A Breach of Privacy in exchange for Friends?

I have often seen people in person that I had never actually met in person, but had seen on Facebook. Whether I was friends with them on Facebook or just recognized them from doing some Facebook perusing, I knew I had seen them before. It is funny to think that within just a few years, the social structure of society has drastically changed. With apps such as “Highlight,” for example, technology is making meeting people that much easier. Highlight is an application available for iPhones and iPads that shows the user other users Facebook profiles and other social media accounts. But not just the people you already have on social networks. Highlight shows you the people that are in your vicinity. Of course, those people must be subscribed to the application as well. The (somewhat revolutionary) application highlights/prioritizes people around you who have mutual friends and interests.

These days, it is easier than ever to get into contact with friends as well as complete strangers by just a click of a touch screen. Highlight isn’t the only application on the market that allows users to get a visual representation of where people are. For example, Foursquare is an app that encourages you to check in, and “checking in” has become a common aspect of Facebook. By checking in to places, you immediately show everyone you have as a friend on Facebook where you are. It is probably wiser to do so only when you know and trust all of your Facebook friends. On the flip side, highlight shows complete strangers with the app that you are close to them. If you are using the app too of course. With apps of these nature, it is important to use them responsibly.

Applications such as Highlight could potentially have a downside if the wrong person gets a hold of who you are. I’m sure this is a risk that is addressed in the application’s terms of service. Apps like Highlight, and others like Sonar, “appeal to us by making the same promises as diet drugs: with minimal effort on our behalf, we’re told, they’ll help us make more friends, be more attractive to the people around us, and get ahead in life” according to The Huffington Post. It’s both scary and interesting. I just wish I had an iPhone to try it out. Although I’m sure it’ll be made for Android devices soon enough, if it takes off.

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