Mary Sheehan, Freshman, Psychology
“Every move you make, every step you take, I’ll be watching you.” The classic Police song croons over the stereo as I pull into Target. How appropriate, seeing as I am watching my friend tag her location in a tweet.
The Communication Generation, aptly named, is obsessed with sharing not only what we’re doing at all times but also where are and what we are thinking. Now Facebook allows us to “check in” to locations, indicating where we are and who we’re with. With all this technology, are we ever truly alone?
Checking into places using social media presents the user with an array of social and personal risks, even if done so unintentionally. It could be as benign as lying to your parents about your whereabouts only for them to find out that you were actually somewhere else.
But as college students, the consequences of “checking in” somewhere could be much harsher and detrimental. Every thought you post, whether positive or negative, is now potentially attached to a particular location. Consider a scenario in which you post something undesirable but you’ve tagged yourself in an academic building on campus. Now virtually anyone can see where you were at the time, which could in turn put your academic career in jeopardy. Eventually, even your employers can see where you were and what you were doing at the time.
While potentially jeopardizing to careers, checking into locations can be lead to life-threatening situations as well. With the emergence of social media, parents and newscasters spread horror stories about people of all ages being stalked or kidnapped. Adding your location to a status only aids in the dangers of abduction, making it easier for anyone to see where you are at all times.
The idea of someone following your every move on a social media account where you publically post your every thought and location is alarming. In fact, it should be enough to deter a person to use these applications and to use caution on websites that are open to the public.