November 6, 2010


Yoo Hoo, Anybody Home?

I'd vaguely heard of Foursquare, some app that tells the world where you physically are. By announcing on things like your Facebook page that you are *now* in some coffee shop or bordello or what have you. Like all update ideas, I mostly cringe. But this one is worse, of course.

I was flipping through Salon just now, something I do less and less, and stumbled through the Broadstreet section, something I do even less than that. Anyhoo. They're talking about this app, and the fact it hasn't taken off quite as its inventors anticipated.

Ya think??

Using your phone to announce where you are is effectively doing two things: inviting people you don't know to come find you, and telling anyone else where you aren't - at home. Didn't your mother teach you anything?

I just returned from a loop to North Bay. I do stuff for the Tourism bureau. As I left, I mentioned to a colleague that I had to gas up. He glanced at my gas tank, and said I had lots of fuel.
"No, not enough to get home," I told him.
"But you have a few hours before you have to fill up," he said.
"I will not pull into anywhere after dark," I explained. He looked at me strangely.
I finally made him understand that women traveling alone do not take stupid chances. Pulling into a rest stop after dark to fuel up is one of them. It opens you up to unknown surroundings with unknown people. And it effectively announces to anyone and everyone that you are traveling alone. No thanks. I fill the car's tank and empty my own before dark.

A few months back, I was made aware that on cell phones, unless you turned it off, taking and posting pictures would also post a notation that said precisely where that pic had been taken. It's not obvious; it's behind the picture. Webgod Jeff can explain better than I can. But tons of people were still blithely taking and posting pictures. Of their homes. Of their kid's schools. I find that rather stupid, myself.

Ari is reading George Orwell's 1984 right now, which means I'm re-reading it too. We talked about the concept of Big Brother, and how this is where the term originated. I told him he is captured on camera hundreds of times a day. He seemed surprised. But I told him as he walks down the main street in our city at lunch time every day, his image is captured nearly every step of the way. The fact we forget doesn't mean it's not happening.

For use by law enforcement, this is a good thing. If you get jumped at a cash machine, chances are good we'll be watching a clip of it on the evening news.

But announcing your moves all day to an unknown audience? Are you kidding me? You want to put a chip in your ear so you can be tagged like a border collie, go right ahead.

But you're a fool.

10 Comments:

Anonymous PJ said...

Yeah, It's like the fools who announce on Facebook that they're away on vacation and then wonder why their homes have been broken into.

November 06, 2010 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Roz said...

Facebook scares me. Way too much information and little security. I'm a recruiter and the first thing I do is check a candidates Facebook page.

November 06, 2010 3:16 PM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

I've no cell phone.On facebook, I was born in 1900 and am a trendy transexual in Norfolk.My pics are of rubber masks or cool looking cartoon characters.

November 06, 2010 4:21 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Rozzy the Reruiter: Scarier than Facebook.

November 06, 2010 4:57 PM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

Roz the Recruiter: for what? Lost causes?

November 06, 2010 6:18 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Hardly. She's a big poop. She saves her charity work for her sister. Me.

November 06, 2010 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I foresee a mass exodus from Facebook in the near future. We used to have private lives and value our privacy. Nowadays, people share way too much information.

November 06, 2010 11:06 PM  
Blogger Nursedude said...

There have been some studies that have shown a huge divide between generational expectations of privacy. The younger generations don't seem as bothered by the potential lack of privacy as older folk are.

November 07, 2010 1:21 AM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Who you callin' older folk?

November 07, 2010 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a few months ago, I unfriended a bunch of people on fb because they were clogging the feed with their constant, mindless, updates. Now I'm down to people who post nothing, or the one or two people who post brilliantly and infrequently.

here's two from my favorite poster:
can't get two random but unrelated things out of my head. 1.) The adorable child downstairs wants to be MONK for Halloween. As in the TV show. I have no idea how he’s gonna pull this off. 2.) On cable, the brief description after I hit the 'info' button for FATSO (1980) starring Dom DeLuise reads: A MAN MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN HIS GIRLFRIEND AND HIS FONDNESS FOR HOTDOGS. I find this spectacular.

just saw 2 teens BRAWL. Starting at A and 11th, they RAMPAGED to 14th. Each grabbed whatever as weapons—skateboards, bikes (?!)—shoving people off each as they went. THOSE folks fought back. What began as beef between 2, turned into a riot! Most gawked. Others ran. I left ONLY after ALAN CUMMING showed up. He lives on ...my block. And seems to attend EVERY event in NYC. I’m certain he wasn’t invited to this one.

November 08, 2010 11:24 AM  

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