This wasn’t some hissy fit move because something in particular outraged me.
I just hit a point where I asked myself, “What’s the point?”
When I first got an iPhone last year and was starry-eyed about everything, I found it very cool to check in just about every place I went, spurred on by incentives like mayoralships and badges.
It was kind of neat to see where friends were checking in, occasionally finding that they were nearby.
Sure, I’d shrug off the good-natured ribbing by my wife and others, calling me a nerd for whipping out the phone upon arrival just about anywhere, to get that check-in entered right away.
I’d get obsessed with trying to attain mayor status for favorite haunts.
Somewhere along the way, it lost its luster.
I started getting requests from “friends” I barely knew, if at all. And I’d ask myself, “are these people that I really want knowing all my moves around town?”
After time and becoming the mayor of places like the bank and oil change places, a question gnawed at me – “Really, I’m checking in when I’m getting a friggin’ oil change?”
It took less than a year for me to find Foursquare both lame and pointless. I’m not about to get sanctimonious and judge others — if people enjoy it, that’s all that should matter to them. If they get value out of it, great.
I just don’t. As its popularity has grown, it gets harder and harder to become mayor of anywhere. Once the easier-to-attain badges are knocked off, the incentives and rewards are few and far between.
It also annoys the hell out of me when a business offers an incentive to becoming the mayor, but an obvious employee of the place holds the title. I’ve noticed that a few times. If you’re a waiter at a restaurant and they give deals to the mayor, it’s bad form to bar actual patrons from it. And good luck ever getting a mayoralship from a place like Starbucks, just to get a pittance off your coffee drink.
I think, in short, Foursquare became a hassle. A routine I put myself through for diminishing, if any, return.
I remember going through a similar mindset with some “world-building” iPhone apps on which I briefly got hooked. They were Tap Fish, We Rule and iFarm. I started the building, be it buying fish, planting crops, whatever. Next thing, every single morning I was feeding those damn virtual fish, cashing in crops, and collecting money. If you missed a day, you’d have dead fish or lost revenue. So it became an obligation to keep at it.
Until one day, I said, “Holy crap…this isn’t even close to fun anymore!” So I up and deleted all three apps and felt an immediate relief.
Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with Foursquare, Tap Fish, We Rule or iFarm. If it’s an app you enjoy, you use it. If it’s a hassle, you do what I did and move on.
But I don’t know…there’s just something about some aspects of social media that, at least to me, feels like a bursted bubble.
There are days I even struggle with Facebook and Twitter. Though I’m nowhere near ready to abandon either, my strategy has changed. I’ve gradually been conducting mass purges of people I follow/friend, in an attempt to push away the noise and get back to a point where I’m getting actual information of interest and value. But that’s for another blog post!