth to remember. After reading this book, every time I log into my Facebook account I log in very consciously and I smile to myself every time I think what I’m doing is a trick of the trade.

The honesty of the author has made the concluding topic ‘To network or not to network?’ as light as a feather and how an innocent encounter with his grandmother relieves the burden of resolving this dilemma.

I wish Dhiraj Kumar good luck for his work and hope to see such good books coming up in future. Thanks to Lighthouse Insights for giving me this opportunity to review.