Oh the Places You'll Go

I played foursquare.  I quit. I got annoyed with having to check in.  I probably would have kept up with it, had its point system not been so whack.

One thing that I never did...connect it to Facebook.  I have over 2,200 friends on Facebook. I didn't want all of them to see where I was at any given point.

I'm sure you are all well aware that now Facebook has their own Places feature.

I tried it out.  It's the exact same as foursquare without the whacked out point system. And you can't be a mayor of a place.

I want to like the idea of sharing with friends where I am. If I go somewhere cool (like the Grand Canyon or the Apple Store), I want to be able to easily tell people that I was there. But I definitely don't want it to be available to people who I don't know.

I considered two different things: De-friend people who I don't want to see my places. Or change my "places" settings to only the people I wanted to see it. Both of which are a considerable amount of work.

Facebook's mission is to make the world more open. We get that.  We even kind of like it.  Otherwise they wouldn't have 500 Million Users. It's been a great way to keep in touch with people who we haven't seen in awhile.  It's a MUCH more effective way to communicate than email lists.  It's a much more effective way to just casually keep up with one another.  Something that we didn't do before. It has done incredible things for networking for political campaigns.

But location, that's a big hump to get over.  Seriously, how many people do you know that went and unlisted their phone numbers and addresses?  How many of you had timers that you set when you left for a trip so that the radio would play and lights would come on during certain times of the day?

We Americans worry about people following us. That's why celebrities can't publicize their wedding. We lock our doors when we leave to throw out the trash.

Of course, there are some people that sharing my location with could be fun with.  My family, my close friends, oh wait...that's it.  That was the best part of foursquare-it was a new community who could only see your location if you were near them and they played too.  With Facebook places, anyone you let see them can see them. Even if they don't check in.  Even if they're not nearby.

So, for now, I'm doing a mix of the two.  I'm de-friending people who I don't know, I think might be sketchy, people who I shouldn't have friended in the first place, and others.  Sorry if you're one of these.  If you're reading this, you probably aren't.

But I'm going to try Places.  I like being an early adopter, so I'll give it a try.  If it seems to be too much work or annoying, it'll probably go the way of foursquare. Who knows, I might even pick up foursquare again too.  But I'm going to add people I trust with my location by name inside of Facebook privacy settings.  Both of these are going to be a lot of work, wish me luck.

Chances of you seeing my Places...are pretty small.

Once I get all of my friends back down to a manageable number, I'll reassess this location aware idea.  Maybe I'll make it available to my friends.  It's just not safe right now.

Anyone else thinking about this stuff?


UPDATE: Forgot to include this video (Facebook's attempt at a FaceTime type video...I don't get emotional over knowing where a friend is though...)