I recently added a application on my iPhone at my brother’s suggestion, called Loopt. It allows friends you invite and approve to see your location via the GPS device in your phone. If one of my friends happen to be near me, I can call their attention to this fact with a “ping.”
I told Jesse that this reminded me of my first cell phone (which was also a gift from him) when I was 18. One of the first calls I made on that phone was to a friend I saw on the freeway. “Hey! I’m right behind you! Don’t you just love cell phones?” And at that time, I had a sudden suspicion that the majority of the calls I’d make would be to people who were within a mile of me.
Well, and now?
Now I’m a receptionist. I sit at a switchboard and talk to people in the same building as me. But even my personal calls tend to run in a familiar vein. “I’m here, where are you?” “Hey, I’m at the door, let me in.” “I’m parking, see you soon.”
And sure this whole internet thing has opened the whole world up for me and given me friends who live very far away, but it now I want to visit them, I want to live next door to them, and borrow their books and never return them.
So all this technology hasn’t really changed our idea of community, has it?