That's what a lot of apps seem to be saying.
Every online application I want to try these days wants to connect to my Facebook. That means they get access to my profile - and they know I am really who I say I am.
Now that's not foolproof, certainly there are ways around it. But for most people, Facebook means you are really you. And that's a good thing.
I remember when I was about 14, and surfing the web felt totally anonymous. That was the fun of it, after all. I could blog about my boyfriend with abandon.
But now I am almost positive someone can trace almost anything I do, unless I take some serious precautions, and get back to the real me.
That's good for most apps that are location based. When the goal is to meet and mingle, or get personalized recommendations, then we want to display out authentic selves. At least in theory. I have to admit I was nervous about putting my real picture on Foursquare. I used a snapshot of my dog as a cute way to throw off stalkers.
I started thinking about how important being "real" is after reading Advertising Age's interview with Buddy Media's Michael Lazerow. He talks about why be bet long on Facebook:
It has become cliche to call it (Facebook) a "parallel internet"; rather, Mr. Lazerow argues, it's a better internet, free of the anonymity, abuse, spam, comment trolls and viruses that plague the real web. Indeed, Facebook is the only major web property still in growth mode, and it's happening at the expense of all others. "How do people vote? With their money and with their time," Mr. Lazerow said. "If you look at the time, people are saying this is the better internet."
So people want to be real? Or at least, the "real" Facebook version of themselves.
Managing that profile is like investing in a social currency. Authenticity one thing the trolls and spambots can't steal, no matter how many automated direct messages they send!
All in all, its like the Internet is splitting. "Real" people - authenticated, open, and safe for work. And the underside, the alternative emails and the "in-private" browsing.
In the end, both types of interaction are what the internet is about. Connection is there, ready to happen. Privatized or Publicized, the user should have the power to choose.