I can read your mind!
Ambient awareness is a term used by social scientists to describe a new form of peripheral social awareness. This awareness is propagated from relatively constant contact with one’s friends and colleagues via social networking platforms on the Internet. Some examples of social networking websites are Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Blogger, delicious.com, etc. The term essentially defines the sort of omnipresent knowledge one experiences by being a regular user of these media outlets that allow a constant connection with one’s social circle. From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
According to Clive Thompson of the New York Times, ambient awareness is “very much like being physically near someone and picking up on mood through the little things; body language, signs, stray comments…” Therefore, in effect two friends who regularly follow one another’s digital information can already be aware of each other’s lives without actually being physically present to have a conversation. Interview: Clive Thompson’s “Smarter than You Think” – The New Yorker
“It’s a sort of global water cooler, with all the good and bad that suggests.” Clive Thompson
That seems out there, like ESP or some kind of super power?
Have you noticed that you know way more about your friends and family then you used to? You have not seen someone in months but still know that they just got a haircut or that they are in a bad mood but you haven’t communicated with them directly in days?
Here is an interview with Clive Thompson one of the few but growing people saying that Social Media is good for us.
Smarter than we think
One of the things he mentions is that we need to know when to step away from our tools and networks and when to connect, something I have been ranting about with colleagues and family for a while, we need to get some healthy user habits and we need to start teaching them to others.
Clive says we can think more clearly if we step away from it all from time to time, what a novel idea <no really>.
So what do we do with our new found super powers?
As far as humanity, technology, social media, evolution etc. I think Professor X had it right.
Prof. Charles Francis Xavier (X Men, 2000): …it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward.
Sorry for the bad AV quality, but you get the idea.