Time Magazine reports on the latest trends in social networking technology:

Your cell phone spying on you, but don’t be afraid. Thanks to better mapping technology and hyperlocal services tailored to the small screen, the latest wireless gadgets can automatically pinpoint your location and then direct you to everything from the nearest Chinese restaurant to where your friends are hanging out. And while it may seem creepy to have your phone keeping tabs on you even when you’re sleeping, this isn’t some Homeland Security nightmare. It’s just an easier way to find people and places nearby.

Mobile social networking is hot. The new Drift phone from Helio comes with a feature called Buddy Beacon that lets you see your location on a map that pops up onscreen, thanks to the global positioning system (GPS) chip built into the phone. You can also see where any of your friends are–assuming that they authorize it and own the same $225 phone. Targeted at teens and twentysomethings, the idea is that if you always knew your friends’ whereabouts, it would be that much easier to meet up with them. “We create a natural extension of what people already want to do, which is, they want to be with their friends,” says Sky Dayton, a co-founder of the Internet service provider Earthlink. Dayton launched Helio last summer with $440 million in funding from Earthlink and South Korea’s SK Telecom.

Read the entire story here.