Aoife Joyce is…. at work!

February 8, 2011

Where else would I be on a Monday- Friday from 9.00-5.30pm?  The launch of Facebook places in Ireland is really starting to get under my skin. Do we really need to inform our online friends of our every move? On my regular near 4 hour train journey West at the weekend, I was inundated with updates from friends of their whereabouts. Joe Bloggs is at The Porterhouse with 7 other tagged people, oh now he’s at Dakota, and finally he’s hitting the dance floor in Lillies. By the time I made it home, I was exhausted trying to keep up with his trail of destruction around Dublin on a Friday night!  

There is a certain air of desperation about the whole thing, feeling that you have to let people know how much of a social bee you are, flitting from place to place! I also feel weirdly stalkerish knowing peoples every move, and there’s a Big Brother vibe around it.  There are privacy issues too, and with a lot of facebook users still keeping their profiles public, they are open to all sorts of danger. A lot of people think they’re only sharing info with their friends, but they have to assume that they’re sharing their whereabouts with anyone who can access their friends’ computers or Facebook accounts.” Mary Jones is at the travel agents booking a holiday… now she’s at the dog kennels dropping off her favourite pet…. And finally she’s at the airport… great so now everyone knows you’re out of town and there’s no-one at home.  People need to consider the consequences of some location information getting out past their immediate circle of friends.

However, the deals aspect of Facebook places makes sense, you can avail of deals and promotions from a variety of businesses by checking in, and you are rewarded through what are essentially loyalty schemes. It allows you to see what offers are nearest to you at any time and share them with friends. The concept of using your friends to find the best deals or experiences is not a new one, but now it’s technologically enabled on your phone, and everyone knows word of mouth is the strongest form of advertising. Great news for business owners, who can get their premises on the facebook map, verifying they are an official representative and claiming it as their own. Once someone checks in, they can spread the word that their business is the place to be!

Overall however, I’m not a fan. My opinion may change, when all my friends are getting great freebies, and discounts that I’m missing out on, but for now I’ll stick to Citydeal for those. I’ll update my status update on facebook from time to time if I’ve something interesting to say, and I’ll text or ring my friends if I want them to know where I am. And in short, for the rest of the week, I’ll be in work for most of the day, I might go to the gym/pool in the evening, and come the weekend I may even go to the cinema/pub if I’m feeling adventurous! Now, there’s no need to check in anywhere is there?

Aoife

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2 Responses to “Aoife Joyce is…. at work!”

  1. Jo Mackenzie said

    It’s an interesting point of view Aoife but perhaps a bit shortsighted. Facebook places is Facebook’s response to Foursquare. Another blade on the Swiss Army knife of social organisation (aka Facebook). How easy is it now to find friends, chat online, email, share pictures and information and now find each other in the physical world. If you don’t want to use it, no one is forcing you to, but it surely only makes Facebook more useful.

    The original, Foursquare is a brilliant example of a crowd-sourced travel guide. Now, if I arrive in an unfamiliar setting I can locate places to eat, drink, visit, post postcards from within a few meters of where I am standing just by a couple of taps on my smartphone. Comments and now photos help influence my decision making and I don’t have to pay for any overpriced tourist guides.

    Yes, in many ways it is a means of showing off about how outgoing I am and how exotic and cool all the places I go are but in other ways, it is simply damn useful and as with most things digital, it isn’t the tool itself – it’s how you use it that counts.

  2. […] know about what trendy things we’ve been up to at the weekend. Aoife recently blogged about how Facebook places now allows users to let friends know how much of a “social bee” they are in real time. This is […]

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