Foursquare rewards you for "checking in" to places you go on a daily basis. The coffee shop around the corner, the bar where you guzzle down PBRs every Friday night; it's all fair game. Your check-in earns you points, badges, and even a coveted mayorship if you check in more than anyone else. What does this mean in real life? Absolutely jack shit, which is why I have a sneaking suspicion you might see Foursquare joining the ranks of Friendster and MySpace in a few years.
In the meantime, everyone with an iPhone is playing and well, it's getting a little out of hand. It's not appropriate yet for you to shout "HEY! I'M THE MAYOR HERE!" as you saunter into your local taco joint. Hopefully it stays that way.
Since we're here to talk about dating, I thought I'd set some ground rules about Foursquare and dating. I haven't seen anyone talk about the two in conjunction, so I thought a few guidelines might help.
- Never talk about Foursquare on the first date unless she is an uber-nerd. Even in this post, it took me a solid two paragraphs to give you the basics of Foursquare. I've tried this before and it always starts with this eyes-glazing-over thing and then she makes this face as if you're trying to explain the plot of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. It never ends well. No matter how cool you think Foursquare is, there's no way to explain it in which you don't look like a total dork at the end. ABORT MISSION.
- Don't let her see you check in. It's just rude. Believe me, as a former Foursquare addict, the first urge you get is to check in the moment you walk in the door or sit down. Wait for her to go to the bathroom or check in as you are walking up. Or don't do it at all. It totally leaves a bad impression. Your date is going to read you playing on your iPhone as total disinterest in the date, even though technically you're announcing it to the world. Which leads us to...
- Be careful what you announce on Foursquare. Is this a first date? Were your friends giving you shit about asking this girl out? Think twice about telling the world where your date is taking place to eliminate the chance that one or two of your friends are nearby and try to crash it. Believe me, it happens.
- Don't ever lie about where you are. Ever. You shouldn't be doing this anyway, but if you're dumb enough to try to date two girls at the same time, Foursquare is TOTALLY NOT FOR YOU. Alternatively, if you're trying to keep a new relationship on the D/L, and you're checking in together all over town, people are going to put two and two together. Criminals, secret keepers, and serial daters should probably just steer clear of this social media trend.
- If it turns out she IS on Foursquare, give it some time before you follow her. So you had a successful first date AND she's on Foursquare? Awesome! Just give it a little time before you add her as a friend. Or better yet, let her do it. Becoming friends on Foursquare is sorta like saying, "Hey, I'm cool with you knowing roughly where I am most of the time" and frankly, most girls aren't down with that if they've just met you. So take it easy, and if she's cool with you, you'll get the friend request. Simmer down!
- No Foursquare random run-ins. It doesn't matter if you're right across the street from where she just checked in, if you aren't SUPER TIGHT FRIENDS, you can't show up there and "bump into her." This is Hannibal Lecter-level creepiness and her stalker radar will be on full blast. Even though, in your head, this is a totally reasonable thing because bumping into friends while you're out and about is the main reason for Foursquare, none of this logic matters at all. You will be forever slightly creepy in her mind.
Foursquare users, date and check in with abandon. By following these simple rules, hopefully you can become the mayor of your very own hot date.