I am watching and hearing friends and colleagues starting to turn off location based applications which they have till now enjoyed using in the dull moments of travel or when arriving in new cities and seeking a connection with others.

The chat-back is starting to place a few friends of mine in compromising situations if only by their need to explain why they have been "checked in" to funeral parlors, body piercing establishments, hotels and other such locations either willingly or by automation. An example of this has been when pressing the refresh feature in applications to ground the bearings of the device supposedly ( it's generally accurate to within ten meters and does not need rebooting) yet we all know it's searching for wi-fi points and other mapped commercial service sale points.

A great number of times the exact business name or geographical landmark are not listed so the phone user selects the next best option being something within that vicinity - hey presto - forward marketing.....and then the questions begin backwards and that's what's causing, as I'm observing, a trend away from "checking-in" even if only game playing in FourSquare.

Another bit of feedback I am receiving is that there is a growing tend of teenagers to opt-out from friendships with others in their peer group who are subscribed to these report-in, location setting services. Perhaps the reason being is that others, including parents then have a secondary point of contact to check across to see movement and track whether that is indeed where the child reports to be.

Are you observing others a little more reluctant to opt-in to your Google Latitude prompts ? Are we really able to log off given that our mobile phones (computer smart locators) are generally usually within earshot at any given time night or day ?

AuthorKatina Michael