No surprise that Facebook developers have boarded the location train and launched Facebook Places, far behind Foursquare and Gowalla. Google had bought it’s own version called Dodgeball back in 2005, and continued with Google Latitude from 2009, so why not combine that with Facebook? Or even better, combine Foursquare with Facebook?
From Dijana’s post, I was directed to the article titled “Will Facebook’s new location feature make poor people feel bad?” (because poor people can not go to posh restaurants to show off their location), but skipped most of the actual article and went straight to the comments to read a range of responses. This one struck me the most:
At first, I thought Foursquare was a service where you indicate your whereabouts by clicking a spot on a map, but it’s more than that. People “check in” to a “place when they’re there, tell friends where they are and track the history of where they’ve been and who they’ve been there with.”
But that’s not the image Facebook wants you to see. According to them, you’re preparing a rosy scrapbook of great parties, past pleasures, and favourite haunts:
Assuming Facebook and I are still around 20-30 years later as the optimistic man in the video says, I will have a load of digital files on what I’ve done with who and when. I will go through these the same way high school girls will go through the thousands of pictures where they did those fish-lips poses.
To summarise, here are four issues with these social “passports” that may have us wondering “What were we thinking?:
- More screen time: Another reason for people to keep their eyes peeled on their phones or computers instead of on people.
- Inflates the narcissitic side of people: Just another inventive way to show off where you have been or gain attention even if you just grabbed fries from McDonalds.
- Waste of time: just like many Facebook status updates or Tweets.
- Privacy and security concerns: Besides the stalking, I’m more concerned about teens bullying each other. However, as much as people lament the loss of privacy, it’s up to the individual to maintain that privacy.
Would you be interested in signing up for this?
UPDATE: For those whose lives aren’t as focused on the outside world, there is Get Glue, Miso, and Philo that allows you to check in the books you’re reading, the shows you’re watching, and the music you’re listening to. CNN has more on this. This deserves a future post.