Foursquare reminds me of my ex-boyfriend.

If you’re on Twitter, you’ve seen people posting from their Foursquare account, announcing where they are at any given moment.

It’s the exact reason people give for refusing to use Twitter, in app form.

Seriously. I roll my eyes like crazy every time someone says something like, “Who’d want to know what you’re doing every minute?” because 1) um, everyone, and 2) duh, that’s not what Twitter is about.

But it is what Foursquare is about. And I FUCKING HATE FOURSQUARE.

I haven’t unfollowed anyone who uses it (yet) but I am sorely tempted. Especially now that I’ve figured out the real reason it bothers me (and it’s not as though I need one).

When I was 18 I dated this guy, Eric. He was a terrible boyfriend for me. I’m not sure if he was a terrible person or not, but ugh–rotten boyfriend. One of the things he did was show up unannounced. All the time. Like a fucking stalker. (My apologies to anyone who has actually been stalked. I am fully aware that this was not as bad.) Mostly he’d show up at my house. This was okay for the most part–I mean, I did like the guy. It was a little awkward at times, though, because I was a live-in nanny. I was friends with the family, but still; it was my job. One time he showed up at a park where I’d taken the kids. I think that time I’d told him where I’d be, but I’m not sure. (Do you remember that sort of detail from 13-14 years ago? I didn’t think so.)

One morning I went shopping with the little girl. We went to Adam’s, a combination grocery and nursery (the plant kind, not the baby kind). They sold amazing fresh produce, some gourmet foods, and milk in real glass jars with a $1 deposit. Suddenly Eric, who did not shop there, popped up out of nowhere, scaring the heck out of me.

That’s right. He stalked me to the grocery store. Back then, he had to show up at my house and ask where I was. Nowadays, people can show up unannounced with far less trouble, thanks (or no thanks) to Foursquare. Which is why I will never, ever use it. And I wish you would all stop.

(Incidentally, that little girl? Hated Eric. She used to bring me his shoes and say, “Eric has stinky feet.” And he did. He refused to get his cat fixed and it peed in his shoes.)

9 thoughts on “Foursquare reminds me of my ex-boyfriend.

  1. bri

    April 12, 2010 at 10:29am

    i could not agree with you more. HATE 4sq. great post.

  2. Gwen

    April 12, 2010 at 10:30am

    Foursquare gives you a lot of control over who sees where you are, though. On the app itself, only people you allow can see where you are. And you can control whether it posts to Twitter, and in turn you can make your Twitter private.
    I am exceedingly cautious about these kinds of things, but I love Foursquare — it’s a fun way to keep up with my friends, and has led to good restaurant recs and conversations. Also, I like that when I use the app, I end up with a (completely private) history of where I’ve been in a day, which is kind of like keeping a diary but without having to actually write things down.
    .-= Gwen´s last post ..New =-.

  3. Crystal

    April 12, 2010 at 5:20pm

    In addition to what Gwen said, I think Foursquare has a place for very particular things and groups of people. I’m playing around with it (and Gowalla and Whrrl) because of a project I’m thinking about starting. I like Foursquare the best of those three (for what I’m using it for) because I think it can be a really great tool for rewarding customer loyalty in a way that’s fun for the consumer.

    That being said, I do try to keep it from posting to my twitter unless I’m adding a comment that I would have posted to twitter anyway. And I totally understand your dislike of it and reasons why.
    .-= Crystal´s last post ..EA Sports Active Day 7 =-.

  4. Delle

    April 13, 2010 at 1:54am

    I don’t really know what foursquare is – and I don’t want to. It clogs up the twitter feed and is annoying. The only reason that I haven’t stopped following anyone over it is that, thankfully, the people I follow seem to have stopped outrageously spamming my twitter feed these days. I did come exceedingly close to unfollowing over it.
    .-= Delle´s last post ..Have I mentioned… =-.

  5. Jess

    April 13, 2010 at 9:24am

    I have absolutely no interest in using Foursquare, and I have definitely noticed that most of my friends who use it are dudes who have less to fear from being stalked (not that I have stalkers, but I do have acquaintances who I don’t mind reading my twitter feed, but who I wouldn’t like to show up randomly somewhere I was). However, I trust people to be aware enough of whether they want random people knowing where they are at any given time to decide whether it’s safe for them to use the app. This kinda reminds me of early internet days arguments against meeting up with people you met online, because they “might be creepy”. And, sure, they might, but it’s harder to hide online than people were making out. Also, as you pointed out, you can get stalked to the grocery store in everyday life, so the problem here is not necessarily the app/the internet.
    .-= Jess´s last post ..Three days till fruity drinks =-.

  6. Annika

    April 13, 2010 at 9:32am

    I definitely am not trying to police other people’s safety. While I do think some people are complete fucking morons about what information they make public, I think it’s their own business. And I do trust most people to look after themselves–and the rest of them aren’t my responsibility.

    I really just want people to stop connecting Foursquare to Twitter because it is fucking irritating. Gwen and Crystal have excellent points about the usefulness of the application itself. I just don’t want to have to see anyone’s updates. I like to opt in to these things, not have them foisted upon me.

    But I will not use Foursquare, because someone could treat it the way Eric treated my whereabouts and while he was not at all dangerous (and I’m not really afraid of anyone else using my whereabouts to harm me), it was creepy and yucky.

  7. Jess

    April 13, 2010 at 1:49pm

    Yeah, Twitter in general is a big fail when it comes to being able to filter the types of things that clutter up your feed. I don’t read it much because of that.
    .-= Jess´s last post ..Three days till fruity drinks =-.

  8. Anne

    April 14, 2010 at 12:32pm

    Ummmm, I’m so non-technology savvy, that when I first saw the title I thought you were talking about the game kids play at recess – DOH!!!

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