Monday, December 10, 2012

One Friday night, I turned to Foursquare

Hey there,

So, it happened. I mean I've done it before, I realize now. But I guess now it's becoming a regular part of figuring out where I'm going to go, when all I have are no plans and a spontaneous impulse.

Checking Foursquare.

There were two venues I was considering going to, this past Friday night. So I opened up Foursquare on my mobile device to see two things. First, how many people had checked in, in general. And, second, how many of my friends had checked in.

I do do something similar on Facebook, but it's Event specific. I'll see how many of my friends have RSVP'ed Yes or Maybe, and especially if it's the day of, if anybody's written on the wall talking about heading to it or being excited about it.

So yes, peer pressure works, we're all just sheep, and...wait a minute, social media can actually facilitate social activities in real life.

A survey whose results were shared just a couple of weeks ago from the Active Network, Research Reveals the Link Between Online Interaction and Offline Activities, speaks directly to this:
"According to the ‘Beyond the Click’ survey, the three most popular offline actions taken as a result of online engagement are to contact a person directly, attend an event and participate in an activity such as a sport or a class."
So, yeah. At least from personal experience, social media seems to be just another tool for communicating, informing, and organizing, and as with all tools, its up to the users to choose how to use it and let it affect their lives, for better or for worse.

Yes, I'm speaking to the many fears people have brought up about Social Media's adverse effects. Even just typing into Google "social media dest" the auto-fill results that come up are:

  • social media destroying society
  • social media destroys relationships
  • social media destroying social skills

But again, ultimately I would argue that all this is up to each user to choose for him or herself.

In this case, I chose to use social media to figure out what I would do on a Friday night. And I ended up dancing until I and my friends (one of which was the deciding factor when I checked Foursquare) closed the club down.

Which I haven't done in a while.

Anyone else occasionally use social media to crowdsource their plans? Any particular stories that come to mind? Or do you not consider or check social media at all? Please share in the comments.

- JR

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