When I will not use FourSquare or Gowalla: Checks & Balances
The big debate and controversy is when people choose to tell the world when and where they are using Social Media. Basically checking in via Foursquare or Gowalla. Beyond this, using the geo-location option in Twitter via updates. So I have been thinking about when to use Foursquare and Gowalla to tell my location, and Twitter to tell what I am doing and where. My thoughts:
When I will not use Twitter, Foursquare, or Gowalla to update my status:
- When I am home – I will not allow these geo-location media’s to pinpoint my location at my house or say I am home and here it is on a map.
- When I am working with a client – unless it is used to educate the client via potential use of this technology.
- When I am at my family’s houses – I will not use geo-location to pinpoint my location. Their privacy is just as important as mine.
- When I am away from my house for an extended time and no one is there to watch the house. Even when I am on a vacation, I will not update my status using geo-location unless I am sure someone is watching the house.
Why have I sat back and made these distinctions? Well, last year I was robbed at my house in the middle of the night. I had over $13K in camera equipment stolen. The person only stole this equipment specifically and nothing else. They knew I where it was and watched my movements. The only way they knew my movements was based on some Twitter updates stating what I am doing and how I would be traveling. I do not want to disclose anymore, but after lots of research and retracing my movements…I know almost for certain that this happened because of my Twitter updates. I was new to the game and was not thinking through some of my comments and posts. I have learned a VALUABLE LESSON.
Have you sat down and thought through how and when you use Social Media’s and geo-locators? Here are some questions I think you should ask yourself or thoughts to ponder:
- When will I disclose my location via geo-locators?
- What places warrant updates, letting the wide world know where you are currently.
- Do you understand when you are updating your location at one place, you know that it means you are not somewhere else?
- Do you think there is an audience that can leverage the knowledge of your location to benefit them positively and impact you negatively.
- How can you benefit from this geo-location service? What benefit does it bring to your routine?
Geo-location is fun especially when checking into Starbucks, getting a badge, and then getting a discount. It is fun to find friends and others via geo-locators…it is like “being in the in-crowd.” But, can this fun new tool cause you more harm than good? I have learned and will continually learn how to leverage these fun tools and create a system of checks and balances for my daily use.