Social Search, or, Things That Are Totally Unnecessary

26 May
Social Search

Social Search

I just saw an ad for Bing’s new social search. Why decide on your vacation destination alone when  your friends can chime in? Why search for shoes alone when your buddies can help you choose the best pair? I suppose my suspicion about social being integrated with everything comes with my age.  I simply can’t imagine taking my friends along with me everywhere- texting me on my phone, chatting with me on Gchat, and now chiming in on my searches.

My suspicion is also due to my awareness of the fact that anytime social is integrated into anything, marketers start salivating. Not only will crafty marketers know what you like on Facebook, but they’ll know what you’re searching for. And what your friends are searching for. And what your friends’ friends want you to be searching for.  Get ready for a whole new level of targeted marketing.

And the other reason I feel uneasy about the advent of social search? Well, let’s face it, most of what I search for is not something I want other people to see. “causes of stomach discomfort”. “how to remove a coffee stain from kitchen sink”. Do you want your friend on Facebook to know that you’re shopping for her birthday gift online? Or do you want your family to know you’re looking for unsavory material? I hope that search can be one last bastion of relative privacy on the internet. Or am I being naive?

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