The latest technology that utilizes SMART phone GPS features are known as ‘social location applications’. These applications have the ability to ‘announce’ where we are to our ‘friends’.
Four Square is one such popular application that allows registered users to connect with friends and update their location. Points are awarded for "checking in" at venues. Users can choose to have their check-ins posted on their accounts on Twitter, Facebook or both. Launched in January 2010, it has become popular with smart phones users.
On 19th August 2010, Facebook launched their own social location application. As this is so new, not much information is available. However, I imagine that the application will be able to announce the location of the user to ALL their Facebook friends.
Most teenagers have around 200 – 300 friends. A lot of the time they do not know all of these people personally. Is announcing exactly where one’s location is, to several hundred people of which some you do not know, who have access to personal photos and other information, really such a good idea?
In a few years time when smart phone technology with GPS is cheap enough for us all, parents need to be concerned about location based applications. Teenagers may see it as ‘fun’ but there is real dangers we need to consider. I for one will not be activating such technology on my phone!