I’ve had a very full schedule recently. Last Sunday I was in Amsterdam. On Monday I was “on a boat” off the coast of Texas and then zipped over to Dubai to check out the Ritz-Carlton hotel. By Wednesday I was in New York visiting the Foursquare offices. I spent the rest of the week in Waikiki, at NASA, in Monaco and, finally, at Pixar’s studios in California. I really did visit all of these places – I can prove it because I checked in via Foursquare.
Ok, I didn’t really visit any of those places last week. I faked it. If someone you’ve friended on Foursquare checks in somewhere in the world, you can just click the location and check in there yourself.
For some reason I really like fake checkins. In the past I’ve checked into Victoria’s Secret in Palo Alto (usually when I was actually at PF Chang’s. That definitely got some interesting comments. One of my favorite things is to check into a company headquarters when they’re having a board meeting. Or at a VC right before they invest in Foursquare. That always freaks them out.
I’m never much of a fan of self analysis, but I have pondered why I like fake checkins so much. I like doing it for a few reasons. Part of it is the funny comments I get back from people who see the checkins on Twitter or Facebook, like a “WTF?” to a checkin at a plastic surgery center in Menlo park a couple of weeks ago. But mostly it’s just about having fun. I’m living a parallel fantasy Foursquare Life.
Slow day at the office, with the heat and lack of air conditioning getting me down? No problem! Zap, I’m in Waikiki with a rum drink in my hand, hanging out with my friend Christine Lu. One of my friends (Kevin Marks) is at NASA? Jealous! I’m there too! See!
Yes it’s lame. I understand this. But it makes some people smile. And in a way it’s kind of like taking a very short break from real life and having a mini vacation. Remember Total Recall where you could go on a cheap vacation and instead of going they’d just embed memories of it into your mind? It’s exactly like that. Just like my robot experience earlier this week is exactly like the movie Avatar. Yes, not really.
I hope Foursquare never fully turns off the cheat feature in their service. I’m usually not that interested in checking in where I actually am. But I’ll probably be a lifelong user if I can keep up the #fantasyfoursquarelife. I just need even more interesting friends who are willing to do all the legwork and actually visit these places physically.
Enthusiastically written from the Soho House in Berlin.
Foursquare is a geographical location based social network that incorporates gaming elements. Users share their location with friends by “checking in” via a smartphone app or by text message. Points are awarded for checking in at various venues. Users can connect their Foursquare accounts to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can update when a check in is registered. By checking in a certain number of times, or in different locations, users can collect virtual badges. In addition, users...