Foursquare Fail

Posted on January 14, 2011 by

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Checking in with Foursquare, the latest overrated social media craze.

By Hannah Lawrence

Four Square, in its purest form. Image courtesy of inboundstrategy.com

A little over a year ago, I joined Twitter after hating it so much that I wrote an article about it for The Daily Iowan. I pointed out that it was stupid, promoted self-absorption and was totally absurd because instead of tweeting about how you’re stuck in an elevator, YOU SHOULD BE TRYING TO GET OUT. The article got me my first job out of college, which ironically, required that I joined Twitter. I did because I’m fickle.

And now that I enjoy Twitter, I’ve redirected my disapproval towards Foursquare. But it’s not because I’m looking to get something (like a job) out of it, or because I enjoy being obstinate. I really love the job I have, and I’m pretty sure a person only benefits from their frustration once in their life. It’s just interesting how I’ve managed to get past the uselessness of Twitter, but can’t seem to do the same with Foursquare.

Perhaps it’s because Foursquare is BULLSHIT.

Meet the mayor of all women ages 18-49: Don Draper.

The premise of Foursquare is that you let your friends know where you are, so they can come join you because you’re having such a fantastic time – the servers at the bar you’re at are excellent and your drinks aren’t watered down and you are so happy with your choice of locale that you want credit for being there. You’re also probably sick of your co-workers thinking all you do at night is try and recreate the dimple in Don Draper’s tie, and there’s a way for them to go on the Internet and see that you took a night off from doing that. Foursquare also lets you share your recommendations of great places to get wings, but this is the dangerous part: You never know if your therapist is monitoring the places you’ve been eating in preparation for the day when she chooses to confront you on your Bulimia.

My problem with Foursquare is one of logistics: Why would anyone bother to “check in” somewhere instead of just texting their friends to see where they are and where they’d like to meet up? It doesn’t make sense. Why wouldn’t you make direct contact with your friends and tell them to meet you on the corner of X and Y, instead of putting it online and assuming they’ll figure out which little throbbing red pinpoint on a map is you?

Look! I'm really important because I have Foursquare badges on my iPhone! Thanks to mashable.com for the image.

It’s the proof thing, isn’t it? Jesus. Whatever happened to being satisfied when someone sees us pick up our dog’s poop? Now we have to be rewarded for going out and getting drinks? AND NOT EVEN WITH MORE DRINKS! THE REWARD IS A VIRTUAL BADGE!

But fine, some people like the technology part and want to prove they’re active in the world and are really into the unlocking badges thing. That’s okay with me. What I unabashedly cannot stand is when people check into their place of work by sending out a tweet at 6:30 AM (I actually have a friend who does this), or when they tweet their excitement about how they became the mayor of their bathroom, OR THEIR PLACE OF WORK. I would ask, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE, but I know EXACTLY who they are: I went to high school with them, and I will even be as kind to give you their Twitter handles so you can get an update every time they’re waiting for 6 train at Grand Central, which I assure you, is way more than you can handle so don’t be a hero or anything and ask me.

Even though these people ARE my distaste for Foursquare, it‘s obvious the service has become yet another pointless medium that we’re addicted to…which is something way more serious than any of my reasons for not liking it and better suited for dissection by a freelance writer who grows his mustache in the shape of his cat. HA! AS IF I’M ABOVE SOMEONE LIKE THAT!

The greatest badge ever. Buy it on etsy.com.

But okay, here’s the end of this: Foursquare is for losers who insist their trip to the grocery store for Q-tips is fascinating, and it’s just as fascinating as the trip that Diablo Cody would make the grocery store for Q-tips, so why wouldn’t they take part in Foursquare if they’re as important as Diablo Cody?

But they’re wrong, because Diablo Cody (not that she’s my idol or anything, she did something really weird and named her kid Damien or something), is actually someone who you’d like to know lots about, including where she goes to buy products for her ear canals. But the losers can’t differentiate between themselves and Diablo Cody – they think since she’s so relatable and cool and cut her hair short that if she updates people about where she is, then they should too because they are as noteworthy as Diablo Cody! But no, they’re not as noteworthy as Diablo Cody, and it doesn’t make it okay for people to think they’re so significant that everyone else should know where they are.

In conclusion, Foursquare is nuts. Why are we so busy answering each other’s “where are you?” questions instead of joining me in important questions like, “why does this handle on my drawer keep falling off?”

- Hannah Lawrence