My #FoursquareDetox

So, I decided a couple of weeks ago that I needed a bit of a review of self. Other than needing to get fitter and lose some weight, I realised that I was a bit too tied to some aspects of my social media-ised life. And my competitive streak didn’t help either. For this reason, I decided that it would be good for me to go on a #FoursquareDetox. What this means is that I have not checked-in with Foursquare since then (currently 12 days, as of the writing of this post). The funny part is, I was inspired/motivated/pushed to it by what I realised was over-use since I got my iPhone. This was highlighted to me when I spent a weekend messing with the v1 API for Foursquare, and checked in around the United States, parts of London, and even the Arctic Circle and the Pyramids. I’d gotten a bit too tied to having the most points amongst my connections, and grasping desperately to my mayorships (one I found was mine still as long as I checked in before 7:15am each day – that way I beat my opponent to the daily arrival and maintained my tenuous grip on it [very sad!!]).

Since the start of this #FoursquareDetox, I have noted it daily on Twitter (hashtag #FoursquareDetox) and I’ve noticed that this is pretty much the only time I think of it. I’ve even managed to already train myself to not grab for my iPhone as soon as I get somewhere. Benefits abound also, as my fiancee doesn’t need to roll her eyes at me constantly as I check-in to yet another location, and struggle to keep a tentative hold on my points lead (ah, yes, just another intangible collection of ‘0’s and ‘1’s for us to base our sense of worth on).

Now, please don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Foursquare (in fact, I will resume check-ins again soon) however I have gained a new perspective on my level of commitment to the app. Interesting check-ins that actually mean something are still golden, but needing to have 1000 check-ins to my house or office is just a little on the need-to-be-committed side of the spectrum. I would say that this is also tempered by my residing in New Zealand, where there has been less of a communal/collective uptake of the game than places such as New York (where it was invented for, and is stil targetted at) or San Francisco (which is another thriving tech hub). Additionally, my detox is nothing to do with privacy concerns – where I check-in is generally public knowledge, and is information that 15 seconds on Google which acquire or be able to extrapolate (eg I spent 5 days at work this week; I was at home 7 nights this week; etc). Honestly, it pretty much came down to valuing my time, and wanting to be a little more productive.

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About Cameron
I'm a final year Computer Science/Information Systems major. Already finished my BA in Politics/Philosophy. I do web and software freelance on the side, while I finish studying. Hoping to be self-employed by the end of my degree, otherwise off into the real-world I go....

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