I remember vividly how upset I was when my dog ran away when I was five. Living in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, we scouted the acres of wood for her tiny, white thirteen pound body. Luckily, she was found, and the Veterinarian recommended we insert a GPS tracking device in her so that if lost again, she could easily be found. This idea disturbed me to think about as I got older and thanks to the revolutionizing technology and social media, it is basically in humans now; just not embedded in their skin but embedded in their phones.
I often wonder from time to time, when is technology going to be enough, when is it going to take things too far. Apple iPhone’s released a few years ago in their Smartphone App store, Find My Friends. This is an equivalent I feel to the creepy little chip implanted in little puppies.
“Find My Friends”, is an application where with access approval, you can view where your friends are on the go. It is known to of caused marital problems, as it can spill someones secret, but it can be extremely helpful when someone may be lost in a new area or for moms to watch out for their kids and vice versa. There is a temporary sharing mode where you can limit the app’s tracking activity to just specific times as well. Clearly this app has numerous pros and cons, but the real question is does it overstep any privacy boundaries?
- An easy way to locate friends and family (After they accept the request of course)
- Privacy controls
- Location-based alerts
- Safety – if your friends have not heard from you and are concerned about your well-being they can find you
- Small possible download fee
- Possibly getting requests from people you do not want to find you
- Possible reveal of your whereabouts to people you are hiding them from
I know that there are positives and negatives, but when it comes to safety the positives definitely outweigh the latter. My college roommate is a big proponent of this app and she has made us all download it and follow each other so that when we go out we can always make sure the others are safe. She also said how everyone in her family follows each other to see where one another is. For her family this is key, as her parents live in New Jersey and they can make sure at the end of the night her in Boston and her brother in London are home safe. Clearly his is revolutionizing social media and the world as we know it, ut will apps like this get us all in trouble eventually? Also, how accurate are the GPS detectors? Can they show we are somewhere we are not?