Nearby Friends on Facebook is the first step toward making technology more human.

Nearby Friends on Facebook – It’s weird to know where your friends are all the time; only someone who works in surveillance has that information. Knowing where they are in general, on the other hand, seems a lot more acceptable. That’s the concept behind Facebook Nearby Friends, which will let you know approximately where your Facebook friends are – divided by “ambient proximity,” which divides roughly into half-mile or mile differences but isn’t more precise. The interesting aspect of Facebook’s “Nearby Mates” feature is that it will tell you exactly where people are. Between 2009 and 2013, Apple’s “Find My Friends” app (if a friend gives you permission to track their location) and Google’s Latitude did the same. Facebook, on the other hand, has opted to be misleading. We’re opting to be less accurate even though our computers can tell the world all about us with greater precision.

Nearby Friends on Facebook- Swarm, a new location-sharing app from Foursquare (which allows users to “check-in” at locations to become “mayors”), can group friends based on rough location. Both Facebook and Foursquare are striving for “good enough” rather than the radar precision that we imagined would be so attractive a few years ago. But it’s not as if they have no idea where you are. It’s because they’re purposely distorting the signal. Nearby Friends on Facebook

It’s a fascinating conundrum, with echoes in apps like Snapchat (which produces purposely short-lived images and comments) and Hidden (where people you might meet (friends, and friends of friends) secretly disseminate truths, lies, or something in between).

We seem to have run into the absolute precision of 64-bit floating-point calculations that can be saved forever on the internet, and we’ve decided that in certain situations we’d rather be uncertain and temporary. When a human encounters a machine, he or she retreats from the machine’s capabilities.

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When it comes to sharing, I believe “fuzzy place” will be much more common than the precise version. You don’t have to think about a trail of friends trailing you around that you didn’t want to see right now for some reason if you turn on the fuzzy spot. In that sense, the issue of why precise location-fixing isn’t more common is self-evident: we don’t want to feel like the smartphone in our pockets is transmitting anything about us to the rest of the planet. We want to be the ones in charge. You should refuse an invitation to meet if a friend in the region sends you an SMS. You won’t feel good about the buddy, the computer, or the app that caused the issue if they show up when you’re having a heart-to-heart in a coffee shop because your phone was blabbing on the internet. That’s why Facebook wisely made Nearby Friends an opt-in feature; you must explicitly allow it. The change from precision to uncertainty (Nearby Friends), from storage to disposal (Snapchat), and from identity to anonymity (Secret) are all examples of us making the technologies we use more human – less digital, more analog. It’s ironic that being less precise seems to necessitate a lot of computing power. Nearby Friends on Facebook

Nearby Friends on Facebook – Given that our smartphones, as well as the systems that feed into and collect data from them, are the most personal items we own – containing so much of what we know, plan, and have done – there’s a pleasing symmetry in the fact that, as they become more powerful, we can make them more human: less precise when we don’t want them to be precise, more forgiving if we make a mistake. What’s the next step toward making these tiny machines more human? Knowing who we want to receive calls from and who we don’t want to receive calls from automatically? Instead of giving us a specific number, you tell us we have “a lot” of email. In computing, there are still rough edges. It can take some time to sand them down to human form, but the power to do so is now available.

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