Presence Info: Cool Or Creepy?
from the a-little-of-both dept
I’ve been talking with a number of different people in different industries and with different backgrounds about the ideas behind “presence” info, and no one seems to agree – even with themselves. A lot of people are torn between whether or not it’s creepy or cool. The NY Times does a good job looking at all the issues involved with presence. The basic idea is that presence info enables someone to see where you are, and if you’re free. So, instead of playing phone tag, they can see that you’re at your desk, and not on your phone, and give you a call. Or, they can tell that you’re on a plane somewhere or some other such thing. It’s basically instant messaging on steroids. At one level, it is useful to have this info. On the other hand, it gets rid of a lot of privacy, and can certainly seem creepy. I know that I sometimes get annoyed with constant instant messages from people when I’m trying to get work done (or if I just don’t want to talk with that particular person at that particular time). The best suggestion in the article (which I’ve used at times) is basically the “little white lie”. Setting your instant messaging software to say you are busy, or on the phone, or offline, when you really aren’t. Of course, the times that I’ve done that, I’ve had some people call me on it and yell at me for not being honest with them. It seems that sometimes, you just can’t win.