One of the first things I did when I got my phone was install Foursquare and Gowalla, and myriad of other location based apps. Within a few weeks I had whittled down to Foursquare only, and now I’m deleting even that.
Advertising mayorship is self flagellation
There was a time with Foursquare that as soon as I’d loose mayorship of my local Starbucks I would dash down to regain my the title. Little joking barbs would fly between a few of us as we stole or promised to return to the throne of mayor. Now I seem to forget to check in, and simply find notifications about loosing my mayor status annoying.
Where I am, the reality is that almost everyone on Foursquare are simply aquaintences. We don’t interact more than saying ‘Hi’ if we both happen to be in line for coffee next to each other. We certainly don’t sit together and talk. So why do I care if they know I went out for coffee?
When I check in anywhere I use [Path][path] and don’t bother sending it to Foursquare. The few people I do sit and talk with or share a table and code with I follow on Path. Everyone else from Foursquare are more social burden than friends. It might be harsh to classify them as a social burden, but that’s all they really are. We’re not really friends, I’m not even sure that we share many similar interests outside of checking in to the same spots. But of course since we ‘follow’ each other there seems to be some requirement that we at least acknowledge each other’s presence.
I’ll admit to one exception, conferences. Then a bunch of people I follow from Vancouver, Edmonton, Seattle and Portland are all in the same spot. Then it makes sense for me to check Foursquare to see what’s happening where. The rest of the time public checkins are just trying to toot my own horn for something that doesn’t even earn me any money.