The New York-bred phenomenon known as Foursquare — which is basically the Bros Icing Bros of Social Media — has made its way across the Atlantic, where British people who clearly don’t “get it” are currently being scared out of their “knickers” or whatever by it.
As it just so happens, there’s a study out now being reported on by The Guardian about Foursquare! And technologies like Foursquare! And if you don’t know what Foursquare is, basically, it’s like Twittering all your Facebook Friends your location on Google Maps, where they can meet up with you and share special “Badges”/Pokemon. Honestly, just…read about it here.
So why a survey? Because when people are fascinated or scared or can be capitalized on by a new product or behavior, the first thing smarmy people do is find a small group of people who really have no idea what they or their questioners are talking about, ask them questions, get answers, and scale that sample to make bold, sweeping statements about things. This is how polling works, and it’s stupid. But it works! Kind of. Sometimes.
In this case, wouldn’t a survey commissioned by a web security group have to produce results meant to scare people into investing in web security technologies? Regardless, Webroot, who commissioned the survey, came up with this:
– Of this 73%, more than a quarter used location-based services to share their whereabouts with “strangers” and 14% use them to meet new people
– 55% of respondents said they worry over loss of privacy incurred from using geolocation data
– One in 11 respondents have used geolocation applications to meet a stranger, either digitally or in person. This is predominantly within the 18-29 age group
– 64% have accepted a friend request from a stranger
– 41% are “aware or extremely concerned” about letting “potential burglars know when they are not at home”
– In the UK, 46% of women are “highly concerned” about “letting a stalker know where they are,” compared to 27% of men
– 52% of UK respondents tag their whereabouts in a photograph online
– In the past year, 30% of UK respondents have shared their geographical location with “people other than their friends”
Right, okay, they’re going about this all wrong, no? Here’s how you use Foursquare: You find all the people you want to avoid in life. You let them “friend” you. And then you watch them “Check In” at places, and then, you avoid those places. Alternatively, you can “Check In” to places you aren’t, and bait them into going to those places. Of course, this requires skill, moderation, and trickery, but it certainly beats the alternative of Stalking and Being Stalked By Other People. You Limey creep.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 12, 2010