Check out digiphile’s blog: Checking into Foursquare’s Time Machine.
Dr. V told me that she is not always a big fan of infographics because they tend not to report sample sizes and methods. That said, I’m reposting this because I thought the article accompanying it was an excellent reflection on why infographics (and the stories we tell with social media data) have both benefits and drawbacks. In addition, I’d like to address two ideas:
- Considering Physical Tracking
- Socially Mediated Identity
First, tracking: I have not yet tried Foursquare, and I’ll be honest … of the various social media outlets out there, this one spooks me a little bit. While I know (theoretically) that my movements are digitally tracked through computer logins, GPS units in my phone and car, check-ins by me and others through Facebook, etc., the premise of Foursquare is a bit jarring to my old-school mind. It is “in your face” and up-front with its intentions to physically track a person. Sometime this semester, I’ll jump in to check it out.
Second: identity. The author makes an interesting point … while this infographic is pretty, life is so much more than the sum of these places. This does not represent the evaluations, experiences, and stories that go along with the data points. That said, the author also appreciates the nostalgia of the graphic … as if it were a journal. For me, as a social media user, I find it important to be mindful about who I am online, but also … who I am in general. These types of discussions nicely force the issue.