Location Awareness

Posted on: November 16, 2011

I’m somewhat proud to say that I’ve resisted the four square trend, and I rarely check-in on facebook. However, why should I even be proud of resisting internet trends when my major is EMAC? So I kept an open mind while reading these articles regarding location awareness, knowing that after reading them, I could very well become a part of the growing trend..

“Location Literacy and Four Square in the Classroom” both surprised me, and didn’t surprise me at all at the same time. I was surprised to see that Dean Terry would actually require his students to use Four Square. To me it seem invasive, and even dangerous. However, I can’t help but agree with his reasoning. Especially for EMAC students studying this emerging media, four square is one of a kind. As he said, it can only be used (or only makes sense to use) on a mobile device. And using it really is an adequate way to familiarize yourself with it.

The New York times article drew out my own personal concerns on the issue of location awareness. By having these phones with us all of the time, wherever we go, they’re a prime outlet to be used to track us. And they’re doing just that. This really didn’t surprise me.

On my own Iphone 4s, I’m perfectly aware that my dad installed a program to see exactly where I am all the time. My name will show up, and say “University of Texas at Dallas”, or “24 Hour Fitness”. Though I feel a little bit too old to be subjected to this treatment by my parents, it also scares me. If my parents who really don’t know a darned thing about programing a mobile device, or networks can install this feature to track me at all hours of the day, who else can be doing it? Or for that matter, already is?

This same program that my parents use on me has been accused of breaking up marriages when spouses follow their significant other to the unrecognized location that shows up on their iphone, and it turns out to be their boyfriend/girlfriends house. I feel like it’s almost an ethical issue when it invades our privacy this much. It’s highly invasive, and I don’t think it’s a necessary part of out new emergent media. And I still find myself not willing use Four Square.


1 Response to "Location Awareness"

I am with you when I actually don’t follow the “check-in” trends. I kind of feel that it invades my privacy and I just don’t wan to be a part of the trend. However, I was surprised about your parents installing the tracking feature on your phone. I don’t know if you feel okay with that, but if it was me, I would rather use a regular phone than a smart phone with tracking device.

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