I have a new piece up on Dialect Magazine, chatting about social media, location-based apps and live-action friendspam, and anticipating future interactions of tech and society.
New location-based social app Sonar.me, though, takes that into account and works as an add-on over your existing social profiles. Sonar’s goal is social telepathy, an app showing your Facebook and Twitter connections to people around you. You might walk into a party or a conference, and check your phone to see if you share any mutual friends with the strangers in the room.
Sonar’s online-offline integration also leads to a fascinating social question: What’s the etiquette around this new connection? Is it socially acceptable now to walk up to a Sonar connection, and introduce yourself?
If so, what about all the dead weight we’ve got clogging our social networks? You know, your buddy’s ex-girlfriend or an old classmate, someone you wouldn’t unfriend, but someone whose social recommendation is pretty light. A tenuous social connection could be at least a starting point in conversation, a connection between glancing friendship spheres and a badge marking a stranger at a party as one of our kind. Or is mutually knowing a former college hallmate just bringing friend-request spam offline?