Wednesday, March 31, 2010

When does social media become stalking?

I'm all in favour of real-time social media. Using Twitter and Foursquare tells my colleagues, clients and friends where I am, plus now Plancast tells everyone where I'm going to be in the future. It means I get more personal with contacts and also tells my wife where I am and therefore my likelihood that I'm going to be home to help with the domestic duties.

But hang on... where do you draw the line between following someone on social media and stalking them? And aren't I by constantly broadcasting my: location, thoughts and intentions just encouraging this?

Things are even getting a little to personal for my liking. For example you can now use the new Sleeping Time tool to find out the most likely time a person doesn't use Twitter and therefore when they sleep (and its assessment is about right!). What's next?

The issue of providing your status updates to Twitter and other geotagging and location-based social media was highlighted last month with the development of This site shows when people are away from their homes and therefore when they could be burgled. The developers claim it was doing a social good by 'Raising awareness about over-sharing', but it has subsequently closed due to a security backlash, however it did bring the subject of telling everyone where you are all the time to the fore.

Has social media gone too far and openned up our lives a little too much now?