Foursquare, what social media pundits call "the next big thing," could make or break a relationship.
Can you believe that less than ten years ago, we were still coming to terms with how the internet would revolutionize dating? We could barely wrap our heads around using the web to find love, let alone maintain (or destroy) it the way social media does nowadays. Since there's been a lot of talk about Facebook and relationships lately, we've decided to give a little attention to Foursquare, the mobile social media service generating buzz as the next big thing.
Here's a primer for those of you who are unacquainted with the service: Foursquare users "check in" to places that they visit with their mobile phone. If you check in to a certain place more than other Foursquare users do, the service deems you "Mayor" of the place. Moreover, you earn badges based on your visitation habits: for instance, you earn a Superstar badge after checking in to 50 different venues and a Gym Rat badge once you check in to a gym 10 times in 30 days. Some businesses provide incentives, like free drinks, for checking into or earning badges at their locales.
Just as other social networks expose us to public scrutiny, Foursquare means sharing your location with your network, so be careful where and when you check into places. Here are some other Foursquare dos and don'ts for maintaining a happy love life:
1. Sync it to your Facebook and Twitter account. This could actually jeopardize your chances with your crush if he subscribes to your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Nobody, including your significant other, cares that you went to Starbucks, 7-11, the laundromat, and the public library within the span of an hour. Facebook Decides To Control Your Love Life
2. Log in everytime you're at dinner. Nothing says "rude social media junkie" like busting out your phone, and declaring "FOURSQUARE TIME!" before the waiter even takes your orders. While we wouldn't recommend that you ever check in on a first date, if you really MUST earn the Super Mayor badge, wait until the end of the meal.
3. Be stupid. Don't check in to a bar when you told your S.O. you were stuck at the office. Infidelity 101: What Is An Emotional Affair?
4. Be pushy. Can't convince your honey to use Foursquare? Don't make fun of them for being behind the times. Every minute they spend away from social media is one more minute they can spend paying attention to you.
5. Stalk your ex. We'd recommend that you unfollow him even after an amicable breakup. Can you imagine seeing him check in to the Starbucks next to the gas station you're at after four months of not seeing each other? You'd wonder if you should go say hi, if you should drive away, if you should run him over (just kidding) ... do the smart thing and delete him. Facebook Manners And You
1. Use it to spark some healthy competition. Thanks to the abundance of badges offered by Foursquare, it's easier than ever to turn the service into a fun little game. Since they're constantly adding more badges, you can presumably play it forever.
2. Use it to explore your area. Foursquare isn't just about tracking whereabouts or who is mayor of what venue. The service actually allows people to write tips, or mini reviews, of places that they check into. Poke around for a bit and you might just find a surprisingly good new date spot just down the block.
3. Use it to become mayor of your special place. Has your S.O. ever teased you for being a techie? Prove that geeks can pull off romance by becoming mayor and mayor-ess of the place that hold sentimental value for both of you; for example, the restaurant where you had your first date.
4. Check out your crush's venues. Some people call it stalking. We call it research. If your crush uses Foursquare, check out her recent check-ins after asking her out so that you have a better idea of how to plan what will inevitably be a magical evening.
Do you use Foursquare? How has social media affected your love life?