I would certainly describe myself as a bit of a technical prude. I mean, when I make dinner plans I don’t enter them into the complicated calendar on my BlackBerry—I pull out my day planner. I haven’t yet traded in my book collection for a Kindle, and instead of pricing out an iPod Touch this Christmas, I was looking for a used record player. Don’t laugh. I try to keep up with the times. Really I do. But I’m scared that we are reaching the death rattle of real, in-person communication after hearing about some new tech trends. After the jump, some 2010 phenomena that make me nervous.
- Formspring. If you are still trying to understand the Twitterverse (I know I am), then please take a seat. Let me introduce you to Formspring, the newest way to anonymously overshare on the internet. This site allows you to send and receive anonymous questions, and learn more about people you find interesting by following their answers. Translation: fuel your narcissism, share dirty secrets with strangers, and become further removed from face-to-face communication. And what if your identity “accidentally” gets revealed? This could be very, very bad. [Formspring]
- Skype Parties. So we’ve all heard of Skype, but until now it’s mostly been used to talk and video chat for free with grandparents across country, international friends, and long-distance lovers. But the newest versions allow you to video chat from your phone or home computer with multiple people at once. You know what that means? Virtual book clubs, pajama parties, and cocktail hours. This sounds fun in theory, but can you remind me how this is better than getting together with your friends and loved ones in person? [Skype]
- iSlate. Apple is set to reveal its new, highly anticipated iSlate next month. Although no one has actually seen this mythical tablet computer yet, it is rumored to be capable of replacing your watch, diary, alarm clock, barometer, satellite navigation system, internet browser, dictionary, DVD player, MP3 player, and book shelf as well as your phone and computer, and that’s before all the apps it will likely support. Hmmm … if it gets lost or breaks, do I have to go out and replace all the old things? Do I really want my entire life in a single device that, if I spill a cup of coffee on it, is donezo? [New York Times]
So how do you feel about these new things—excited or nervous?