Is the internet bringing us together or keeping us apart?

"We had a custom app built so when you took that RFID and you tapped in that you were going to get ready to meet him, it showed him on the video screen your name and your location, and on the app it also had your name and location. So he was able to sign it and hit next and it pushed it [the digital autograph] straight to your timeline."

Facebook chose the locations based on David Beckham's Facebook insights - India, Brazil and the US were in the top six countries that his fans come from. Beckham has never been to India, so it gives fans there a chance to interact with him for the first time. And that would be great if this were an "as well as" situation, but it feels like an "instead of". Instead of visiting India, Beckham's visiting Facebook.

Face Time

We mention how tooth-grindingly awkward the video chats Beckham had with his foreign fans were, but Miller doesn't seem to think it was awkward at all.

"I think fans when fans get to connect with who they look up to it's one of those moments that you can't explain. And I think with this type of technology you actually got to see it happen through technology, versus sitting there seeing it through, you know, sitting in a bookstore or just doing it through text and having someone like Beckham reply to you through Facebook.

"You actually got to see what that interaction was like. So I think it was probably the most authentic type of reactions you were able to see," he said.


But can making small talk with David Beckham through a screen as he scribbles pixels on a jpg really compare to the experience of meeting him in real life? You can't burn or lose a digital signature but unlike your own personal autograph on a bit of paper or a printed book, this digital signature can be endlessly replicated. It can be printed out, screen-grabbed, copied and pasted. It hasn't even been touched by Beckham.

That autograph is just pixels on a screen, like you were to Beckham when you sat in front of that camera and asked how he was. Pixels on a screen like the words you're reading now.

We wonder what he makes of it all, this David Beckham. "No, you can stay," he tries to tell far-flung fans as they're hurried out of the hotseat and offscreen, but they can't hear him or they aren't allowed to stay put, replaced by the next in line before he's even had the chance to answer their one single question.

"Well, that was fast and furious," he says to the crowd in London during a break. Not harassed, but bemused. Fast, furious, but not all that satisfying.

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.