When To Say No To Foursquare

By Paola Hernandez, Copy Cutie

Let’s face it: people are addicted to Foursquare. For those unplugged, Foursquare is a social media app that tells your friends where you are when you ‘check in’. With incentives like collecting badges and the chance to score awesome deals at specific spots, it’s hard not to go check-in crazy.

But just like on Facebook and Twitter, there’s a chance you can over share on Foursquare. While you can of course check-in "off the grid" (just hit the lock button to avoid sharing with your friends before checking in), that's not always fun. And if someone you’re seeing becomes a Foursquare buddy, there are a few scenarios you should be aware of before tapping that middle button and letting everyone know where you are.

T.M.I.  Sure, sometimes you want to share your location with your inner circle — especially if you’re at a new or exciting place. But sometimes, it’s OK to leave locale to the imagination. Checking in to your gynecologist’s office for your annual check-up or tweeting your Foursquare location while you’re at a sex shop in the West Village buying a gag bachelorette gift may be some spots better left off social media radar. Though you might not think much of it, there’s a chance that the person you’re seeing does.

Two Places at the Same Time.  There are times when you want to do your own thing without being bothered, which may lead to fabricating the truth a bit. For example, you’re supposed to be at work but you’re playing hooky at Long Beach, soaking up the rays. Unless you have a clone, this can cause a slight complication. Lay off the check-ins if you don’t want to be found. The more you check in, the easier it is to find you.

Why Do I Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me?  Be wary of where you check-in; you just might have a shadow following you. If you feel like a former significant other has the tendency to stalk (ahem, “check in” on you), staying Foursquare friends might be a terrible idea. The last thing anyone wants is to see that stage-five clinger you thought you shook off. And by allowing this person to see your check-ins, he or she can easily coordinate a plan to “run into you.” To avoid unnecessary drama, simply hit unfriend.

Et Tu, Foursquare?  There’s nothing wrong with being a serial dater, but Foursquare can be your downfall. If you blew off prior Friday night plans with a match to meet someone else for a dinner date instead, don’t check in. Otherwise, your backburner person will see your other plans. Don’t want to get caught red-handed? Take a break for the night or simply check in off the grid — it's like you were never there.

Of course, one of the easiest things you can do is avoid becoming friends with people you wouldn’t want to know your every move in the first place. Another tip? Check in when you leave a place; that way, if someone comments and says they're right around the corner, you can say, "Oh, I just left!" without really lying. These are a few ways to enjoy the fun of Foursquare without limitations. At the end of the day, check-in to places you'd want your match (or anyone else) to see. 

Have you ever had a Foursquare snafu? Share your story in a comment below!