This may come as a surprise to many of you, but I’m a person who initially opposes a lot of new technology. I was anti-blogging for years. The first time I encountered Twitter, I pronounced it “pointless.” E-readers? A crime on humanity.
Like any good writer, I blame my upbringing. After all, weren’t my parents the ones who waited until I was in the eighth grade to buy a computer with internet access, lest the whole thing turn out to be a fad?
So yes, as much as I have later come to embrace these technologies, originally, I was very much against them.
I’m not sure why I would expect Foursquare to be any different.
For those of you not familiar, Foursquare is an online network where you “check in” at whatever location you happen to be in. Restaurants, movie theaters, train stations — everything is fair game. Checking in earns you points and badges, and if you check in the most, you become the “mayor” of that place. Many locations will reward you for check ins, with things like discounts or even free merchandise. Being the mayor entitles you to even more rewards.
Now, there are still things I don’t care for with Foursquare. For one, I don’t really think it’s necessary for people to know where I am at all times. Nor do I really care where you are all the time. But, like so many things I originally disliked, Foursquare pulled me in using an age-old tactic: free stuff.
The entire system is extremely reward-based, and since my philosophy is that free stuff is better than not free stuff, I’m an ideal customer.
So when my husband sent me an invitation to join, I figured, why not see what all the fuss was about?
The next thing I know, I’m drinking a free coffee from Crumbs and five days away from being the mayor of my office. Hook + line + sinker.
Now, I still think some discretion is required. I don’t check in to literally every place I go (though I will do a quick scan of the area for any potential deals). I’m in it solely for the complimentary coffee.
Plus, I’d kind of like to add “Mayor of a Cupcake Shop” to my business card.