As a guy who loves technology and marketing, I always have to test out new services for myself and clients. About three years ago I joined foursquare. This was when the service was in its infancy in this area and activity was all about the “game”. The competitive nature of my ego got me to jump in with both feet and begin my quest for check in dominance. Okay so it wasn’t that extreme, I’m not that ultra competitive. I did though begin to check in anywhere I went.
This was a lot of fun for a while. Unlocking badges, earning mayorships and sharing my thoughts on venues. Then one day came a moment of clarity. My wife and I were out to dinner when she looked over to me and said “You’ve already checked in here? Wow!”. All at once it occurred to me how taken I had come with the activity. Not with the reward of the check in but the need to check in. It had literally become a habit that not only took time away from my wife and children but also my energy. I would actually become irritated if I lost a mayorship or was stomped by someone else through a check in count.
The question was why? Why did it matter? A sense of true liberation came over me when I realized that it simply didn’t. I could allow myself to step away from the activity and bask in the glow of my new found liberation. It has become so easy in our culture to gravitate towards the new thing and not reflect on the true impact it has not only in our relationships but within ourselves.