Here’s something you probably never thought you needed before: Someone following you. No, not on Facebook or Twitter, in real life. Think of it: You’re walking through Central Park or riding the subway or having coffee at Cafe Pedlar, and there’s someone out there—someone you don’t know—tailing you and watching your every move. If this sounds like something that’s been missing from your life, Lauren McCarthy, an artist and programmer, can set you up.
McCarthy is the creator of a performance art project called Follower, “a service that grants you a real life Follower for a day. A no-hassle unseen companion, someone that watches, someone that sees you, someone who cares.” Who doesn’t want something like that?
Follower is based on an Uber-like ap. You apply for it at McCarthy’s website by filling out an online questionnaire that asks you stuff like, Why do you want to be followed? and Why should we follow you? You also have to list the three best dates for being followed. Once your application is approved, the ap downloads on your phone. It tells when your being-followed adventure starts and stops.
What’s the point? Well, the idea neatly conflates the surveillance state with the user economy, so there is that. As for whether it’s right for you, that depends on if you’re the sort of exhibitionist who enjoys being paranoid.