“Checking in” to stalkers’ paradise

Sometimes I wonder, what makes a person really cool as a facebook user? Is it the fact that they have 1,236 friends? Or their witty banter about an inside joke? Or maybe it’s the fact that they are “checking in” to cool spots using Places or Foursquare?

Amongst my friends, I have noticed that the bar of adding someone as a friend is getting lower, and I have seen an increase in the use of external applications (with the default set to public rather than private).  This sets us up to share private information more liberally than we might intend.

Using Foursquare to stalk someone is just as creepy and illegal as following them around in a car. Yet, with the default public settings, we are set up to think that becoming a “mayor” of our favorite restaurant is worth taking the risk of being stalked at that same restaurant.

With social media becoming an extension of our lives, it’s important to establish thoughtful and intentional facebook etiquette, tell our friends what information we (do not) want shared through them, and learn how to regain our “dot rights.”