Learning from my children, part 97

My eldest daughter’s mobile phone decided to go to that great hunting ground in the sky. Without warning. So she in turn decided to get another one, and to use the opportunity to get it this time in her name rather than mine. Her bill rather than mine. Which meant she shopped around for deals, and the best deal required her to change her number. Which she did.

[Oh these rites of passage, when your young ones go and acquire their own bills and reduce yours]

That’s when it got interesting. She updated her Status on Facebook, as you would expect, saying that she’d changed her phone number. She then did something else. She set up a new Group, and invited a bunch of her friends to join. The invitation told other people about her change of number.

Fascinating. So I asked her why she did it. It was because she was really using some of the granularity of Facebook privacy. Not everyone on her friend list could see her status changes, many were on Limited Profile. She used Groups as a way of getting to the ones she needed to.

I think we’re going to see a lot of this happening. Variants of “giving someone a missed call”, we are going to see Generation M using things like Facebook creatively and differently, using the functionality in ways we do not expect. More importantly, using the functionality in ways that may not have been designed for, yet remain possible.

2 thoughts on “Learning from my children, part 97”

  1. For me and my mates, Web 2.0 is selective – some are part of the interface, some are not. Some like being part of the networking opportunity, others do not.

    But I know people from the younger generation – and I know that I am starting to get old when I start saying that (I am only 33) – that use Facebook as a free alternative to text messaging.

    For younger individuals, Facebook is a non-option tool. If you don’t use it, you don’t know about events, opportunities – or in your daughter’s case – a changed phone number.

    And to think, most of my mates are struggling to work out how the technology works and how to list their favourite bands…

  2. Interesting post. On reflection we shouldn’t be surprised that people are finding ways to bend the existing functionality of their favourite sites to deliver their privacy requirements. After all that is the way it happens offline as well – missed calls, pressing the red button, text message replies etc.

    I have long been thinking about elegant technology based solutions to segmented privacy – you may have seen Microsoft’s concentric circles of friends approach. Maybe I have been looking in the wrong place.

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