Digitization: Find My Friends App

By: Elizabeth Wilkinson

ID: 912158354


"Find My Friends" is an app released by apple in 2011. It allows friends and family to track each other using the GPS location of there iOS device, which is shown to the follower on a street map.

Digitization Characteristics of App

1. Death of a Distance

2. Poly-directionality

3. Economies of Scale

1. Death of a distance

With the use of this new technology, geography of the users does not stop information travel. You could be across the world, and still track your friends to know exactly where they are. 

2. Poly-directionality

This is the idea that digital communication can be shared one on one between two people, from one person to many people, or in the case of this app, from many people to many people. When somebody posts their location in find my friends, they are one of millions of the app users making their location public to their many followers. 

3. Economies of Scale

This characteristic of digitization explains how developing apps like Find My Friends and other media comes with a high fixed cost and low marginal cost. For example developing the app and GPS it uses was very costly for Apple, but adding more users to the app does not cost them a large amount of money.  

Effects of ID characteristics

All three example characteristics allow the digital communication of millions of people. Friends and family spread around the globe can get information about each others location quickly and easily. The app is affordable, free even on select devices because of the small marginal cost for Apple. 

Social Context: Benefits

*Can find friends location even when unable to reach them over phone or text

*Can use to track and find stolen iOS devices such as phones and ipads

Social Context: Negatives

*Loss of Privacy

*Ex. Parents can use to over control children, spouses can become obsessed with tracking each other. Leads to a reliance on the technology and a loss of genuine trust.

*Lack of actual communication.

ex. Using app to see what a friend is doing instead of talking to them about it in person or over the phone. 

Works Cited

http://search.creativecommons.org/

Prof. Hilbert's Lecture Slides 


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Digitization: Find My Friends App

by egwilkinson

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Public - 5/4/16, 5:52 AM