Please Rob Me

Location based social networking sites have been gaining popularity as of late.  Foursquare, an app based social networking program, allows users to “check in” their location from their mobile devices and share this information with their friends and followers.  People can check in at various locations such as restaurants, offices, bars and parks.  The location of the user is made available for all and users gain points for checking in at multiple locations, or the same location several times.  Foursquare’s success has been gaining speed and has spawned various spin off sites broadcasting users locations.  Twitter offers a similar feature where tweets can be linked to a Google Map portraying the whereabouts of the person.

Knowing the exact location of 500 of your closest friends is great, right? I mean, why would you not want to know that your old college buddy has been tweeting from his bedroom, then his office, then back in his bedroom?  Somehow I am failing to see the appeal in this growing fad.  If you are somewhere so magnificent that you need to share it with the world, tweet it, email me, or share it on Facebook.  I don’t need to know exactly where you are when this is happening.

Location based software is also opening the flood gates for stalkers everywhere.  Never has it been easier to follow one’s every move and anticipate the exact time they will be in line at Starbucks on Walnut street.  A new spinoff website, PleaseRobMe.com, attempts to portray the ridiculousness of these programs while also presenting the dangers involved.

Please Rob Me creates a live feed uploaded from sites such as Foursquare and Twitter and alerts the public when users are no longer home, creating an easy and stress free way for criminals to attack. Please Rob Me’s main goal is to create awareness of the danger of giving away your location at all times of day.  Mainly, if you are at the park 15 miles down the road, you are not at home, making it that much easier for a thief to break in.

Please Rob Me has been gaining attention in the public spotlight and is currently searching for other ways to spread their message and have everyone understand the inherent danger of this type of site.

We all have an inner urge to explore and conquer that dates back to the days of Christopher Columbus.  This is probably the same urge that makes us feel the need to let everyone know that we eat Subway everyday on the corner of 8th and Market around 1:30pm.  Claiming your territory isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes it’s best just to keep it to yourselves.

Next time you are about to tweet about your current location at your favorite coffee spot, think of all the people that probably don’t care.  Then think of all the home alone style bandits that do care you are not home and are waiting for just the right moment.  Please Rob Me may be somewhat of a joke, but losing 20 followers on Twitter because of excessively boring location based tweets is no laughing matter.

Visit www.pleaserobme.com to learn more.

05. March 2010 by Alex Trevisan
Categories: Social Media | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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