Sat in the sun this weekend, enjoying a glass of Pimm’s and watching the world go by, I came to thinking about how social networking is developing and continues to develop, and how these changes affect our real-life relationships…
I came across a really interesting article about Foursquare (you can see the article here) and am fascinated by the idea that we will document all of our movements in an attempt to, in theory, ‘streamline’ our social interactions by taking the ‘chance’ out of chance meetings with friends and enabling the syncing of social movements.
Foursquare, for those who don’t know, is a mobile app in which users document their movements by ‘checking in’ at locations they visit, with an element of competition and gaming brought in my the addition of a ‘mayor’ status and badges/points for the locations visited.
Dennis Crowley, co founder of Foursquare, explained that “We want Foursquare to be a lot about encouraging adventure, to give you a reason to do things and go places that you might not always think to do.” The image below shows Foursquare on the iPhone:
The idea of combining GPS technology with social networking has been around for a while. Sharing movements to facilitate social interaction seems, in theory, to be a good idea. After all, one criticism of social networking has been its ability to negate the necessity for leaving the house and meeting friends through encouraging online conversation, and Foursquare (and similar applications) certainly encourage movement outside of the home.
I decided to put this to my friends (whom I had met up with without the use of social networking – yes, it can still be done!), and asked them what they thought of the idea.
“It would certainly make things easier providing everyone updated their location enough” suggested one of my friends. “I think I’d use it at Uni because we’re all on the same campus and could be just around the corner from each other and not know. It might make it easier to meet up.” he explained.
But another of my friends was quite against the idea.
“If I want to see people, I’ll call them.” she explained “There’s no need for everyone to be aware of where I am all the time. If I want them to know, I’ll tell them. Surely it would take me just as long to give someone a call as it would to update my location every five minutes!”
I can certainly see the benefits and the draw backs, but with some people suggesting that Foursquare could be the new Twitter, this could certainly be one to watch. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.