Devil’s Avocado. Or, if you can speak normally, Devil’s Advocate. Funny 30 Rock joke. I’d like to talk to you about the anti-christ ala mode for this week: Facebook places.
*insert horror movie organ music*
First off, I’d like to directly address my friends who’ve recently had their houses broken into (Copper) or been stalked (several friends). Yes, I see where it might make you extra nervous, and think your complaints against it are indeed, in your situations, legitimate. Very legitimate, and I would feel the same, were I standing in your always fashionable shoes. Please take this post with the tongue in cheek tone it is offered. I totally, TOTALLY get you and why you don’t like it.
That said. Am I the only person on earth (or at least in the apparently lemming infested midwest) who doesn’t hate facebook places?
In case you’ve been under a rock, on Mars, with your fingers in your ears (and if you have facebook places we would already know that) Places is a new facebook feature that allows you, or your friends “check you in” when they spot you out. Assuming you leave your house. Places is easily altered in your profile privacy settings to allow or disallow any and all of it’s features. Just friends can see you, check you in, not check you in, not see you etc. It’s very easy to turn off.
So why is everyone freaking the crap out?
In reality, I see both sides. Yes, it’s weird that people could spot you getting a bikini wax at the local spa and check you in so everyone knows where you go for hair removal. Or that someone might spot you at 3am at WalMart buying milk and check you in, and we’d all know you broke curfew because you needed cow juice for your crunchberries. Yes, having it posted publicly when you are out of the house could open a window for a very tech-saavy burglar to rob you.
Or you could just turn it off. We will never know if you break curfew. We will never know if you are at the movies in town center or the Mac store at the Plaza.
But think of it this way.
I send my teenager to the movies with friends. My good child checks in when they get there, and I get a lovely facebook reminder that either they or their phone are where they said they would be. Or at least, close. Or a girl gets kidnapped, and is able to surreptitiously check in on her smart phone, allowing the cops to know where to go, saving her life. I mean, is it really the worst thing?
I’m not saying it’s the worlds greatest idea ever. But I’m also not going to insinuate that it’s the end of the world as we know it. Just turn it off. Or on. One way or another, let’s not all jump on the same bandwagon because of panic. It might have some uses after all. We could all sit here and dream up terrible scenarios spawned by the Evil Places, but we could take one second and think up some positive ones as well.
I also think it’s borderline narcissistic to assume that someone is waiting for you to check in somewhere so they can burn your village, steal your horses etc etc.
It’s not the facebook places feature I find annoying, it’s the mass inciting of paranoia. Is the world really such a terrible place? (For the most part yes, but seriously, either stop friending complete strangers, or just turn the sucker feature OFF.)
I realize I am stirring a huge proverbial pot, especially because I have dear close friends who feel very strongly about this new feature. I just wanted to play Devil’s Avocado, just for a minute.