Google has released yet another social network “plugin”, this time in their search engine.
Of course, this isn’t the first time. In 2009, they introduced a feature to see what people are saying about what you’re searching for in real-time at the bottom of the page. They’ve added more searchability and integrated social networks increasingly over the year, and now they’ve added even more.
Searching will now produce results with extra information from your friends and connections who have talked about the links produced by your search. This is designed to make it easier to find what your friends like while you’re searching for anything. Looking for a selection of cameras? Mr. X talked about how this one is great. Looking to book a trip? Ms. Y certainly loved going to Yosemite! These examples are taken from Google’s own video.
As an increasing number of companies merge together, it seems like the Internet is morphing into one giant social network. Is this a good thing?
I do believe that social networking is handy. It allows friends and family to stay connected, even if they’re on opposite sides of the planet. But as more people flock towards social networking, the more privacy deteriorates. People post about what they eat, when they go to bed, sometimes even when they go to the bathroom! People aren’t just losing their privacy. They’re giving it up willingly.
So where is the line between useful social networking and complete lack of privacy? That’s the problem. There is no clear line. It’s up to people like you and me to make that choice for ourselves. Even though major corporations like Google add social networking features, in the end, we’re the ones who give out the information in the first place.
What are your thoughts on what boundaries should be? Is everything okay the way it is? Feel free to reply in comments.