It seems like a new ego trap gets sprung every month. This time, it's social media ranking tools.
What's an ego trap? In a nutshell, social technologies use game mechanics to get users hooked on participation. People often get addicted to ego-stroking system feedback, until they can temper their usage (addiction?) in terms of utility vs. serendipity. Self-promotion lies at the root of ego traps.
I don't think ego traps are inherently "bad." However, I believe that individuals should be fully aware of the implications when participating – particularly what they're trying to accomplish and why. Honesty with one's own ego is the key.
Some people are panicking after submitting their Twitter username and password to a site called Twitterank, which will "determine how worthy of a person you are in Twitterverse," while potentially stealing your password in the process. Clearly an ego trap in action. Why?
- There's no practical use of the service except for stroking one's ego.
[Okay, I know the other posts had longer lists, but this one is just too obvious.]