All the talking and writing about Facebook Places and other technology that lets people know where you are has found its way into my dreams.
I had a dream last night that Twitter started advertising a service aimed at ex girlfriends so they could see what their old boyfriend’s weddings to new people looked like. That was the pitch, but really anybody could use it to check in on anybody else. You would tell Twitter to follow a person, and Twitter would literally follow that person around. You didn’t have to be a Twitter user to be followed, somebody would just punch in your name and where you were, and the next thing you know, a microblog was on your tail.
It would happen in one of two ways: Either Twitter logos would randomly appear in your mirrors or in front of your face as you went about your daily life, or a Twitter server that looked sort of like a hotdog cart on wheels that sounded like my mom’s squeaky clothesline would roll down the sidewalks and streets behind you, letting you know through messages it would flash on itself or through one of those new supposedly human sounding voices that some of the screenreaders have now that “Hi, I’m Twitter and I’m following you.” It would be able to tweet your conversations back to the people who wanted them and would constantly snap pictures of you and upload them, a bit like Google Street View.
Unlike Facebook though you could actually opt out of this following pretty easily, the Twitter cart would even tell you how. Actually wait, you could easily opt out as long as you didn’t care about being spied on. The more it angered you, the harder it was to turn it off. But the scary part was that almost nobody bothered to, and almost nobody seemed concerned that they were being watched. they all thought it was pretty neat that a talking Twitter box could follow and talk to them, and they figured it would be a handy way to keep tabs on their pals.
There were all sorts of other little strange things that happened while I was dreaming this that I can’t remember anymore, which always happens to me when I dream. If I wrote down half the stuff that goes through my brain when I dream, you’d probably think I was insane or on drugs. But anyway, that much of this one stuck with me because really, it isn’t all that far-fetched to think that a service like this is out of the question or that people would actually enjoy it and find it useful. I don’t often have nightmares, but I’d say living in a world like that qualifies.