RF: It Means More Than Just Radio Frequency
Google the term “RF” and you’ll find dozens of links and articles about Radio Frequency, or what I call the ‘old school’ meaning of the phrase.
As any Wi-Fi expert can tell you, Radio Frequency is the basic mode of communication for an array of wireless technologies. These radio waves travel all around us, all the time. Wi-Fi networks connect cell phones, PCs and tablets. Peer to peer devices also make use of the wireless spectrum through Bluetooth technology. A form of electromagnetic radiation, radio waves propagate at the speed of light. However, RF waves have slower frequencies than those of visible light, making them invisible to our eyes.
This scientific understanding has allowed us to take advantage of RF, turning it into a powerful and versatile technology. But I’d like to propose a second definition of RF, one that reflects the new role it plays in our lives. I’m talking about RF as a “Relationship Facilitator.” With free services like career networking, photo/video sharing and dating available to everyone with Internet access, Wi-Fi networks (and the radio waves that make them possible) are becoming indispensable for creating human connections.
We’re increasingly using apps and devices to meet friends, start relationships, find jobs and simply stay in touch. Consider the amazing ability to FaceTime with your spouse who’s traveling in London while you’re at home in L.A. – or to Skype with your old college roommate who lives halfway across the country. As mobility becomes the norm, more and more of these connections are being built and sustained with the help of reliable Wi-Fi.
With services like Facebook, there’s no need to wait until your high school reunion to find out what happened to old friends. With a few clicks you can usually learn nearly everything important about them, and easily send a message as a way to reconnect. If they’re not on Facebook, they’re probably on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. And even if they consciously avoid social networking sites, you can probably find a mention or two of them somewhere simply through Google. It’s almost impossible to avoid having a “web presence” of some kind.
In this new hyper-connected age, our expectations of privacy have forever changed. People must pay closer attention to their tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube comments and more, so nothing reflects negatively when a potential employer (or potential date) searches their name. But despite these possible pitfalls, there’s no denying the benefits. The era of social media has enabled us to launch new relationships, engage with lost friends, meet people who share our interests, and even find mentors to guide us in our careers.
In this way, Wi-Fi has truly become a “Relationship Facilitator.” Technology-savvy people are carefully building their online “personal brands” to present the most attractive, appealing version of themselves to the thousands of people who might one day look them up.
What’s a personal brand? It’s the version of our life story we tell others – for example, “I’m a fun-loving, world-traveling free spirit.” Or, “I’m a quiet, intellectual writer who likes to cook.” Social media allows us to use text, images, video, location tags and more to enhance these personal brands and become known to others based on how we represent ourselves online.
For now, the concept of “Relationship Facilitator” doesn’t show up when I search for “RF” on Google. But just as Xirrus has always been an innovator of Wi-Fi products and solutions, I propose we expand and update our definition of “RF” to include this important new meaning.