The backstory between me and this old friend is not that interesting. We were in same school together and shared a bench, tiffin and a box of crayons for the initial few years and then moved on. We both went into different directions not to be heard from each other for almost twenty years.
And then Facebook happened. One fine morning out of the blue, I received a friend request on Facebook. The face was familiar but definitely not similar. My friend had finally found me... on Facebook. Soon his updates mixed into my social stream and again, after twenty years, we lost each other again (even though we were connected)
So I was surprised at his check in, here we were on the same place after ten years. If only I had his latest number, I could call him. Ten years ago in school I maintained a diary that stored the landline numbers of all my friends.
I carried an Android powered phone that had the feature of sync through the social network. Sometime during the night, my phone had silently downloaded all of my online contact from Google, Facebook and Twitter and mapped them with each other (happens when the name is common or the email address is common).
Here I was sitting in a cafe outside the airport and a stroke of good smart phone. I had the number of my long lost friend after twenty years. I dialed the number and it connected. My friend was extremely surprised and mentioned he was eating a sub at the airport subway.
After we met, he told his story. He was in Bangalore for a month on deputation from his office. He knew no one in Bangalore and was really glad we met.
Twenty years ago, this would be an impossible feat. Ten years ago, this would be unheard of. Today, it is not a really innovative thing you have heard of.
Technology is influencing how we see the real world connections. Slowly the human brain is adapting using an external device that is enhancing our senses. It is affecting the way we realize the real world around us. Me and my friend did not meet that day because of one single technology. We met there because cloud, social, local and mobile were working together endlessly. The way you use technology matters be it a mobile phone or a nuclear reactor.