Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 29 2007

On the Internet, everyone knows you’re a dog

I was late to a lunch date today. As I rode the subway into town, I thought about how this day would go if it were a couple of years down the road, and technology had kept up its current rate of development. My guess is my friends would look my position up on their GPS phones, see that I was still in Bitan, in my apartment, at noon. They’d see me leave, walk down the street, and then turn back to my apartment. My Twitter 2.0 service would flash “forgot my damn umbrella” and a real-time weather bureau layer would confirm that it was now pissing rain in my neighborhood. They’d watch me cross the bridge, just miss one train and wait for another, and then see me go one stop too far. T2.0 message: I’m tired of getting off at Taipei Main Station all the time. Then the little dot labeled “Poagao” on their screens, should they check it during their already-proceeding meal, would wander through some alleys in the vague direction of the restaurant, and (I’d like to think) they would make space for me at the table just before I walked in the door.

The rain in Bitan was incredible, I should add. I could see the heavy rain approaching and leaving, the white froth advancing in a line across the bridge at a good clip. My feet and legs were soaked, and it was a good test of my semi-waterproof shoes (verdict: kinda). To the north, the city was bathed in sunlight. The rain missed it completely.

But what I’m curious about is this: If everyone has access to our whereabouts, paths, even our hitherto-private musings typed into a wide-distribution services, will it make us more allowing for human nature? Before, we’d just come up with an excuse: “Traffic was bad” or “There was a sale on gold bullion” or “I was attacked by monkeys” or something that may or may not have happened. When it gets to the point where everyone can see what’s happening, and we all witness the chicanery that we all do and don’t tell anyone, will such shenanigans cease to be the social faux-pas that they currently are? Or will everyone just know, and not even bother mentioning them?

I guess we’re about to find out.

posted by Poagao at 2:57 am  

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