I’ve been using Foursquare for about two weeks now. Let me just first say that I’ve always been skeptical about the usefulness of location services. I’m from the generation of people that was attracted to the internet because where you where in the world didn’t matter. That is one of the most important factors that makes the web so useful. We can communicate with people all over the world no matter if we’re thousands of miles apart. This is why I have never understood the whole location-based social media thing. Besides being annoyed by Twitter users who auto import their check ins, it has always creeped me out that strangers would know everywhere I go. (Cue Every Breath You Take)
The Big But
Of course the web keeps changing our notions about privacy. We went from anonymity to “real” identities. That transition took some time, but today being an anonymous person on the web is kinda frowned upon. The Zuckerbergian world view that openness makes the world a better place may sound Sci-Fi dystopian, but only if you equate openness and lack of privacy with exposure.
Any how, I don’t want to go on a philosophical tangent about privacy, but it warrants a mention being that Foursquare raises privacy concerns.
So after using Foursquare for about two weeks I’m surprised that I’m actually enjoying it. For the longest time, I’ve been looking for places to go for walks. By using the explore tab on the iPhone app, I discovered a walking trail park that’s 8 minutes close by car. I’ve added some friends and it’s interesting to see their check ins, tips, and photos. It’s gamification aspect with the badges is addicting. The ability too make to-do lists and other lists is very handy. I’m trying to get members of my family and friends that live close by to use it. And I don’t go out that much, but the geekiness of the check ins makes me want to go out more and this is something that is making my wife happier.