ilteris kaplan blog

Useless Information

December 31, 2006

There is a nice article in Herald Tribune about the information we have/ going to have more in the future through our cellphones and their potential consequences.

It talks about software systems like Jaiku’s which is based around the location of friends and family. One researcher from UCLA Danah Boyd puts a good alternative criticism of this information flooding:

“I worry that people attribute too deep a meaning to raw information,” said Danah Boyd, who researches social media at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

“An increased flow of information should not be confused with a deeper bond.”

Boyd stressed that this also applied to other social media that gather large amounts of personal information, like blogs or digital photo accounts.

“The situation these technologies create is similar to what happens with Angelina Jolie or another celebrity,” Boyd said. “Just because I know a lot about a person does not mean they will help me on a tough day.”

An added risk for the location-announcing services is that people might find themselves unable to break away from following friends or old lovers, Boyd added.

“The problem is that people really, really love stalking,” Boyd said. “When you have just ended a relationship, it is not necessarily healthy to follow the exact location of your ex- lover minute-by-minute on your phone.”

Written by Ilteris Kaplan who still lives and works in New York. Twitter