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Facebook Stalking Is Getting Easier

New Facebook feature allows you to be intrusive all the time

Facebook unveiled a new feature to social media fans called Nearby Friends. It will feature on Android and iOS, and will allow the user to see when their friends are close to their current location. The general idea is that this will encourage a liaison between the two parties, but if they really wanted to meet up wouldn’t they just call each other?

Facebook Nearby Friends

“If you turn on Nearby Friends, you’ll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up,” says product manager Andrea Vaccari. She goes on to say, “for example, when you’re headed to the movies, Nearby Friends will let you know if friends are nearby so you can see the movie together or meet up afterwards.”

There is a feature that allows the user to turn it off, but the fact that companies want to take connectivity to this level is quite a disturbing prospect. All kinds of privacy are being questioned by social media, and although you technically have a choice in whether you want to be seen or not, the pressures of hyper-connectivity may lead some to turn features such as this on just to feel part of a group in society.

A Facebook spokesperson said, “a friend qualifies as ‘nearby’ when she is within approximately ½ mile from you in any direction.”  There is also a feature that allows the user to set a precise location to share with friends for a set time. This determines a meet up spot, and shows exactly where you are on the map.

This is Facebook’s next step in creating some sort of metaverse for sure. The purchase of Oculus VR was the first step, and testing apps out that pinpoint individuals at any time could open doors to a virtual world in the future. Credit to Facebook, they are innovating all the time it seems, but there is a bigger question that needs answering. Is the world ready? Actually the appropriate question is will it ever be ready? Pushing the boundaries has always been a human instinct, whether it be with authority or space travel, but there is so much at stake here.
Facebook Nearby Friends

If Facebook continues to make movements like this, then social media will develop far quicker than the human race, and we may find ourselves in different metaphorical time zones, and this is a dangerous prospect, especially for those who don’t use social media at all.

Time will ultimately tell in the quest for social media dominance, but the human vision for a connected world may become the downfall for many who wont be able to cope, but on the other hand, it may make for a world that is connected for the better. Cultures may sympathize as interaction is built, and if there is a chance of this then maybe the risk is worth it.


Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently an intern at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF 

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Facebook Stalking Is Getting Easier Reviewed by Alex Smith on Tuesday, May 06, 2014 Rating: 5
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