Right on track

Right on track

People often say ‘the world is a small place’. This is turning out to be true, rather literally, with the leaps in communication due to advancements in technology.

From being in touch with an overseas relative through video calling to sharing photos instantly with your friends, social media has become one of the most convenient and common ways of staying in touch every minute. Recently Facebook took this to the next level by launching a ‘Live Location’ sharing feature. It allows one to share their real-time location for an hour with people or in a private group with a simple tap. However Bengalureans have mixed opinions about how this feature which can be helpful in coordinating with a group yet can intrude into their privacy and safety.

Arun Rafi, an entrepreneur, says, “If the same idea was proposed two years back, it would have been an issue with many. But today, most people are absolutely okay with sharing a piece of their private lives with the public. Having said that, I would share my location only with people I am comfortable with. This is a great feature to coordinate a casual meet up or something because we can make sure where the other person is, but if there are strangers the group I wouldn’t want to do that,” opines Arun.

Apart from enabling one to track others live location, this feature also estimates how long it would take one to get to the shared location. Another unique feature is that one can stop sharing their location at any given time.

Diana Hoover, a student of Bishop Cotton Women’s Christian College, feels that the feature is pretty helpful, especially since one can let others know their location through Facebook Messenger chat, without having to share their number.

“It is safe when we look at it that way but at the same time it is somewhat risky also,
especially if there is a stranger in the group. A potential stalker will have absolute
freedom to track you down,” she says.

On the bright side, this feature can be especially helpful for those who are new to a place. The 60 minutes tracking could be used to keep an eye on a friend who is on his/her way back home.

Sharron D’Cruz, a student of Mount Carmel College, says with a laugh, “This feature could solve one of the oldest problems in making a plan with friends. Having to wait for someone who say that they are on their way while they are still at home getting ready.

With location sharing, the other person can reach the decided place at the same time rather than wait for ages. I found this feature quite unique and don’t think it is available in any other app. WhatsApp has ‘share location’ but not ‘Live location’ sharing.”

“Every app, in fact every new technology will have both pros and cons. It is up to us to make good use of it,” she sums up.

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