'sharing' is code for 'stalking'

This is why technology terrifies me!! All of these social media websites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and FourSquare are designed for "sharing", but really that's code for "stalking". Which is all well and good, because you can control (to a degree) how much information about yourself that you reveal to perfect strangers.

But FourSquare actively encourages genuine stalking, because it provides your exact location to whoever wants to know - in real time!

It's all too much "sharing". As journalist Leo Hickman writes in his article for The Guardian:

"Louise has straight, auburn hair and, judging by the only photograph I have of her, she's in her 30s. She works in recruitment. I also know which train station she uses regularly, what supermarket she shopped at last night and where she met her friends for a meal in her home town last week. At this moment, she is somewhere inside the pub in front of me meeting with colleagues after work.

"Louise is a complete stranger. Until 10 minutes ago when I discovered she was located within a mile of me, I didn't even know of her existence. But equipped only with a smartphone and an increasingly popular social networking application called Foursquare, I have located her to within just a few square metres, accessed her Twitter account and conducted multiple cross-referenced Google searches using the personal details I have already managed to accrue about her from her online presence. 

"In the short time it has taken me to walk to this pub in central London, I probably know more about her than if I'd spent an hour talking to her face-to-face."

Cah-Reepy!! I don't like it one bit. 

Do you want to know the scariest part?

Louise thought she was "being very careful" with what she was posting, she confessed when Leo eventually interviewed her. "I never thought I was revealing personal information, and I only use my maiden name when using social networking apps," she said. Still, she says she'll keep using FourSquare, she's just going to be more measured about how she goes about it.

God, social media is exhausting. I'm nearing my threshold. The term implies fun but it's beginning to feel like a chore; each website and widget is just another thing on the to-do list that needs to be "managed". I think my attitude may be a sign that I'm getting old, but I can't help it - I'd take a cup of tea and a game of scrabble over an hour of FaceStalking any day!


What was done said...

Getting old is only in our mind.
Age never prevented people from doing things: