Media spaces allow individuals and groups to connect digitally without sharing the same geographic location. This is mainly done through a range of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat. One of the most popular features of these three platforms is the ability to share your location with friends & followers.
When new location sharing features are added to these platforms my usual reaction is to put off updating the app on my phone for as long as possible to avoid engaging with these features. I can be a fairly private person and many people I have on social media are people from my hometown, distant friends, people from group assignments, family and of course family friends… I do not want all of these people to know my location.
When posting on Facebook, you can choose to “check in” to a location to let friends know your exact location. Sometimes, even if you don’t use the “check in” feature Facebook will still use your location to show your friends what area you are posting from. Instagram also allows you to share your location when posting a photo/video. Instagram’s new story feature is similar to Snapchat as it allows the user to include their location in the image/video that is being shared:
I believe Snapchat has the most potential to share locations out of all these platforms. Snapchat allows users to post instant updates of their day. Most locations have a geofilter – a pretty and creative filter for a specific location which encourages people to share their location with their friends (p.s I made the Mudgee filter, it’s not my dog but I wish it was).
Snapchat’s newest update of location sharing is a prime example of media space… or as I like to call it stalker space. The Snap Map allows users to see their friends/followers location on an actual map, that is of course if they agree to use this feature publicly. When using the app the Snap Map can recognise if you are listening to music or travelling in a car and changes the appearance of users Bitmoji’s to reflect their actions. In many locations, Bitmoji’s on the Snap Map will change, if you are near an airport, the Bitmoji will change – it may appear on a plane or with suitcases.
I have chosen to stay in “ghost mode” which does not allow my friends too see my location whilst using the app, but I can see friends locations if they are on public.
This is mainly because:
A) I do not want to share my location with the 80 different people I have on Snapchat.
B) I do not want people to see my frequent locations.
C) I spend an embarrassing amount of time at home binge watching TV series.
Although I realise it is unlikely that using the Snap Map could put me in danger by sharing my location, this is not a risk I am willing to take. In saying this, I’m more than happy to follow/stalk other people and their locations on social media, but I won’t be doing it any time soon 🙂