Apple: Tales of Gen Z and Millennials falling down the 'Find My' rabbit hole

From Kalley Huang's "How the Find My App Became an Accidental Friendship Fixture" in Saturday's New York Times:

In July, Shay Pierre opened Apple’s location-sharing app Find My and noticed a friend at an unfamiliar apartment building in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Ms. Pierre, 23, zoomed in to inspect the building, then texted her friend its address, along with a joking “where are you?” Her friend came clean. He had started dating somebody, and he was at her apartment. If Find My had not given it away, Ms. Pierre would not have known about the relationship until months later.

Her friend later relabeled the apartment building in the app: “None of your business.”

As location sharing through apps like Find My has proliferated in recent years, they have become a staple in some friendships — ostensibly for safety but with the side effect of complicating dynamics between friends.

The impact is particularly noticeable among Generation Z and millennials, the first generations to come of age with the possibility of knowing where their peers are at all times. It has changed how friends communicate with one another and blurred lines of privacy. Friends now, sometimes unwittingly yet obsessively, check one another’s locations and bypass whole conversations — about where somebody is, what they are doing or how their days are going — when socializing. All of that information can be gleaned from Find My.

My take: Lots more anecdotes -- not all as juicy as that one -- in the rest of the piece. Funny how these things tend to take over once they catch on. Apple, which has tried -- and failed -- to create its own social networks, seems to have stumbled into this one.

5 Comments

  1. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    In George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” it was The Man we were to be worried about.

    In Walt Kelly’s “Pogo” it was, “ We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

    The latter seems a bit more accurate.

    1
    August 21, 2022
    • Steven Philips said:
      It always has as it is the most true.

      1
      August 21, 2022
  2. Michael Goldfeder said:
    Quite the insecure generation. No wonder they have mental health issues. How about trying some direct in person face to face communication? Seemed to work perfectly fine for every other generation that came before them.

    1
    August 21, 2022
    • Steven Philips said:
      I used to walk 3 miles to school in the snow – when I was a kid! (Really)

      3
      August 21, 2022
      • Tom Farris said:
        I grew up here in San Diego (I’m 69 now) and when I was 5/6 me and my little friends, 3 or 4 of us would regularly take treks that I now see were more than a mile from home, across rail tracks and encountering all sorts of bigger kids. And never had a problem. Hiking through Hobo camps and all. They were gone but their stuff was there. Who knew that while technology continues to reach new highs, human morality globally continues to reach new lows.

        1
        August 22, 2022

Leave a Reply