Uh, just checking in… Foursquare ever make you just a little paranoid?

Back when when I first started hearing about GPS, I began to fear the implications of global positioning.  Being a closeted Luddite 2.0,  I foresaw the implications of a machine that, with the help of a group of satellites, could pinpoint my position on this big planet down to one meter.  Considering the evolution of modern warfare, I lay awake many nights contemplating being obliterated by some disgruntled military guy  calling in a rocket strike on my house bed.

Fast forward to a few days ago, quietly sitting in Otherlands, sipping coffee, writing, editing some pictures…….  Suddenly there  is a big lens in my face, and a female voice calling my name.   Just as frightening as a missile attack – I have been stalked with FourSquare.  A local TV station singled me out to feature in a story about potential personal security issues for folks who like to “check-in”. So this crew videoed me through the window for a while, then surprised me at my table while my head was buried in my laptop.  Could have just as easily been a drone missile coming through the window.

Here is the report that aired:

SoI am not going to do any preaching about using Foursquare, or “checking-in” in general, competing for mayorships, or  sharing the minute details of your life online with those who might care.  The deputy in the video pretty much covers the other side of the coin.  I guess Monopoly IS a much safer game.

What do you think?  Is it good safe fun?  Do people really want to know where you are?  Do you fear missile strikes or burglaries?  Have you ever completed a Monopoly game?
Bonus question:  What’s the weirdest place you are mayor of?  One more funeral and I will be mayor of Memorial Park if some undertaker doesn’t get the edge on me.

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About 

Joe Spake is a Memphis-based Real Estate Broker and Consultant. He blogs at Joe Spake's Weblog and Memphis Real Estate Buzz. Joe's Social Network.

  • galenasmithsr

    Damn, Joe…that is wild! Plus…a little surpriseing to say the least. I am not into foursquaring…yet. I am still just a desktop computer user with just a regular ole cell phone with unlimited texting. Yes…I do think I would be careful with that especially for security purposes…like someone breaking into your home.

  • galenasmithsr

    Damn, Joe…that is a little scary and surpising all at the same time! I am still just a desktop computer user with a cell phone and unlimited texting. Yes…I would be careful like the deputy said especially when it comes to your home could possibly get broken into.

  • slchockley

    Right, crooks are taking the time to check FourSquare. (eye roll) The ones who have broken into my house knew I wasn't home when they knocked and no one answered. It's really not that complicated- a lot of people go to work from 9-5 everyday. Crooks don't need an app to tell them that! But if the media need something else to try and scare us with, I guess our iPhones are as good a boogeyman as anything. Sigh.

  • 4square and the other checkin services are benign and safe. The only stalkers are the news outlets making something out of this that it isn't. If you truly have an actual stalker, they'll be stalking you with or without these tools. Statistically, the home break-ins and robberies are done by people who know you anyway, like your children's friends, who will already know your vacation plans. Perhaps Facebook makes it a little more convenient but with or without Facebook, they are going to rob you.

    The Internet is a reflection of the real world. The precautions we use in real life we should use on the Internet. That said, the tools and games on the Internet like 4square have both their positive and negative side. Our media outlets have an unhealthy addiction to the negative. Their story is incomplete if they do not give mention to the positives such as when I check-in my family knows where I am without me needing to send them each a text message or phone call. If I check-in at the grocery, I might get a message from my daughter or wife asking to pickup a particular item. If I am late, my family doesn't have to worry. If I am eating lunch alone, a friend in the same restaurant or vicinity may join me.

    The Internet has made the world a smaller place and that's not all bad.

  • Well Joe, I guess now I know how to find you if I ever find myself in your neck of the woods. Interesting article – Thanks for posting it! I added it to our Facebook Fan Page to let our friends, clients and fellow Realtors know about it.

  • I think the point may be that burglars aren't checking your 4square status, but there is that potential. Definitely not for the overly paranoid

  • I agree. I think one has to either get with the new media or bury their head in the sand.

  • Good points. Thank you for explaining the useful and productive uses of 4square. That is the very reason. Be

  • I am definitely not hard to find, Bruce.

  • 4square and the other checkin services are benign and safe. The only stalkers are the news outlets making something out of this that it isn't. If you truly have an actual stalker, they'll be stalking you with or without these tools. Statistically, the home break-ins and robberies are done by people who know you anyway, like your children's friends, who will already know your vacation plans. Perhaps Facebook makes it a little more convenient but with or without Facebook, they are going to rob you.

    The Internet is a reflection of the real world. The precautions we use in real life we should use on the Internet. That said, the tools and games on the Internet like 4square have both their positive and negative side. Our media outlets have an unhealthy addiction to the negative. Their story is incomplete if they do not give mention to the positives such as when I check-in my family knows where I am without me needing to send them each a text message or phone call. If I check-in at the grocery, I might get a message from my daughter or wife asking to pickup a particular item. If I am late, my family doesn't have to worry. If I am eating lunch alone, a friend in the same restaurant or vicinity may join me.

    The Internet has made the world a smaller place and that's not all bad.

  • Well Joe, I guess now I know how to find you if I ever find myself in your neck of the woods. Interesting article – Thanks for posting it! I added it to our Facebook Fan Page to let our friends, clients and fellow Realtors know about it.

  • I think the point may be that burglars aren't checking your 4square status, but there is that potential. Definitely not for the overly paranoid

  • I agree. I think one has to either get with the new media or bury their head in the sand.

  • Good points. Thank you for explaining the useful and productive uses of 4square. That is the very reason. Be

  • I am definitely not hard to find, Bruce.