Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Things I Don't Get, #349,856

I have a Facebook account because I had to have one for work. I remember my Twitter account about every other week. I'm just not social enough for social media.

So this latest generation of social media that uses your phone to fink on you is a fad the appeal of which I just do not grok.
Perhaps Sonar, which analyzes your Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter networks to see if any friends -- or friends of friends -- are nearby. Or Glancee, which alerts you when people with similar interests are, say, in the bar next door.
Great. Do you want your position broadcast as a pulsing dot on a map to every ex-boyfriend and creepy internet stalker in the same zip code? There's an app for that!

That's just what I want. I want to be curled up peacefully with a pint in the corner of the pub, reading a book, and have some sweaty-palmed yayhoo sidle up and announce "My cell phone says you like Blade Runner. I like Blade Runner too!" I'd say things you people wouldn't believe.

I guess when you've grown up walking through metal detectors at school with your clear book bag over your shoulder, past the CCTV cameras, talking with your friends about how getting probulated at the airport for the Thanksgiving trip to grandma's went quickly this year because they installed the new Strip-O-Tron scanners, you are just more accustomed to our increasingly privacy-free Brave New World.

Here is another trend in which I will not be participating. I will not be purchasing these apps; I am so not their target demographic. If I want to use my cell phone to find out if any of my friends are nearby, I'll dial their damned number and ask.


og said...

Now get off my lawn!

Joan of Argghh! said...

Rah, bah, bah! That's the problem with kids today!

I hear ya. My Motorola Razor phone rings and takes a message.

Divemedic said...

It isn't quite that bad. All of those apps are self reported position, and you also control who sees it.
It comes in handy when you are meeting friends somewhere, because when you arrive, you report where you are, and your friends (and only your friends, if you so choose) can see it.

Brian J. said...

Dial the number and ask?

You are an old-timer.

Borepatch said...

Seems that some of the apps don't get get this information, they make it available to the advertisers.


Laura said...

i really, really hate those apps...and i hate when users of those apps "check in" at my house.

Anonymous said...

What I find ironic about this crap is that there was a huge hullaballoo in Califorinastan years ago about how anyone could get your driver's license info, which included your physical address. Some stalker used this to get at some actress and kill her when she spurned his advances. So the legislature made DL info private.

Now we will see celebs who participate heavily in this social networking nonsense learn that, yes, privacy is a good thing... but I suspect only after one of these apps leads another stalker to someone's location, which might not be the front door of their residence.

Ruth said...

Facebook allows you to keep someone from announcing where YOU are, but I'm not sure you can stop someone from announcing that they're at your house.

Not a fan of those apps either. If I want to announce my location I'll do so either at the top of my lungs or on my blog. I don't want some app deciding that it knows where I am and displaying it.

Anonymous said...


TJIC said...

> I like Blade Runner too!" I'd say things you people wouldn't believe.


Nicely done.

Stuart the Viking said...

My friends are constantly nagging me to get a facespace... or a mybook... or whatever the thing is that they are using this month to keep in touch.

Then I point out to them that I don't even like talking on the phone that much and give them my email address. You know, email? Thats Old Skool social media. When they whine, I tell them to be happy that dialup BBSs aren't around anymore or I'd be tempted to use that instead.


the pawnbroker said...

You are gettin' your grok on...it feels a little less like I've been screaming into the wind now.

But this shit has only just begun.

Tam said...

The Pawnbroker,

One of us has been screaming into the wind, I guess, because I've been talking about this stuff on the internets since I lived in Georgia, and that's been twelve years ago now.

Leatherwing said...

I certainly don't like the ones that try to self announce your location to strangers. But I like google's latitude. When my wife is traveling, a glance at the screen tells me she's moving (in the right direction) without me calling (and interrupting her audio book).

Of course when she turns off GPS and only cell towers are determining her location, it showed me taht she was in the middle of a field in Maryland. That prompted a few worried phone calls.

Kip Condor said...

TJIC, thanks for breaking out the highlighter - I can usually keep up pretty well, but Tam slipped that one right past me.

The rest of the post she pulled directly out of my brain.

David said...

So does this mean you're not going to be my FourSquare friend?

Maureen said...

Is it ironic that I just shared this post on facebook? Yup.

Stretch said...

"I'd say things you people wouldn't believe."
Hum? I thought your response would be non-verbal. Either hot coffee in his lap or the "snick" of the holster snap.
I've taken to removing the battery from my cell until ready to make a call.

the pawnbroker said...

Tam, not talking about privacy 101, being a careful consumer of apps, etc., or your tech geek bonafides.

Our multiple exchanges for all to see in your archives have been me speculating about where it's heading and the implications, and you pretending not to grok, defending the here and now, and calling me out as a Ludd and/or clueless moron. I'm way too lazy to dig up our back-and-forth in comments to bolster, plus I've already worded up way too much of your white space here. It's there though, and that's enough because to paraphrase you and unc, it is cathartic and entertains me if not you.

But if I've missed your posts addressing the philosophical as opposed to the mechanical nature of our brave new world and its trojan tools, I'd be interested in you citing them here for perusal.

Kristopher said...

I have a LinkedIn account with my real name on it. I might get a facebook account with my real name on it.

Both accounts will only have carefully crafted job seeking adverts on them.

When the service is free, you are the product being sold.

Justthisguy said...

I know what you mean, Ma'am. I can barely stand to be around people I like a whole lot. I think I've trained the people in church to stop hugging me when we exchange The Peace. If I wanted hugs, I'd build me a Grandin squeezebox. There are just too many allistic extraverts in the world.

Fortunately my cat is quite Mainely Coonish and doesn't do that touchy-feely lap stuff.

Tam said...

the pawnbroker,

I'm not going to engage in that. You can google my site for the term "privacy" if you like (http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2007/11/nunya.html)

Why I kept shooting back at you was because every time the word "smartphone" was trotted out, you made vague eschatological predictions. A smartphone is just a computer in your pocket. The questions are all tied to what you do with it. Much like a desktop computer. Or a gun.

And, as I have said on this blog many times, I am glad that I will be gone before the end-state of social media is fully realized. Privacy as you and I knew it is dead. The kids that grow up in this age will not even be able to grasp what you and I are on about.

Anonymous said...

WHAT?!? Y'all have those cell-phone thingies?

All I've got is two tin cans with a string . . .


Keith said...

I'm 27 and both I and many others my age know the score. However I can not speak for those 10 years younger than I. Also Tam unless you plan on dying in the next 10 or 15 years your going to get to see the "end-state of social media". Whoopee!

the pawnbroker said...

"A smartphone is just a computer in your pocket. The questions are all tied to what you do with it."

Nope, the questions are tied to what *others* do with that computer in your pocket; it's a two-way portal and a trojan tool.

And that's not even getting into what the "tools" all around us are doing with *their* tools, and more especially what they will do with their next-gen ones (i.e. Google Goggles etc. etc. etc.).

"Eschatological"? Ultimately a connection there I guess. In the meantime it's more scatological, and there's nothing vague about that, is there?

Tam said...

"Nope, the questions are tied to what *others* do with that computer in your pocket; it's a two-way portal and a trojan tool."

You forgot some fly poop in that pepper.

Anyhow, what I meant is that it can only be used to gather the data you give it to gather.

Some people don't mind telling the world everything on Facebook or whatever similar apps are coming down the pike, and for them it doesn't much matter whether they're doing it via smart-phone or over a dial-up connection.

Some folks are more circumspect. Some folks deliberately throw chaff.

Google doesn't learn anything more about me asking "Is sweet marjoram a flowering herb?" if I'm doing it somewhere on 54th Street than they do if I'm doing it at home.

the pawnbroker said...

Of those last four paras, I find the middle two irrelevant, bracketed by two that are fallacious and naive.

And that's a sentence I never thought I'd be scribbling here on this Porch. :(

Lergnom said...

I've been looking at a metal eyeglass case for keeping my phone between uses. Thing is, I don't yet have enough data on signal blocking(stainless steel vs aluminum).

Stay safe

Tam said...


Since I'm such a fucking naive retard, you are free to stop reading at any time.

the pawnbroker said...

Sigh. Yeah I know, but thanks for reiterating my literary freedoms. And I will reiterate your editorial ones.

For the record though, I should have said "willfully naive".

Tam said...

...and the willfully obtuse are reading the willfully naive why, again, exactly?

I'm baffled. Enlighten me.

the pawnbroker said...

Free will? :D

Anonymous said...

He must have a rotary cell phone.

Keith said...

Aww someone needs a hug!

Seriously though what does Google do with all this info that they are supposedly gathering? I know what Facebook does with it's info (which is one reason I don't use it) but I don't see what Google gets out of knowing I like guns, scifi, and curvy redheads.

Tam said...

Targets you with ads that feature curvy redheads holding blasters in space ships.