I’m one of those annoying people who go on rants about the negative impacts of social media. I’m the friend who picks up the phone instead of writing on your wall. I’d rather talk than Tweet. And don’t even get me started on the horrors of MySpace.
Sober I’d never admit this, but after a few drinks you might find me slipping up and publicly “checking-in” with my phone. No, I’m not talking about having a heart-to-heart with the lovely people at AT&T. I’m referring to Foursquare.
Before you start throwing rotten fruit and calling me a two-faced liar (“But Foursquare is the worst of them all!” “You tool!”), let me tell you the inner conflict I experience is eating me alive. Time to weigh the pros and cons of putting yourself on the map…
Jennifer Aniston had flair, you’ve got badges. Flaunt them on Facebook, print them out and affix them to your shirt, wave them in the faces of unsuspecting bar patrons. Remember the days of getting stickers on you’re A+ homework? Yeah, it’s like that. But better.
Yeah, you’ve got badges. And they’re fun until someone asks what you earned them for. You start to explain, but are cut off as some bitchy girls says, “She’s the mayor of Doucheville, duh!”
Pro: 20% Off is a 100% Win.
Have you heard? The Gap and Steve Madden are going to start offering Foursquare users a discount when they check-in to the store. This shopaholic would like to think it’s only a matter of time before other companies jump on the bandwagon, too. (Are you listening, Bloomingdales?!)
Con: It’s Like Giving Tequila to an Alcoholic
Do I really need any more excuse to go shopping? Soon I’ll start telling myself stores are doing secret discounts and that I need to check-in to every single place in the mall just to make sure there’s no deal I’m missing out on. Those student loans totally don’t need to be paid off; there could be free undies at Victoria’s Secret!
Pro: You Know Where You’ve Been
When you’re in a new city or bar hopping through your regular stomping grounds, Foursquare provides map of where you’ve been (that is a lot more trusty than the ol’ “bar stamp” map). With Foursquare you can always retrace your steps to figure out where you went, which spots were hot and which spots were not, and in which bathroom you lost your keys.
Con: Everyone Knows Where You’ve Been
Read: Your parents. Your parents’ friends. Creepy stalkers.
I guess the bottom line of Foursquare is, similarly to $5 margarita pitchers, moderation is the key to success. Check-in when there’s a clear benefit like discounts and coveted Mayor positions, but don’t be an annoying idiot and check in from your friend’s couch. Seriously, no. one. cares.