foursquare and Seven Years Ago…

So I’ve become a little addicted to Foursquare. Or should I say, foursquare. Although why the inferiority complex, I don’t know.

Anyway, just ask my wife. Our arrival at a destination is usually punctuated by me head-down in my phone making sure the whole world — or at least the Twitter- and Facebook-verses — knows my exact location so that any necessary rescue efforts can be correctly routed. Even if my daily travels are pretty much home-gym-home-work-home, with the occasional Publix thrown in for a little added excitement.

I’ve managed to earn a bunch of badges; getting rewarded for doing what I’d be doing anyway strikes me as just the right amount of effort for my life. I’ve even managed to pick up a few mayorships, the crown jewel of the foursquare world and sure indicator of a life misspent. Of course, one of them is our apartment (which I’m pretty sure I was made mayor of in our wedding vows, so that’s a hollow victory), one of them is work (a place at which I really don’t want any more responsibility), and one of them is our local pizza/wings/beer place, where it only took me seven visits to wrest the crown away, so not much of an achievement there.

But lately my foursquare app has been acting a little squirrelly. The other morning I was at the gym, and while I was on a machine desperately trying to add some definition to my legs other than “flabby” and “weak,” I whipped out the phone and checked in. After which I was told, “Your phone thinks you’re a little far from [the gym], so no points or badges for this checkin.” Considering I was surrounded by sweaty people and gym equipment, my smart phone was suddenly looking anything but. Then I got home and checked in there, and was greeted with, “Your phone thinks you’re a little far from home,” which has all sorts of interesting philosophical implications, but from a geographical standpoint was completely wrong.

In the grand scheme of things, this is not a big deal. So of course, I’m overreacting to it. I want the validation of a set number of points being given based on where I go. I want the further validation of having more of these points than the other people I know. I want the completely illusory power of being the mayor of a venue that really has no need for one. And I want the acknowledgement of my existence from my phone rather than from the living breathing people around me. Is that so much to ask?

Then I remind myself that I’m getting worked up over a service that doesn’t even have the nerve to capitalize its own name, and I feel a little better.


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