Been making more use of facebook in the last few weeks. Hard not to – when 250m people are using it.
Was discussing it with a few different friends. One said he uses it to keep track of/ stay in touch with people overseas, ie does not see a lot of benefit in using it with people located close by.
I’ve certainly found it useful in terms of renewing acquaintances with people based overseas (e.g. fellow College grads) – and then staying in touch with them. Interestingly I had two such friends visit Ireland recently and in both cases we failed to catch up, physically. So my question was: are you pretending you have more friends than you have? Or has the technology made you so lazy that you don’t make the effort to track someone down physically when they are here on a short vacation?
The truth is that we all continue to live very busy lives. On a short vacation to the old ‘homeland’ there is not a whole lot of time for all the ‘one on one’ catchups. But then I was thinking about it – ‘presence’ would probably have made the difference. We have the technology (google, brightkite, etc) to be aware of someone’s location e.g. if I’m based in the office in the city centre and the overseas visitor happens to be in town then this may be the easist way to catch up for a coffee or whatever – without any mahor diary planning, etc.
To some this will feel like another invasion of privacy – to others a way fo making the technology work to support physical relationships. And the technology should be good enough for you to control who may be aware of your presence, in which time frame and even in which general location. All just about possible now.
Would suggest that www.brightkite.com is worth a look.