Just when we thought the rage of social media had given us enough self-perpetuated invasion of privacy -- where we can know what everyone is doing, what they are thinking, what articles they are reading, what pictures they are taking, and what vegetables they are growing in FarmVille… If that isn’t enough, now we can now know where everyone is. Thanks to Foursquare.
Self-admittedly, I hate being left out. So when tweets started indicating that people were “checking in” through Foursquare at different locations and restaurants around town, I wasted no time in downloading the app to my iPhone.
Here’s the skinny: Foursquare is a social media tool that let’s us communicate to our friends and followers where we are. There is a simple “check-in” button – push it and wha-lah your location is publicized. You can also leave tips for people who may want to visit that location, like “You might want to avoid the soup of the day” or “They have the best chocolate pie in town.” As you check-in, you earn points and awards, and if you are a frequent visitor (more so than anyone else), you become the Mayor. I kid you not, I know the Mayor of Mooyah Burger. Quite an honor.
But in thinking this through, I am not so sure that I want people to know where I am. Not that I attract stalkers or want that much privacy. Honestly, I’m just not so sure I want you to know how boring I am. My Foursquare check-ins seriously would include work, home, the grocery store, PTA meetings, and an occasional movie every month or two. Oh, and the drive-throughs. I’m not sure if it’s fair to “check-in” if you’re sitting in the drive-through, since you aren’t really visiting, but if you count that, I would certainly be the Mayor of the McDonald’s on Preston Road, and I could leave some tips about the toys in the Happy Meal.
The great thing about Foursquare is that it’s a way to get introduced to new places (and perhaps know which ones to avoid) as well as knowing what your friends and followers are up to. Because we can’t get enough of that.
But let’s set the ground rules – if you, for some reason, feel the need to inform me about how many calories I am consuming by counting the number of check-ins I have at Happy Meal Land each week, you will be deleted from my friend list. I’m just saying. There are some things that should just be kept private.
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