Thursday, March 11, 2010

Charlotteans not keen on Facebook's location feature

When news broke earlier this week that Facebook may soon let users share their real-time location with their friends, the news didn't go over well with some of Observer readers.

"Absolutely not," one Facebooker responded on the Observer's FB page.

"A stalker's dream come true," said another.

"No way in Hell!!!" volunteered another.

Geo-location is the hot new "next big thing" in social networks, but it definitely raises people's red flags about privacy. Still, you have to wonder if time -- and exposure to the potential benefits -- won't soften those attitudes.

Five years ago, many people would have been horrified by the notion of putting their personal pictures on the Internet. Now it seems like everybody on Facebook's doing it. They just needed to get used to the basic concept, and to see the benefits of sharing. (Who doesn't get a voyeuristic kick out of flipping through their friends' pictures?) I have to think a similar evolution is in store for the concept of location sharing. After all, people on Foursquare, the hottest of the location-sharing social networks, are already reaping benefits.

One user told me how he went to the mall and announced his arrival on Foursquare, then noticed a friend happened to be there, too, so they met up. Pretty cool, no? So, it may take a bit for some folks -- myself included -- to get completely comfortable with location sharing. But I have a feeling that day isn't as far off as some might think.

7 comments:

Cassy1004 said...

nice article

Jimmy said...

Has anybody thought that by updating your location constantly it gives criminals an oppertunity to know exactly when your home and when your not>? Even those sketchy "friends" on FB can really set their sites on your valuables while your living it up with your true friends at the mall

Anonymous said...

Loopt is a similar app, and it only updates your location when you want it to. If you wouldn't want to meet up with/run into a person who happens to be in your vicinity, why are you friends with them on Facebook?

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with it. If all of your friends on facebook are really your friends. Then you shouldn't have a problem with it either. I am sure it will be opt in or out. So if you don't like it. Don't do it. I use google latitude, and I think it is nicebeing able to see how far a friend actually is from my house when I am expecting them.

Anonymous said...

I love the scare tactic people use to try and get people to quit using Facebook. It's total BS and terrible journalism. I take it you were not exactly first in your class. poor reporting

Anonymous said...

I do believe it said "with your friends" I think they kinda know where you are alredy.

Anonymous said...

This is God awful that they would allow such. The whole damned facebook thing is dangerous and there's no way I would allow my family on it. It's an outrage that this thing controls people's lives as it is, and not to mention RUINS LIVES.