Well after writing about Meetup.com yesterday and how it helps bridge the gap between the cyber social world and the real world, I spent more time investigating groups in my area and I have to say it is amazing how many people have created groups on the site, and under so many different topics. I found groups for moms with their kids, singles and active friends to go and do things with.
Well it got me thinking about a conversation I had with the destroyer of boredom MissDestructo last week and her cohort Daniel from DYER PRODUCTIONS. We talked about the geotagging in twitter and other location based social media like Foursquare and Waze. These new tools allow you to show where you are when you make these notes. Myself being 6’4″ and over 250 lbs rarely gives thought to such concerns like a stalker or unwanted attention, but what about those who do need to worry about such things. You need to start thinking of these things when you let people follow you. One of the apps on my Motorola Droid called Layar (I’ll talk about it more in the future) allows me to lay the geotagged tweets over the world around me through the phone’s camera, resulting in a way for me to see who is tweeting around me, literally. I was walking through the mall and I could see where people were when they made comments (see Tweeps around 3D) while this seems like a really cool novelty with possibly good applications for use in a close group of friends, what about when you have 100’s or 1,000’s of followers? What about when the crooks can slide in to your followers and confirm when you are out of town. I have a strict policy that my kids will not be active on social media until they are “really” over 18, I wonder how many parents are aware that it is only a mater of time before their kids location is known more by strangers (innocent and possibly malicious) then it is by their own parents.
My recommendation is to be aware, if you use these geo based programs, people are watching you, act accordingly, reduce your risk. In fact I would apply those same rules to social media in general, remember you are always being watched, and unlike someone seeing you do something dumb at a party, the net never forgets.