I am a recovering Foursquare addict. For a couple of years, I “checked in” everywhere I went, attempting to become Mayor of each new location, or defending my own existing Mayorships. It was a game – much like a video game – but expressed through social networking instead. The recovery process took months, and though it didn’t require 12 steps, it did require three.
First, I had to decide that I wasn’t going to check into EVERY SINGLE LOCATION – only the high value locations. What’s a high value location? Locations that are significant (subjective, I know) and desirable (objectively determined by ongoing active competition for the Mayorship).
Second, I decided that I’d only rarely check into new significant locations, and only defend a handful of my existing Mayorships.
Finally, I decided to quit competing for Mayorships altogether. I just check into significant locations that I’d want to share with my friends on Facebook and Twitter. I probably only do that about once a week now.
As I venture forth, I no longer feel pressure to whip out my iPhone, and plant my Foursquare flag onto new shores. I’m the wandering gypsy, rather than the campaigning conqueror. And I feel much better now.