TECHNOLOGY- For meeting friends or making new acquaintances everywhere we go, we just need to download some mobile applications. Highlight, Glancee, Sonar or Banjo are some of them. But do we really need them?
Highlight, Glancee, Sonar or Banjo? Does it sound familiar? They are simply the so- called “social discovery” mobile apps!
You want to know if some of your friends or friends of your friends are nearby when you are in a bar for example? Then you need one of these apps! The most interesting thing with the “Highlight” app is that it “introduces” you also (via your smartphone) to people you do not know but the app “thinks” you might like to know! (Look at the picture)
This is unbelievable, isn’t it? When two persons,who have downloaded the Highlight app, are “compatible”, their mobile phones begin to ring! If these apps are successful, people might progressively lose their social skills and will be addicted to those apps, like our actual addiction to Facebook.
A better world?
But let’s listen to the CEO of Highlight, Paul Davison, explaining to a journalist why he thinks that “the world will become better when people share more information” with these kinds of apps! This sounds good! But I find the idea ridiculous! Sorry,I can’t help it.
As you have understood, to get the app working, it needs to have access to your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account. Those apps use algorithms to find people who might be interesting to you,in your private sphere or simply for business.
This means that our private data are used more and more to create start-ups like Highlight , Glancee or Sonar! And you know who bought Glancee? Guess….Facebook!
The more people use Facebook apps (or other social media) that enable them to say what they are doing , the more all those social media start-ups know more about us! And these apps can make money!
“Express who you are through all the things that you do – the music you love, the recipes you enjoy, the runs you take” says Facebook to encourage people to download their social apps. And it works! Everyday on Facebook, I can read what kind of music a friend is listening to for example. I disabled all Facebook apps recently.
The video below raises important questions about our privacy when it comes to using such apps like “Highlight”. Have a look at it.
Andrew Keen, a British -American author on the internet culture , known for his anti- Facebook opinions asked : “New social discovery apps try to engineer chance encounters. Could they spoil true serendipity?” I think yes, those apps can kill serendipity (happy accident or nice surprise).
In the end,there will be no place for surprises, less place for coincidence. Algorithms will tell us who we should meet, speak to or hire for a job! I don’t want to live in a such world! But isn’t it too late?
What you think of these new social discovery apps? Are you using them already? Do you think that those new technologies will change human behavior or not? I hope not ( maybe I am too optimist) and that’s why I like the picture below!
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