Saturday, 16 April 2011
Everywhere I go, if I can legitimately claim that I stopped, out comes the iPhone and I have to check in. Have to. No, you don’t understand, I HAVE TO.
People I’m out with roll their eyes and laugh at me – ‘on foursquare again’, but I can’t bloody help it, damn thing has given me OCD. I must add that extra location, that extra point. I must, dammit!!
It’s not like I’ve actually found a use for it – I’ve never had a foursquare bonding moment with a random SocMed stranger, nor gained a free coffee from a local ‘special’. So why the blazes can’t I leave it alone?
Badges. I need those steeeeenking badges. Just like my son at Beaver Scouts, getting a badge gives me a lift (plus I don’t have to sew the bloody things on). That magical ‘unlock’ email – hell, if I could powder that feeling, and sell it in little plastic bags, I’d be rich.
Or in the dock, one or the other.
But my OCD doesn’t stop there.
Foursquare’s points system lures me with a beckoning fingernail – in the earlier incarnation, there were points for adding new places and we rapidly ascended to be Mayors of our houses, workplaces, local supermarkets… (I was very amused when one of my colleagues added Titan House a second time as Titan Publishing – just so he could get those points too). Now, though, that compulsion has been expertly fine-tuned, being Mayor has perk-points, you can gain additional pluses for repeated visits in a week or for returning to a location when you’ve been absent for a while. Dear Gods, I don’t stand a chance, with all those lovely, handy increments so easily available…
MUST… CHECK… INNNNN…
And even worse than THAT – Foursquare now teases and tempts you, coaxes you like the snake in The Jungle Book. The site offers a visible leaderboard; it tells you as you overtake someone, dangles the next person in your sights like a plump and juicy target. That same competitive urge that leads you to compulsively place the last eBay bid just so you can win… yeah, you know the one. That.
Obviously, the practical uses for business are colossal – I’m starting to look at it with a Marketeer’s eye. Honest. (For example, Foursquare is an urban thing; it’s amazing how it hasn’t caught on outside London).
But in the meantime, as those steeeenking badges rack up and the lists of my Mayorships increase, as my friends roll their eyes at my newest addiction, I’m wondering…
Would it be bad form to check in when I roll up outside the Foursquare Rehab Centre..?