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April 28, 2010

35

When to use “Off The Grid” on Foursquare

There are two concepts in regards to “Off the Grid”. The foursquare concept is as follows: If you turn all of the little on/off switches to off (on the check in screen, they say who to share with) you’ll be off the grid. Off the grid means you’re hiding your location from the world. Why would you want to check in “off the grid?” You could be on a date, out to dinner with your parents, or someplace you don’t want people to know about; all while still wanting to check in to earn badges and see your check-ins later in your history page (which will include your own private, “off the grid” check-ins).Second concept is the sharing of personal information in a public space. Recently a group of avid Savannah Foursquare users started a dialogue on twitter about what should be left “Off The Grid” when checking in on Foursquare. Here are a few examples of TMI check-in locations. By the way, most of these, if not all of these, should guarantee an unofficial “Douchbag Badge” upon check in.

1. Adult Toy Store: We do not what to know that you are shopping for pocket rockets, chocolate panties and Astro-glide. Some things need to kept anonymous.

2. Divorce Attorney: This probably would not be much of a big deal because most attorneys handle other kinds of legal cases. But if you are “Friends” with your significant other on Facebook and you announce it to the world that you are @Smith & Roberts Divorce Counsel, LLC, it might not go over so well. Kind of like breaking up with someone via a post-it note X 10.

3. Interstate Rest Stop: This is wrong in so many ways. Just make sure you disinfect your phone before leaving.

4. Jail: Actually, the chances of actually checking-in at the jail are probably slim to none since they confiscate your belongings. I think there should be a special badge for this check-in. “Dumb-ass Badge” “Idiot Badge” or “High Five Badge” –depending on the charges.


5. McDonald’s, Burger King, or any other fast food joint: One check in is fine, if you are going for points. But the minute you start becoming Mayor of these places then you might need to recheck your priorities. This is nothing to be proud of (Mayor of Jalapenos notwithstanding) and you may need to start checking in at the gym/park to balance it out.

6. Comic Book/Video Game Store: This applies to single men. Only if you want to remain single and living in your parent’s basement surrounded by action figures and game consoles while sitting in your own filth would you want to announce to your friends that you are checking-in AGAIN at Gamestop.

7. Walmart: Sadly, I believe I am just a bit bitter because I was recently ousted as Mayor of Walmart. This person did me a favor. What the hell was I thinking being proud of this sad, pathetic accomplishment?

8. Ex-boyfriend/girlfriend’s business and home: So your boyfriend just dumped you, who also just happens to be the 2nd shift manager at Target. You decide to check-in from your car in the parking lot at 11pm while you wait to see if he walks out with some new Starbucks barista on his arm. Too many check-ins at Target could result in a restraining order and/or jail time (see #4) not to mention a trip to the Jerry Springer Show.

If you have found yourself in any of these situations, you should probably consider leaving Foursquare out of it. If you cannot resist the temptation to check in then please exercise caution and choose the special “Off The Grid” feature. Your reputation will thank you later.

Cross posted on Social Media Madness

35 Comments Post a comment
  1. Apr 28 2010

    I quasi challenge #5 only to defend my current mayorship of Dairy Queen. I would however say that you should add #9, doctor’s offices. I’m guilty of tweeting my frustration from the waiting room, but I don’t need to know if someone’s checked in at the proctologist.

    Reply
    • Apr 28 2010

      Dairy Queen is ok. Everyone has there favorite mayorship. But, I am a firm supporter on no check-ins at anything doctor related except the dentist.

      Reply
  2. Apr 28 2010

    Doctor’s Office would be a definite #9! Unless it is for your kids, of course. Then it is okay (I think)

    Reply
    • Apr 28 2010

      Using your kids for check-in points is definitely a strategy.

      Reply
  3. Wil Jansen
    Apr 28 2010

    Job interview?

    Reply
    • Apr 28 2010

      Do you think there will be a day when you can find a job by using Foursquare? Twitter has made this a little easier for some folks.

      Reply
      • Apr 28 2010

        Maybe a check-in special, call it the Resumé Badge?

      • Apr 28 2010

        I like it!

  4. Apr 28 2010

    As a non-breeder, I have to call a foul. Using your kids for check-in points is cheating; it’s not you. You are “playing the game,” not them. And if your kids are playing the game, then it is a conflict of interest.

    Like golf, Foursquare is an individual sport. Except that there’s no Ryder Cup.

    Reply
    • Apr 28 2010

      But who has to drive the little rug rats to the doctor every week and sit in the nasty little waiting room. Who pays for the visit? ME! So I believe I should get credit. If Mr. Shultz drops future-Mrs. Shultz off at work then he shouldn’t check-in points either. Right?

      Reply
      • Apr 28 2010

        touché

      • Apr 28 2010

        To which an interesting point is brought up: should you get points for just stopping by a place when you didn’t actually go in or participate in their business? It’s pretty much all honor system, but it’s a little annoying that my boss can sit at his desk across from me and check into Coach’s Corner every hour just to oust me as mayor (he’s a little bitter I beat him twice at Lunchtime Trivia today).

      • Apr 28 2010

        This was brought up at the Social Media club meeting last week. I have heard that they are tightening the belt on the area in which you can check in ie: the front door of the venue. A few weeks ago I ate at Ele and forgot to check in but wanted to share my experience with others so I was able to lay in the bed to check in. I know, not cool but at least I was able to share.

      • Apr 28 2010

        I’ve noticed a lot of places aren’t labeled correctly for their location. On more than one occasion, I have gone to check in from inside the venue and see that I’m 1,000 or more meters away from it. So, how that affects things, I don’t know.

      • Apr 28 2010

        With any online application, the rules are bound to change as the online users grow and the application go viral. I think foursquare is moving in the right direction.

  5. Apr 28 2010

    I can agree with a lot of them (divorce attorney and ex’s domicile, but that sort of falls under “don’t check in at your house”, doesn’t it?), but keeping certain types of stores off the grid is silly, especially if the person checking in isn’t squeamish about them. It’s funny to pick on the comic book / video game nerds, but what if you’d put “don’t check in from Fresh Market while shopping for arugula” or “don’t check in at your cliquey Social Media events”?

    If you’re passionate about comics, video games, adult toys, sewing machines, whatever, why shouldn’t you try to be mayor of your favorite store?

    Reply
    • Apr 28 2010

      Yes, of course it was all meant as a joke, in good fun. I checked in at Walmart the other day and someone started slamming me for shopping there and that I should be shopping locallly (which I agreed) so now I almost feel guilty for checking in at the large-Corporate venues. Good points. Thanks!

      Reply
    • Apr 28 2010

      where in Savannah can I buy a sewing machine? i will check in and even create the venue just as good measure 🙂

      Reply
      • Apr 28 2010

        Used to be a place on DeRenne, between White Bluff and Montgomery.

    • Apr 28 2010

      I get ribbed at my office all the time for checking in as I’m really the only avid foursquare player. I’ve been adding all the thrift stores where I’m shopping for baby, but I’ve never once checked in in all my prego stops to McDonald’s.

      Reply
  6. Apr 28 2010

    As the not-so-proud mayor of the Beaufort Walmart I can definitely relate to this post.

    Reply
    • Apr 28 2010

      I’m actually working hard to become mayor of Lowe’s, though I think they get more benefit from it than I do.

      Reply
      • Apr 28 2010

        That is the whole point. At the end of the day, it is a game and we all complain about it but it is fun to play and talk about.

  7. Amy Brock
    Apr 28 2010

    In reference to using your kids to check in: I would like to point out that the Babysitter badge is dependent upon checking in at a playground (which usually implies using your child/children) 🙂

    Reply
    • Apr 28 2010

      Not to be mixed with the Bender Badge on the same day lol

      Reply
      • Amy Brock
        Apr 28 2010

        Excellent point, Allison – now that would be one hell of a FourSquare badge: The Babysitter on a Bender

  8. Troy
    Aug 2 2010

    How do you get out of [off the grid]

    Reply
    • Aug 3 2010

      [off the grid] on foursquare only means you have not logged into a venue in awhile. it means you have dropped off the grid. it is not something you post.

      Reply
  9. Nona Mills
    Dec 22 2010

    [off the grid] on foursquare only means you have not logged into a venue in awhile. it means you have dropped off the grid. it is not something you post.

    Reply
  10. Morgan Mccarthy
    Dec 23 2010

    This was brought up at the Social Media club meeting last week. I have heard that they are tightening the belt on the area in which you can check in ie: the front door of the venue. A few weeks ago I ate at Ele and forgot to check in but wanted to share my experience with others so I was able to lay in the bed to check in. I know, not cool but at least I was able to share.

    Reply
  11. Mollie Rowe
    Dec 24 2010

    I get ribbed at my office all the time for checking in as I’m really the only avid foursquare player. I’ve been adding all the thrift stores where I’m shopping for baby, but I’ve never once checked in in all my prego stops to McDonald’s.

    Reply
  12. Madeline Petty
    Dec 25 2010

    I can agree with a lot of them (divorce attorney and ex’s domicile, but that sort of falls under “don’t check in at your house”, doesn’t it?), but keeping certain types of stores off the grid is silly, especially if the person checking in isn’t squeamish about them. It’s funny to pick on the comic book / video game nerds, but what if you’d put “don’t check in from Fresh Market while shopping for arugula” or “don’t check in at your cliquey Social Media events”? If you’re passionate about comics, video games, adult toys, sewing machines, whatever, why shouldn’t you try to be mayor of your favorite store?

    Reply
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