Saturday, May 24, 2014

How Long Till Location-Sharing Makes Cheating Impossible?

Frictionless, always-on location-sharing has been possible at least since the earliest days of Android (2008). I have been surprised that it hasn't become more common, but I have to think it will. The Google+ implementation is very nice, and there are other options as well.

From the time I first discovered it, I wondered what impact this would have on relationship cheaters. The analogy would be the surge in spouse-installed PC spyware--such as Who, What, When--in the early, pre-cloud, pre-social network days of home computers.

While I doubted by generation would embrace location-sharing, I figured "digital natives" would. Hasn't happened as fast as I would have thought. But still, I have to think it will happen. And once always-on location-sharing becomes normative, how do you refuse or temporarily suspend your significant other? That alone would obviously be the proverbial "red flag".

(I suppose I can also foresee partially-effective countermeasures, apps that interfere with or false-report location. But if you are using something like the built in Google+, that could be hard.)


  1. Actually, I think you're assuming the traditional marriage model to persist in society. I think evidence among the younger generations points (currently, slightly) away from that model: less formal commitment, especially at younger ages, even to have kids.

    As a result, I think the nature of what constitutes "cheating" is changing, too.

    Note: I don't particularly like (nor agree with) the trends away from traditional marriage commitment, but am pointing out that a strong countertrend has developed.

    1. Agreed. it is definitely an assumption of mine that we are talking traditional monogamy (and I'll make the same kind of disclaimer you did, since I forget that sometimes people conflate intellectual discussion of a topic with personal endorsement :) ).

      I'm not so sure that is changing so much, though. There may be more non-relationship "hooking up" (some debate about that as well), but once a relationship advances to the, well, relationship phase (even pre-marriage), it seems like at least one of the partners is likely to have an expectation of fidelity.