In Defense of the Check-In

I’ve been accused before of being an “oversharer,” but until I post on, I adamantly deny that label. I might post on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, WordPress and Pinterest on a regular basis, but it’s my job – so back off. For the average social media user, you might think checking in is excessive or even creepy. That’s why I’m coming to the defense of the check-in to give you three reasons why checking in is cool.

Free things are free. Whoever said you can’t get anything for free has clearly never gotten anything for free. The next time you’re out and about for dinner or drinks, pull out your smartphone, download the Foursquare or Facebook app, and check in. Many local restaurants will offer you a deal, like 10% off your tab or $5 off your order. Shameless self-promotion: one of our clients, Studio Branca, even offers you free samples of their products every time you check in. Free things really can be free!

Directions for the lost homing pigeon in all of us. Over the weekend, a group of my friends were in town and I wasst louis social media agency supposed to meet up with them downtown. Seeing as my knowledge of St. Louis is still limited to a one-mile radius in the Tower Grove Park area, I used Foursquare to meet up with them. Once they checked in at the bar, I tapped on their check in to find a map and then get directions from my location. It was seriously that easy.

Listen, it’s time to talk about your stalking problem.  As much as we all hate to admit it (except me, I’m admitting it right here), we all on some level like sharing with others and even being shared with. That’s why we have friends in the first place. Consider et al. your way to keep tabs on everybody you love (or hate, in the event that you wish to not see them) and vice versa.

There is probably still a smug person out there who thinks checking in is narcissistic and a waste of time. I’m not advocating you check in everywhere. It is objectively a horrible idea to create a check-in for your own home address. But using a bit of your own common sense and a smartphone, you can scratch your itch to share that we all know you have.