Parents' Guide to


By Carla Thornton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Location-based social network too risky for younger teens.

foursquare Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this website.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 17+
Any social networking site can be dangerous. The best way to deal with this is to create an account of your own, and make your child add you to the friend list with full access. This way you'll be able to see what they're saying, and decide whether or not it could be dangerous, or inappropriate.
age 16+

Can safely be used, but can be very dangerous.

Make it easier for pedophiles to know where you hang out! And they get 5 points for adding their house. 5 points is 5 points, ya know. Then, some people like to use the shout-outs to say things that aren't always appropriate. Yes, you can limit your information to friends, but then you take some of the intrigue out of the game. So why bother in the first place?

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (5):

Foursquare shows promise as a way for people on the go to socialize. Users set up a member profile on the Foursquare Web site. The text-based mobile page for laptop users is ugly and limited in functionality, but the iPhone app is easy to use. (Android, Blackberry, and Palm Pre apps are available too.) The Foursquare database offers plenty of locations ranging from bars and restaurants to hardware stores and libraries to famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty. A map, Yelp reviews, a commenting capability, and auto notifications round out the best features. Each check-in at a location earns points, which for now translate into menu discounts and the like. We have just one request: deep-six the badges with rude names. Just what does it take to earn a Douchebag award, anyway?

Online interaction: Anything goes and there are no moderators. Users tell friends where they are by checking in -- tapping in a location on phone or laptop -- when they arrive. Notified friends can then send an email, call, or just show up for an in-person connection. Users also can check tweets near a specific location to see who's out and about. The tweets that popped up near a bar in our neighborhood were full of kid-inappropriate content.

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