Mobility, Social Interaction, and Privacy

Chef it Up is an idea for an app that has the potential to end food deserts across the United States. When users download this free app, they eliminate the need to travel and the distraction of unhealthy options. Chef it Up delivers top quality ingredients to make healthy meals straight to the door of consumers. The app would also help promote food education by creating how to videos showing users how to make all of their favorite meals the easiest and healthiest way possible. Chef it Up would be available to anyone, but it would be especially geared towards those in food deserts as a means to alleviate the hassle of traveling inconvenient distances and keep from paying more for nutritious food.

One of the main factors of a food desert is that it is filled with quick and easy convenience stores where people can go and buy cheap snack food or overpriced somewhat-healthy options. People continue to go to these places however because it is fast. To go to these stores takes the least amount of time out of a person’s day to get their food. Chef it Up solves this issue by delivering food to the users home. Having a steady supply of food in the house keeps people from going out to buy snacks and promotes cooking at home. In the article Expanding the ‘Mobility’ Concept, authors Masao Kakihara and Carsten Sorensen explain the concept of temporal mobility. They go on to explain that it is not only about changing technologies to accomplish a task faster, but it is also based on the idea of how you schedule your day. The authors categorized people into two groups, monochronicity and polychronicity.

“The former (monochronicity) refers to situations where people seek to structure their activities and plan for events by allocating specific slots of time to each event’s occurrence. The latter (polychronicity) signifies situations where people place less value on and accept divergence of structural and interpretive attributes of the temporal order,” (Kakihara and Carsten, 2001).

Chef it up promotes the monochronicity lifestyle because users have to schedule when their food will be delivered. Deliveries would not be an around the clock business, so users would need to pick a specific time to receive their order. Chef it Up promotes mobility by eliminating the need to travel to get food.

Chef it Up does features social interaction in the form of videos. The videos are a way for the app to communicate directly to its users and teach them how to cook. Lee Humphreys, a professor of communication at Cornell University, explains how mobile interactions are not typically interpersonal exchanges. “… the presumed sociality can be seen in the publicness of actors, audience, and the communicative exchanges themselves,” (Humphreys, 2012). Here, Humphreys explains how mobile interactions are meant to be geared to many people, but feel like they are made directly for the consumer. It can be looked at as a one-way conversation.

Surveillance can be used in a positive and negative way with Chef it Up. The app can be used to find what areas are the worst food deserts. Doing this is known as social surveillance. Social surveillance is a way of tracking what people like and using that information to feel a sense of power over another (Marwick, 2012). By finding this information, programs can be started to help educate the community on eating better and shopping more efficiently. Also, food market chains can see this information and open more stores in these areas. They can also use the information of what people buy the most so they can find what to advertise to people. The information can be used negatively because most food deserts are in low-income, high crime rate areas. The police can see where the highest concentration of food deserts are and could use this information to track people just because they are in these areas. Police use technologies like stingrays, a fake cell phone tower, to track who is using a phone in a given area (Fung, 2014). Privacy can be looked at as an issue with Chef it Up. Users would place their entire order on the app, so the information of what they order can be seen on a record. Users would also have to pay for their food, so steps would have to be taken to assure that users information would be safe.

Chef it Up is an app that has the potential to rid the nation of food deserts. Information gathered from the apps users can lead to companies opening more grocery stores in these areas, making nutritious food an option at any time. Chef it Up can also lead to a healthier population because of its videos. Users can get an instant lesson from a world-class chef in making delicious and healthy meals. Chef it Up is a convenient app that brings food straight to the door of people who aren’t able to go to the grocery store easily.

Works Cited

Fung, B. (2014, June 3). How hard should it be for cops to track your location? A new lawsuit revives the debate. Retrieved March 29, 2015.

Humphreys, Lee. (2012). “Connecting, Coordinating, Cataloguing: Communicative Practices on Mobile Social Networks,” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 56:4, 494-510

Kakihara, Masao & Sorensen, Carsten. (2001). Expanding the ‘Mobility’ Concept. SIGGROUP Bulletin, 22(3), 33-37.

Marwick, Alice. (2012). “Public Domain: Surveillance in everyday life.” Surveillance & Society. 9(4): 378-393

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