I’m done with FourSquare. After being Mayor of Sushi Den for what seems like years, I had gotten lazy about checking in and was de-throned (un-elected?) by a clearly obsessive-compulsive. Being hyper-competitive, of course, I made a comeback. Along the way, I learned how cheating gets you dinged (very impressive), and how doing things the right way gets you rewarded (not quite clear how). After checking into Sushi Den 227 times, with 52 checkins in the last month and 11 consecutive days in a row at last count (take that, obsey-compy), I’ve decided to call it quits. And I’ll tell you why. If you know me, you know I can be rather ingratiating (hating people in general seems to help here). I can definitely count genuine friends among the staff of Sushi Den. Overall, I’m confident I have a solid relationship with everyone I know there (the sous chefs not withstanding). Last night I went again (specifically for this kick-ass clams appetizer they have been serving). Because of my nearly religious patronage (enhanced by my FourSquare mayorship - even getting embarrasingly greeted that way), I got very good treatment. While not trying to take overt advantage of this (ok, maybe asking for some people sitting in my usual seat to get seated early was a stretch), I was afforded protection over a new seat opening up for me, got to talk to several of the staff that made it a point to come over and say hello, and ultimately got extra bread for the clam dish (an apparent - and in retrospect clearly selfish - imposition on a very busy kitchen). It was a chaotic evening and my presence (at least in my presumptive opinion of self-worth) was disruptive. So, all-in-all, I have no life and the life I am leading (with behavior driven in part by FourSquare) was making me more of jerk than I already am.
FourSquare, in essence, drives me to be more of a creature of habit than I already am. This is even reinforced by the so-called “explore” functionality of FS. It should be rightly be called “ignore” as the top results give you places you’ve already been! Where’s the “exploration” in that? Of course, it also gives you places nearby that your friends have also visited which, in my case, is usually everywhere I’ve already been as well since I’ve usually gone there with them. I want to DISCOVER new things. I want to EXPAND my world (which, admittedly, isn’t very hard). FourSquare is driving me to be stupidly boring (which obviously isn’t hard). It’s measurably changing my behavior (which is a good thing for Sushi Den). I’m not learning anything new. I’m not being encouraged to get out of my rut (which is incredibly deep and lovingly contoured). And what do I get in return? A pathetic sense of self-importance, a broader waistline and a narrower mind because my real-world behavior have been shaped by this imaginary application
So, I’m done with FourSquare. FourSquare is aptly named. But the brand association is no longer with that fun little game we played as kids. It’s become a box that actually shrinks as time goes by. So, I’m done. I’m stepping out of the box and back into the world. Gonna build a new app along the way.
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