How to Stalk Your Friends on Vacation Without Being Creepy
I learned a valuable lesson during a bachelorette party at the beach this weekend. Herding 12 women is not dissimilar to herding 12 very distracted kittens who are looking for snacks.
At any given moment four women would be shopping, four would be eating, two would be drinking, and one would be chatting up some random gentleman (there’s always one).
What’s the solution for getting everyone back into the pack? You can send out a group text for sure, but then you have to weed through the 12 responses from people who are visiting a strange city and probably don’t know exactly where they are.
“I’m in front of that shop with those things.”
“I’m near the blue car.”
What if you could see where all of your friends and family members were at any given moment? There is an app that does just that. Once I downloaded Glympse, my weekend of kitten herding got a lot easier, and I can only imagine the utility it would have for other kinds of vacations — family ski trips, Austin pub crawls, long-distance bike rides.
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Glympse allows you to share your location in real time, so recipients can see where you are on a dynamic map. You simply send them a link — the person you share with doesn’t need the app, he can open it in a web or mobile browser — and voilà! Your actual movements are visible, including speed and estimated time of arrival, for up to four hours. You don’t have to share with everyone, either … just select the key people who can track you and for how long.
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I found it useful to have all of my friends download the actual app so that we could all see one another’s movements as we made them. As we wandered around the tiny main street of Sag Harbor on Long Island it became very apparent that all of us were within a few blocks of one another, but before we downloaded the app we had no idea how close we all were.
You can schedule a Glympse map. Say I want to meet up with my friends in the park. Everyone is trying to get to an exact location in the middle of a large place after coming from very different locations. You can set up a Glympse calendar appointment and then activate a map for the event.
Here’s the thing about Glympse that makes it less creepy than it sounds. The Glympse expires. You can set it for 30 minutes or an hour, and then the GPS tracking system goes away and people can stop checking you out.
You don’t need to sign up, invite contacts, or create a profile. I appreciated the fact that you can download the app and get started right away.
One thing you should know is that tracking your friends is hard work … for your phone. It will eat away at your battery life if you forget to turn it off once they’ve been located. Use it sparingly or risk being phone-free (the horror!).