Imagine you’re walking down the street, in a subway station, waiting for a bus or sitting outside a coffee shop, and you see a USB flash drive sticking out of the side of a building or securely set in a phone booth’s pole. No sign, no instructions, no label, no indication whatsoever of its contents.
Do you plug in? Maybe you’ll discover the next great artist. Or a hilarious YouTube video. Maybe you uncover information about new technology. Or… perhaps your computer receives a virus or you come across, ahem, adult content.
But you’ll never know until you plug in. The curiosity is undeniable, but is it worth it?
Initiated by Aram Bartholl, these “Dead Drops” are portals designed to extend social networking beyond the home or office and out to the streets. Still a new concept in both exposure and relevancy, Dead Drops may appear more in major cities as interest increases. Bartholl describes the system as “an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space.”
Social media consumes much of our lives, either directly or indirectly, and these Dead Drops are simply another vehicle for sharing files and data with others. So the intent, I believe, is there. But I can’t say I’m convinced about its relevancy nor its safety.

So you see a randomly placed USB drive jutting out of the side of a building or a curb:
Would your curiosity get the better of you, or would you stay away?
If you were to participate, what would upload to a Dead Drop?

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