For a little while, I sat back and watched many a tweet and Facebook post stream by saying things like "I'm at Bob's BBQ" or "I just became mayor of Mattress Emporium" as people jubilantly posted their whereabouts using location-based social network Foursquare. I admit, I was slightly envious. Then, I got my first smartphone - a Droid Eris - and I got to join the ranks of mayors and playas (OK, so not really the latter) playing on Foursquare as well.
The first time I used Foursquare, I was out on a "Date Night" with my husband. We arrived at our restaurant of choice, where I proudly pulled out my phone for my inaugural check-in.
"What are you doing?" he asked in a rather annoyed tone.
"I'm checking in on Foursquare," I replied. "It's my first one - I gotta know how this stuff works, ya know."
The second time I checked in was the same evening at the movie theater after dinner. I again pulled out my phone, and this time my husband was not quite as understanding.
"Are you gonna put that away?" he barked. "I'm going inside."
And that's the first time I realized how anti-social I was being...by checking in on a social network, of all things!
One thing I've noticed with location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla is checking in is actually kind of an awkward thing to do. You have to:
- Find the app on your phone, wait for it to load up, then wait for your location to be found.
- If it's not found right away, you have to refresh the list of places.
- If the specific place you're looking for isn't on the list, you have to search for it.
- If you still can't find it, you have to add it. Which is a bit of a pain, especially if you're unsure of the exact address.
No wonder my husband gets exasperated! All the poor dear wants to do is spend time and talk with me, and here I am fiddling with my phone obsessively!
So now, I only use Foursquare in these two situations:
- When I'm around others who also use it (so it's deemed more of a "socially acceptable" thing to do).
- When I'm by myself.