SpotAFriendNow: Social Interaction through Location-Based Social Networks
- Cite this paper as:
- van den Berg B., Pekarek M. (2010) SpotAFriendNow: Social Interaction through Location-Based Social Networks. In: Meersman R., Dillon T., Herrero P. (eds) On the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems: OTM 2010 Workshops. OTM 2010. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 6428. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
Location-based social networks – or ‘SpotAFriendNow applications’, as we call them – are currently undergoing tremendous growth. These mobile Internet applications combine geographic or locational data with social network functionalities. To date, researchers have extensively discussed two trends in network and mobile technologies over the last decades: (1) the virtualization of our social interactions in everyday life; (2) the ongoing individualization and the anti-social nature of mobile communication. We argue that SpotAFriendNow applications can be understood as an interesting response to these two trends. First, since these applications base their behaviors on the user’s bodily location in the real world, the physical is returned to the equation in technologically mediated social interactions. Second, SpotAFriendNow applications enable individuals to connect with (unknown) others in their physical proximity, thereby facilitating what we call ‘ad hoc intimacy’, and thus countering the ongoing trend of hyper-individualization enabled by (mobile) technologies.
Keywordslocation-based services social network sites SpotAFriendNow virtualization sociality mobile technologies
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