12 April, 2010

Intern Sweatshop: Has Social Media Gone Too Far?

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace… just to name a few. Social media is great, right? Catch up with old friends, see how everyone’s doing, and even advertise for your company. But as the saying goes, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

Have you heard of the newly popular foursquare? No, not the playground game – the social networking site. You download an application onto your cell phone, and then as you go places, you “check in” on foursquare. You are then awarded “points” and “badges” for updating your location. So, it’s an application that encourages you to explore different locations and let friends know what you’re doing. No harm in that, right?

Wrong. Consider this scenario: You go out with some friends to your favorite restaurant, and you check in via foursquare, “in New York, NY: White Castle has the best burgers!” Guess where everyone now knows you’re at… you guessed it, the White Castle in New York, NY. But what’s more important, guess where people now know you're not: your home.

foursquare seems to have just gone a bit too far. I’m sure the creators had no intention of making this dangerous, but this can cause problems with stalking because people know your location, as well as theft because people know when you aren’t home. The website pleaserobme.com was created to raise awareness about “over-sharing.” It scanned tweets from twitter and check-ins from foursquare and posted them on their website to show people who were not in their home. Recently, the site has stopped showing the tweets or check-ins but still encourages people to not share anything they don’t want everyone to know.

This link shows you how a guy figured out a woman’s age, location, profession, shopping habits, email address, and phone number in a matter of minutes from social networking sites. Quite scary to know how much someone can find out about you just by a few clicks of the mouse. Here's another link to an article about a woman who claimed to have been robbed after posting on Facebook that she would be out for the evening.

So, while social media may seem like a great thing, just be careful what you do and what you say. Whether it's a Facebook post a potential boss may find or a foursquare check-in a potential stalker may look at, once it's on the Web, it's hard to take it back.

--Tara Cammarata, Creative Department Stealth Intern

Last time on the Intern Sweatshop: Is Dove Men+Care really targeting men?

Intern Sweatshop: Has Social Media Gone Too Far?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

4 others 'fessed up:

Steven April 12, 2010 at 6:18 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven April 12, 2010 at 6:19 PM  

...note to self... delete application

Teapot April 13, 2010 at 3:08 PM  

LOL! :( Interntes r so bad 4u! Govmet shld totally kill it! Totally get rid of the whole web!

Please sign my petition at Lemonparty.org!


Richard April 23, 2010 at 9:52 PM  

I agree the internet is becoming a little to transparent, but a person has a better chance of hitting the local lottery twice than being stalked by a crazy off of social media.

No sense to cause any panic just yet...

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