Category Archives: Social Networking

Checking In, Sharing, Liking and Reporting

I have fallen into the social trap that has countless people staring at their Smartphones, and linking up with people they know (and don’t know) and sharing their location, where they’ve been, what they’re doing, and where they’re going.

My very first cell phone was some clamshell type with a LED readout that stored nothing, and it cost me an arm and a leg to use.  I remember I was amazed, astounded and blown away by my second cell phone (a Nokia SomethingorWhatsit) that incorporated a calendar, address book, and for some exorbitant fee, web surfing on a slower than a slug service, but I could download ringtones!   Nothing like hearing John Carpenters  ” Theme from Halloween”  every time someone phoned me, still sends chills up and down my spine.

My First!

I was a true believer that if I wanted to really talk to someone, I would pickup my home land line, and make a call, and tell my friend, “Hey,we’re going for beer at X place, and then coffee at N place.”   With the invention of messenger services, I would chat with family long distance by ICQ, then Trillian, then MSN Messenger.

Now in a touch, with my Blackberry Torch, I can “Check In” via Foursquare and let my friends know exactly where I am, but oh no, that is to selective and controlling, for I can actually choose when I let them know that I”ve checked into the local gas station.  I have Google Maps running in the background, and once again a “select” group of friends can see where I am using Google Latitude,  and get notifications if I drive by them at a place where Latitude feels that my friend and I should meet up at.

I Tweet on Twitter (which makes me feel like a Twat) what I’m doing, I Facebook what I’m thinking, I use Trapster to “share” my drive home.  Waze is collecting points for me, and drawing new roads and maps. Poynt is allowing me to find a movie near my home, or a local restaurant that I might fancy, and jump into my mapping program to guide my way.

Have I in my late 30’s become a part of the new social world that we live in, have I accepted the fact that the youngin’s have something to teach us?

This is my true thought on the phenomen, and brace yourselfs people, but this is going to confuse your parents:

Social networking tools has IN FACT brought people back together so they actually interact with each  other again.

Yes, people are checking in, they are showing where they are, and they are meeting and talking and looking up from those glowing screens to see who it is that is there with them.  They have something to talk about at work, cause now the statement is, “Man, Gina is pregnant, says so on her Facebook page!”  People are connecting, they are communicating in a way that no one thought before could be possible.  Look at the recent uprisings in the Middle East, people are using these communication tools to meet, to connect, to organize.

Small start up companies such as  The FancyFoodspottingRaptrUntappdGetGlueOneTrueFan, etc. have started popping up having realized that social networking apps are the way to go, problem is, now we are being inundated.  My concern is,  like the dot-com phase of the late 90’s, these companies are going to get wiped off the map because everyone is going to put stock into these companies, and as we from the MySpace/Facebook square off, there will be one ring to rule them all, and someone has to give it up.  Reading the blogs and stories from SXSW (South by South West) which originally was a music festival, social apps are not going to go away any time soon, but how many apps can one have, and how many times do we want to check in?

Who is really watching us Check In?  Does Big Brother exist, or are we really just “sharing” with our friends.

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