Social Media Safety

Posted by: Madeline Lumley

Social media sites like Foursquare allow users to “check-in” to the locations they are currently visiting. Check-ins earn points for the users, which in turn earn them badges and sometimes even discounts on products from the places they’ve checked into. Gifts from local businesses and cheaper meals are great, but is the site putting you in danger?

I remember when I first heard about Foursquare. My initial reaction was, “Great, a site that will make it easier for people to stalk me.” Now, that may sound egotistical, but I don’t mean it to be, and I think there is some validity to my concern. I can’t think of a more public and obvious way to announce my exact whereabouts to strangers, and even worse, letting them know exactly when I won’t be at home.

I must admit, I have a Foursquare account that I had to create for a class I’m enrolled in this semester. I understand why people use the site, but I don’t understand the ways in which some people choose to use it. I’ve seen users post their home address for the world to see, for example. Why would that seem like a good idea?

The website Please Rob Me shares my opinion. On the “Why” page it says,

“The danger is publicly telling people where you are. This is because it leaves one place you’re definitely not… home. So here we are; on one end we’re leaving lights on when we’re going on a holiday, and on the other we’re telling everybody on the internet we’re not home.”

In my last post, I wrote about concerns I have about children using social media sites before they are mature enough. After using Foursquare and seeing how some of my peers use it, I’m realizing some adults may not be mature enough either.

Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but I know that I won’t be posting my home address on any social media sites anytime soon.

Do you have any concerns about the personal information people are posting on Foursquare and other social media sites?

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2 responses to “Social Media Safety

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought this! When I first heard of Foursquare, I thought it was a really strange concept. It’s one thing to post pictures of yourself and your hometown/school on a blog, but it’s a whole other step to tell them exactly where you are throughout the day. I sometimes even have problems posting that I go to Drake online.
    Although Foursquare can be worrisome, I haven’t heard of anything bad happening to someone because of it, and hopefully we won’t hear of anything in the future.

  2. It’s definitely a personal preference whether to use a social media sight like Foursquare or not… I believe you can even ‘check in’ on Facebook now. I do not use Foursquare because I don’t see the need to tell everybody where I’m at and who really cares where I’m at? I do have friends who use Foursquare and I’ve never heard them complain about it…but can’t you use Twitter and Facebook for the same thing as Foursquare? So is the incentive the coupons you get from the places you visit?

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