Please Rob Me is a tongue-in-cheek website that auto-updates it’s home page with real-time FourSquare check-ins posted to Twitter. The makers, Forthehack, are hoping to raise awareness of the perceived “security problem” of posting your location at the time you are there for everyone to see. Burglars, they say, will know when your house is vacant and come rob you.
The obvious problem is thieves have no way of knowing that your house is empty - Just because YOU’RE at Starbucks doesn’t mean the entire family is. And, how will they know where your house is in the first place?
PRM answers that question by saying that your friends (although they called them “friends” with quotes, as if using a lack of common sense someone makes one a less sincere friend) can come over and enter your address to “check in” to your house. This, too, seems far-fetched. None but the dimmest people would assume a host was alright with having their address put on Foursquare and do so without asking.
A bigger issue is people stalking you at your location - something I’m aware of as a woman, and as blogger and podcaster with readers and listeners that are complete strangers. This is easy to avoid, though - I only share my location on Twitter when I’m ok with being approached. Events I hope listeners will show up to, yes. Going to the grocery store, no.
This whole thing reminds me of the 80’s when answering machines were getting popular. We weren’t supposed to say “we’re not home”, we were supposed to say “we can’t answer the phone right now” as if people changed their outgoing message every time the left the house to reflect their away-from-home status. Can you just see a thief thinking, “Oh, they’re home, they just ‘can’t answer the phone right now’. Let’s try another house.”
We weren’t fooling anyone then, and we’re not fooling anyone now - people go out to brunch and they Tweet their locations, but there is not a real problem of thieves figuring out where they live and calculating how long it’ll take for them to finish an omelette.
No one bellyaches about how stupid Easter is and how they just refuse to buy a single Cadbury Creme Egg and everyone who goes to church and eats a ham is a sappy loser.** So why Valentine’s Day?
People. How about this year you all get off your high Valentine’s-Day-hating horse and buy a Hershey bar. Give it to your lover or eat it yourself. But for goodness’ sake, show a little love, would ya?!
** I don’t eat Cadbury Creme Eggs or ham, but for a very different reason.