#888 Facebook Places in the world
Saturday 18th September, 2010
Here we are, gathered around the same myriad of friends, foes and those other types of friends whom you shouldn’t, but do, include in your networks such as your boss and co-workers. ‘Here’ together. Here is now also ‘there’. Doing whatever it is that you are doing. Here for the best part of six years – yes Facebook’s been going since 2004 – friends, friends of friends, old friends, new friends, other friends, f*ck friends, less than friendly friends have been logging into Facebook to poke, message, ‘chat’ and tell of their latest relationship status. Now used to the most scoffed at and pilloried series of links Facebook’s opened it all up again with Facebook Places. It’s not ‘who are ya’; but ‘where are ya’?! that matters now.
IF I had paid more attention in Geography lessons, less distracted by the rocky outcrops and tors of the cute boy with the shatter resistance ruler who sat in front of me perhaps I could offer some points on the major geographic promise that Facebook Places could open up. If only I had done that, then maybe this would be more helpful and less lazy cultural commentary, but grin and bear with me, like Facebook Places I’m sure I’m going somewhere with this.
I may even share some of your concerns. This is all a way of saying how pleased I am that I am not the only one to reflect on how open one potentially can be. Not to mention noisy with regard to personal information. Here as I write this – at home in York if you pause to read the About the Author page – is where I am. Would I, should I, want to share this en-mass with friends? Possibly not. How dull. Unless your idea of extra attention and a good time is signaling via a parade of location status LOOK at ME! LOOK at ME! It’s no good skirting the issue. Part of the adoption of Facebook and ‘genius’ of the status update – even since the early days – was to pronounce what we are doing. I’m only more surprised that the natural extension of this to where we are doing it hasn’t been broadcast before. (Look away now FourSquare fans)…
Facebook’s shifted the ground again. Literally. So lets lay down some new rules. Concerned that your friends/family/boss/lover know too much? then re-assess your Privacy Settings. Modify these to either block Facebook Places (which is a highly effective way to opt out and safeguard your ‘where are you’s’) or update this application to reveal your ‘where’s’ ONLY to real friends. By whom I mean those you know and trust best. Should you be foolish enough to leave your Facebook account wide open then, aside from all the spam you receive, it IS possible that Barry the Burglar gain a hold on where you live, when you’re in, when you’re out and help himself to your stuff. In fact, it’s not so much a surprise that there are individuals who will, ‘because my friends are’, leave Facebook Places wide open. What awaits these types will be a deeply unpleasant shock.
Know your Facebook ‘situation’, by which I mean Privacy Settings. It is not the job of Facebook to secure your personal information, no they would rather wash their hands of this responsibility and hand it over like a limp, wet flannel to you. So keep your account clean. Know your friends. And it is then that you can be somewhere, here and there without Barry the Burglar sending you a Friend Request.