My friend is a frequent traveller and a social media junkie. He never hesitates to click the little ‘Share' button in Foursquare every time he visits a place. He also ensures that he ‘checks in' at every railway station using Foursquare . His Foursquare profile shows that he is the ‘Mayor' of at least 40 places.

He is addicted to Foursquare and Twitter. His ‘check-ins' are automatically tweeted out to his followers . He is not bothered by privacy concerns. He is happy to inform the world about his travels and schedules . But there are many who aren't exactly pleased with his online social behaviour. Some of these people are his own followers on Twiiter. Though most of them don't mind his Foursquare tweets, he says he has received requests from many followers not to tweet his check-ins as they get irritating after a point. He admits many followers have ‘unfollowed' him because of the constant ‘information flow' from his Foursquare account.

“I am in Twitter to consume information and to discuss. I don't want to know where people are going,” says a Twitter user. Even I received a small yet grateful “Thank you” from one of my followers when I stopped tweeting my Foursquare check-ins.

It is not only Foursquare that does this. There are several apps that announce what you are doing. For instance, Truecaller informs everyone in your timeline that you are “talking to …. on the mobile phone”. This could be too much even for the person who has installed the app. Surely, not many will prefer to inform everyone in their Twitter timeline who they are calling. Here, the app goes one step further. It also informs the name of the person with whom the caller is talking to. This could turn out to be a serious privacy issue as the other person is not aware that the information about the phone call he just received is on Twitter.

There is no blaming the app makers as they do give you the option to disable prevent automatic tweets. It is the user who ends almost always ends up abusing the freedom to do so.

(This article was published on June 17, 2012)
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