Thursday, November 25, 2010

Are you a thoughtful social media user?

As a social media working girl, I get pretty excited when a new social media tool or tech gadget hits the market. I've come to the realization that I want and need to experience these tools firsthand to discover how they function and what they can add to both my life and the business arena.

When I first heard about Foursquare, I immediately thought to myself, "Is this something I want to look into?"

Thanks to the wonderful world of apps, I was able to download Foursquare in a matter of seconds and get started. Since then, I've been hooked. I check in often (minus my home, office and other chosen places) and have turned my friends--and boyfriend--on to Foursquare.

Then not too long ago, Facebook introduced Places. And there are now a number of other location-based social networking sites that serve similar purposes.

But there's some skepticism about the safety of these sites. Why do you want to tell people where you are? What's the point? What if people rob your home when they see you check in elsewhere? Are you asking to be stalked?

The most important thing to remember is that discretion and thoughtfulness are key to being a successful social media user.

Not only will being careful and smart about your online presence help you in a professional scenario but it can also help prevent serious (and scary) situations that many skeptics stress over.

We'll talk more about self-censorship and good judgment as the social media conversation continues. In the meantime, I'd like to get your juices flowing on the subject.

Do you use these location-based social media tools? What's your stance on the issue?


Anonymous said...

I totally know what you are saying. On one of the previous episodes of Gossip Girl, Vanessa used Foursquare to track this girl down (link). It was really creepy! LOL

But, I totally agree ... I just think in this day and age, it may be hard for people to figure out how to be discrete anymore.


Marie said...

I try to be thoughtful in what I choose to post. I hardly ever post on Facebook these days - it has lost a lot of its appeal over the years. I tweet pretty regularly but it's usually links.

I admit I have never understood the appeal of location-based tools. What is the draw?

Angeline said...

Thanks for this post--Exercising discretion is a huge part of making social media work for you (instead of the other way around).

I signed up for Foursquare last year and used it for about a week. My decision to leave was partially the creepiness factor and partially the fact that no one else I knew was on it. From my understanding, it is most often used like a game, although businesses are increasing using it in their marketing efforts. Just not for me.

Corporate Chickee said...

I am careful about what I post on FB, I personally do not like it when others air their "dirty laundry" on FB, or give way too many personal details about their day-to-day lives on FB, etc.

Along with that, I'm not a fan of foursquare or the places feature on FB. I have a friend who uses it, plus she also has a Nike feature that posts on FB her daily runs/distances/times, etc.

Personally, I don't care where you are right now, or how far you ran last night. I find it creepy and the definition of TMI! But that's just my two cents!