On December first, I stopped checking in to FourSquare. The first few days were awkward. It had become routine to check-in before I walked in. Checking in gave me a record of where I went each day. It was an effective tool for letting Doug know where I was and vice-versa. We used that information. “While you’re at the grocery, grab a vegetable for tonight’s dinner.”
When I arrived at the DC airport, my brother knew just as I had known when he arrived at Knoxville’s airport. Checking in let me know if there was anyone I knew at my location and I would be very disappointed if I missed the chance to say hello to someone IRL.
The problem started when I would look to see what was nearby so i could choose a lunch spot and I couldn’t find anything because of the clutter that was “Bob’s bedroom”, “Bob’s living room” and “Bob’s driveway.” Why would you register private spaces on a public registry? Then, there were the listings for intersections, exit ramps, highways and neighborhoods. You’re not going to find friends at the same location when they are checked in from a moving vehicle. Why clutter a social media tool with useless locations?
Sadly, there were the people who checked in to places just to get a badge. I find it interesting which restaurants are popular and I really loved the tips people thoughtfully added, but it is embarrassing when you have lunch in Knoxville and then you check-in at Oprah’s studio. I was very proud of my Rally check-ins. They were like digital souvenirs. I don’t see the point in sitting on the sofa, checking in to all the fashion houses on Bravo. It’s the opposite of the purpose of FourSquare. It takes away the fun.
I do miss the functional parts of FourSquare and I might use it when I drive to New York later this month. It will make it easier for my family to keep track of my whereabouts. Other than that, I think that I will stick to the tools and toys that haven’t yet been ruined by too much publicity.