I know what you did last summer (because you told me your location at all times on Twitter)
I was in both St. Cloud and Minneapolis this weekend. Most of you didn’t know that. On purpose. Because I don’t tweet my location. On purpose. But man, it can be hard to hold it back.
See, I know everyone’s jumping on the FourSquare bandwagon, just like everyone jumped on the BrightKite bandwagon, just like everyone will jump on the LocalJump or Designatr or MyPlacez bandwagon when those unfortunately named start-ups finally start up. I get it. People can connect. “Oh, you’re there? Well, I’m here. Let’s hang, dawg.”
And, I’ll admit. While I haven’t decided that location-based social networking is valuable or necessary or wise for myself, I have signed up for both FourSquare and BrightKite. (I had to. There’s a username involved, and I wanted to collect mine.)
That being said, I won’t use them. It’s already enough that I constantly give out my thoughts and my motivations and my activities; I simply don’t feel right doing all of this and tagging it with my EXACT LOCATION AT THIS EXACT MOMENT.
There was a point in which my own safety and the safety of my family (who may or may not be with me when my location is given off) outweighed my need to relay yet another part of my life. It can get hard – after all, two years of constant lifestreaming can develop a habit, leaving me mindlessly exclaiming, “OH MAN I’M IN ST. CLOUD AND DIVISION STREET STILL SUCKS!”
When, in fact, what I’m saying in that case is, “OH MAN I’M IN ST. CLOUD AND MY FAMILY IS HOME ALONE SO NOW YOU KNOW!”
And that’s why I don’t BrightKite or FourSquare or WhateverWhatever. Because, as Aaron said a few years back, “I think we got caught up in the excitement of lifestreaming and forgot to really think about who might be following those streams. Maybe some of those people are crazies.”