Navigating through life away from the library.
Navigating through life away from the library.

Foursquare and Personal Safety

Foursquare I Voted BadgeI’m on Foursquare but I’m not really certain why.  I don’t go anywhere all that exciting, so I won’t be collecting any of those cool “Player, Please” or “Crunked” badges anytime soon.  I’m sure my kids are thrilled to know that.  However, I have to admit to desperately wanting one of those “I Voted” badges.  I know it’s nerdy but I wanted one.

In fact, it was one of the main reasons I voted.  Screw the whole civic responsibility thing, I wanted a badge, darn it!  Then I read this post on Tech Savvy Mama about why she willingly gave up the “I Voted” badge even though she’s “a Foursquare badge seeker” and it got me to thinking about geolocation and personal safety.

Leticia wrote that she gave up the coveted badge to protect the safety of her family ~ her polling location is too close to home and she has made a personal decision not to “check~in” at places that she frequents with her kids.  Wise, very wise.  I don’t check~in everywhere either, but that’s mostly because I want to spare people the whole “DaenelT is at the grocery store again” thingy, ya know?  But I do check in at my favorite coffee shop (shout out to KB’s Coffee House) and the library where I work (Keystone Library represent!), so am I putting myself at risk?

In the comments to her post, one reader indicated that she kinda sees Foursquare as a security measure.  She’s single and often rolls solo and uses Foursquare as a way to let friends and family know her whereabouts.  However, others view Foursquare as an invasion of privacy and an open invitation to danger.

I initially signed up for Foursquare because it was something new and as a librarian I try to keep up on new and emerging technologies so that I can answer any questions that patrons may have.  Really, there’s nothing worse than going to the librarian, asking for help and then having the person stand there and look at you likeWhaaaaa?”  Anyway, I’ve stayed on Foursquare because, hmmmm, I don’t have a good answer for that ~ maybe I’m hoping that the hubs will take me on a fantasy vacation to some island and I can earn an “I’m kicking it in a tankini on the beach with an umbrellaed drink while you’re shoveling snow” badge.

What about you, do you use Foursquare?  If so, why?  If you don’t, why not?  Is it a safety issue for you?

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