Social Locations

Life Through Locations will explore the use of location services and the positive and negative impacts that they have on our lives since many aspects of our everyday lives revolve around these services.

Many people use location services on social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. These services allow for people to connect with other users around the world and to find new and interesting locations. While people do enjoy sharing their location, many do not realize how much they are sharing with others.

On Facebook, people can share their location by “checking in” or by sending t

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Facebook Messenger play.google.com

heir locations through the messenger app. While this appears to be a cool feature of the app, there is a Google Chrome extension called Marauder’s Map where users can find a person’s exact location through the messenger app, if the person’s location services are enabled. With this extension, users do not have to be friends for others to be able to see their location. As long as their location service is turned on and they have communicated through messenger, people can find their exact location.

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My Instagram Map

Users on Instagram can easily add a location to their photos when initially posting the photo or by editing their photos. This option adds the photo to the users photo map. If they frequently upload photos from the same location and their account is public, others users may be able to detect where they are located. When looking at my photo map for example, I have many photos posted at the University of Maryland and my hometown, showing that these locations are where I spend most of my time.

When a users tweets, they have the option to add a location to their tweets. Snapchat users can add a location specific filter to their pictures and add Snapchats to location based stories.

These location services are optional for users but many opt in to use them. People do not have to add locations to their pictures or posts, but they will go to specific locations to take pictures to post on social media or to use unique Snapchat filters. I know that I always look forward to new Snapchat filters when I go to new places and that I seek out specific locations when I travel places to post that photo on Instagram. However, by using these services, people are exposing their exact location to strangers if they are not careful with their privacy settings.

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2 thoughts on “Social Locations

  1. I agree that these services have their benefits and consequences, and it is up to the individual using the services to decide if the benefits outweigh the costs. For me personally, I never use my location services, even if its for something like a snapchat filter.
    But that doesn’t mean that location services are fully bad, as it depends on who’s using the information. For instance, if it’s a parent tracking his/her children, then it ensures safety. However if it’s a stranger like you wrote about, then there is a potential for a dangerous situation.

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  2. Exactly! So many apps and social media websites use locations to try and enhance the user experience. I sometimes also feel that it may invade personal privacy because people may not realize their locations are shown publicly. For example, a person not that versed in social media may accidentally show their location. Also, I love Snapchat and how the app puts all of those location filters around the world. It gives a more compelling aspect in visiting a new place because a user can see if that location has a filter.

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