Or, what happens when your face shows up on Cult of Mac.
Maybe you’ve heard about this app, Girls Around Me, that has been getting some attention recently for being, well, creeptastic. If you haven’t, let me Google that for you, because I’m not really interested in linking directly to John Brownlee’s post, the one on Gawker, or any of the other ones that people have linked me to since Friday.
Go ahead, pick an article, read up – I’ll wait.
So, turns out John lives in Boston and I’m guessing he spends some time writing over in my neck of the woods, because when he put together some screenshots for his post, my face ended up in one of them.
I first found out about this on Friday afternoon while I was finishing up lunch and getting ready for a conference call — a notification popped up that someone had mentioned me on Facebook. I went over to see what was up and found a link to the article, along with a message from a high school friend I hadn’t heard from in years, also pointing out the article.
I’ve gotten a number of messages, emails and texts since then, all from very well meaning people, most containing some version of the message: You’re in this creepy app! Check your privacy settings!
It looked a lot like Twitter DM spam, only it wasn’t. (Many thanks to my friend Sean for keeping things light and pointing out: at least it’s a good picture.)
My first reaction to this was, “I guess that’s what I get for checking in at my office.”
My second was, “wait, WHAT? What I get? For checking in at my office?”
Let me preface this by saying, yes, I think this is a creepy app, yes I’m glad that Foursquare revoked its API access, and yes, it has made me think long and hard about what value I find from using Foursquare publicly, and whether that’s “worth” whatever the trade offs are. For now, I’ve changed my settings on Foursquare to private, because I haven’t quite made up my mind.
On the one hand, I’ve made some Twitter-friends with people because we’ve both been checked in at the same concerts, and I’ve found it pretty useful at meetups and other social media conferences and events. On the other hand, mostly I just use it for myself, with a relatively small group of friends, so maybe there’s no reason to use it publicly.
I will say that the only “bad” thing that’s ever happened to me from using Foursquare publicly is that my face ended up in John’s article.
Here’s what’s getting at me though…"