Let it never be said that I’m not Fickle… My last post was singing the praises of location based social network Foursquare, but I’ve now gone and un-installed it. Why? For a number of reasons:
1. It was killing the battery on my phone.
Partially because I was using it to check in all over the place, but also I think the Android Foursquare client may have been a bit of a battery hog, there is no mechanism to tell is how often to check for people near you so I assume it does it fairly frequently. I’ve not got firm numbers for how much battery power it was using but before I installed Foursquare my battery was lasting till 10 or 11 PM at least, with Foursquare installed my battery sometimes died around 4PM. It might be pure coincidence, and it might just be because I was using the phone more to check into Foursquare, but I need my phone to actually keep in touch with people and having a dead battery has a tenancy to get in the way of that.
2. It was becoming a bit of a pointless obsession.
I may not have OCD but Foursquare was making act like I did, I had to check in everywhere, I would frantically hunt for the correct location entry for wherever I was, the need to check in became over whelming. I’d get annoyed with myself for forgetting to check into places after I’d left them. All this for what, to maintain a list of places I’d been, for no one to read? To get a bunch of points and badges with no real world value? To be the virtual mayor of some random place? it’s a bit pointless really, I was gaining no real world benefit from my check ins aside from having met up with one friend, who I could have just as easily have texted and asked if they wanted to meet up.
3. I don’t know enough people on Foursquare.
I think I know 4 or 5 people who live in Glasgow and use Foursquare, the rest of the people I know are scattered all over the world. I will not likely be in a position where knowing their exact location is useful to me, unless I am actually visiting them, in which case I should know where they are.
4. It only works if people actually use it.
Foursquare only works if people actually check in everywhere they go, looking at my contact list it looks like most of my contacts joined the service checked in once and then forgot about it. I suspect that many many people have done that, I’m joining their ranks.
5. It’s a Hefty invasion of privacy.
As I said in order for Foursquare to work you have to check in everywhere you go, I don’t want people to know my every movement though, in fact I’d rather that people didn’t know any of my movements. So there is a conflict between wanting to use the service properly and the service it’s self being at odds with my privacy. Given the choice of using a pointless social network and having my privacy I choose my privacy.
Anyway thats me checking out of Foursquare hopefully indefinitely…