So it’s probably not new, but it made me laugh: the phrase “that synching feeling” was used by my OU colleague Kirsty Ball in a lunch-time conversation sparked off by my aquisition of a smartphone. We were discussing how we keep our various devices synched and, if you don’t want to be entirely in Apple’s thrall, how you end up with so many combinations of software and cables and wireless networks that synching, far from making you feel organised and your life coherent (or at least the online parts of it), becomes bit of a headache. So, I do use iCloud, selectively; but I also use Dropbox, GoodSynch, iTunes, Zotero, Evernote, and Moneywiz, all of which synch various kinds of data across various of my machines.
Kirsty works on surveillance, and we also talked about the information that smartphones gather as you use them. We started discussing the default privacy settings that come with such devices, which yes I am aware of and yes I had fiddled with in a sort of “I’m not quite sure what I’m doing but I’m pretty sure I should be doing something” kind of a way. Though I have to say I was very grateful when GoogleMaps saved me from getting completely lost yesterday evening because I had allowed it to use my current location – not that I knew where that was – and it guided me to where I needed to go.
a photograph called Camera Phone, from Billy McDonald’s Flickr photostream, inserted into my blog using the ‘share’ button on his photostream page, of course.
And we also talked about those other default settings, the ones that assume you will want to ‘share’, usually via Facebook or Twitter, though I notice on some of my photography apps Pinterest also appears. My iPhone’s default settings assume that I will want to synch and share all the photos my phone takes. This seems to me to imply something pretty new. I am sure that until the advent of both cameraphones and Facebook, people did not assume that their every snap would be shareable. Now, photographs can be taken and shared in almost the same moment. What does this mean for the sorts of images that get snapped with cameraphones, then? Are they both more considered – because they are more likely to be on display to large numbers of Facebook friends – but also less significant, because so many are taken and Facebook is awash with them?