Connecting or Stalking?

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A new app made its debut appearance at the Launch Festival in San Francisco, California Tuesday. The app called Connect is available in the Apple store, along with the Google Play store and helps users pinpoint where their friends are. It uses information from all of your social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Google, Instagram, and LinkedIn and utilizes locations that appear with your friends’ posts.

I am personally someone who jumped on the “Let me check us in” bandwagon- I have no idea why. It wouldn’t be for common places like “My Apartment,” but places I wouldn’t normally be (I understand this doesn’t make it sound better, but in the end I will attempt to continuously justify myself). Tagging your location just makes things more complete to me. When I went abroad for a semester, I set all the locations for each album. It just made sense.

Tagging my location is one thing, but having an app on my phone that collectively shows present locations of all my friends on my social networks at a given time is another. It’s kind of borderline creepy and even stalkerish. The app mentions that its purpose is to present individuals with the ability to connect with any of your friends at any time. So I guess why do I need your cellphone number when I can find out where you are and just show up?

The app is interesting because it continuously emphasizes connecting with “friends.” When it says friends I think we should take into consideration all the loose aquaintances that may be present on your Facebook or the follower on Twitter that you felt it was a common courtesy to follow back or the professional that for some odd reason decided to connect with you on LinkedIn. What’s worse about the app is that your “friends” won’t even know your looking at their present location. You don’t necessarily have to “tag” a location in some social networks. If you have given permission for your location to be enabled on your mobile device, the app of that social network has access. So, the next time you make a post, think about who’s in your networks. Happy Posting!

References

            Yahoo. (07, March 2014). “New App Makes it Easy to Stalk Friends (or Strangers!) Without Them Really Knowing.” Retrieved from https://www.yahoo.com/tech/new-app-makes-it-easy-to-stalk-friends-or-strangers-78039826303.html

3 thoughts on “Connecting or Stalking?

  1. I’ve been looking for an app like this not to be creepy but because I think it will be helpful. Many social media sites give the option to add where you are when you post something but and app just to say where you are can be useful in some ways. A good example of this is for students to use it to check into dining halls on campus, then we would know when our friends are eating instead of sending out massive group texts asking who is eating or who wants to eat.

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  2. I can see how something like this can turn into a stalking situation but I do not think people should blame the app for the intentions of the user. Apps like this can be very cool and helpful. I personally have something like this on my own phone that me and my mom use. She uses it not to constantly track me but if she were not able to reach me for a period of time that is not normal she would use the app to track me and see my location to see if I may be in danger.

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  3. I think this is such a creepy idea and I don’t understand the purpose. Social media has totally transformed our ideas of privacy and I don’t understand why one would feel the need to see where his or her friends are at. Really bothersome and I am interested to see the controversy it has potential to bring.

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