"..a bardy view!"

Foursquare – beware!



I was invited to join foursquare and get an app for my smartphone. What is it?

Well here's the deal. You'll be walking around in a strange place, feeling hungry, looking for a restaurant, or looking for a drink, or a cinema, or directions, and instead of asking a passer-by for directions, you hit the foursquare button and an army of perfect strangers will appear out of the ether to give you advice.

Failing that, your "real" circle of friends are going to meet up with you assuming there’s any in your locality.

If not, fear not, because the “perfect strangers” are going to meet up with you, with whom you're expected to welcome with open arms, and talk to as if they are your long lost tribe, sharing anecdotes and discovering each other’s interests.

With luck they'll just recommend a place for you to go – but this isn't Yellow Pages – there's a caveat – you will now be a "friend"!

I've seen several people walking like zombies around the streets of London fixated on this app, mindlessly honing in to meet equally mindless zombies to talk to. There was a simpler time when you would just walk into a pub and chat to the landlord, and even (good grief) talk to a stranger at the bar.

Young lone women must be thrilled to advertise their presence with foursquare, and be met by perfect strangers to give them company. And equally lone young men may hope that an equally lone female is going to be the epitome of their dreams, and together they will sail away blissfully into the sunset.

Actually I was on Dartmoor in the middle of Devon the other day and I used foursquare. There I was, tramping the moors, looking for someone to give me directions to the nearest inn of hospitality, it was getting dark, the mist wafted over like a gossamer veil, bringing with it an ominous chill, when I suddenly had the revelation to use my foursquare app. Low and behold, within seconds I was inundated with requests to come up to a remote castle and warm my pinkies by the fire.

I wasn't worried; after all, these people are foursquare people, just like the people who I've never met on Facebook – so they must be genuine and upstanding.

On arrival I was a little concerned when the butler answered the ancient creaking door, especially as he looked rather cadaverous, but being the jolly brave idiot that I was I ventured forth. He never spoke; he just motioned with a slothful flourish to indicate a chair for me to rest my weary bones. Fair enough. These are foursquare people I thought, so what's to worry about?

After half an hour, during which time I sat fixated staring at the cobweb-covered portraits on the walls, a bony clammy hand suddenly rested on my shoulder sending a shiver down my spine.

"Are you the young gentleman who answered my call" a voice hissed behind me.

"Indeed I am" says I.

"Follow me" he whispered.

I followed him as he shuffled down a dank and dismal spiral staircase. Lower and lower into the depths of darkness we went, candles flickering with every breath. He opened a door, slowly, and beckoned me forth. "Behold" he cried.

 There, in front of my gaze was a scene from Hell itself – a putrid mass of sludge swimming in a sea of slime.

He turned to me, with bloodshot eyes and said

"See that bloody washing machine? I've been waiting a week to get that outlet pipe unblocked, and it's caused a power cut. What took you so long?"

"I'm neither a plumber nor an electrician you silly old duffer, you should have called Yellow Pages!"

Last thing I remember, I was running for the door. I had to find the passage back to the place I was before.

"Relax," said the night man "We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

 I’m still here fixing the bloody washing machine and checking the fuse boxes, listening to the mental strains of Hotel California going over and over in my head. And all because I had a foursquare app.

Get out now whilst you still have the chance – you have been warned!


February 13, 2012 - Posted by | Culture, Current Affairs, Education, facebook, General, Humour, London, Science, United Kingdom, Weblogs | , , , , , , ,


  1. Yeah, I always cringe when I see locations displayed, via Foursquare, on Facebook. Like in ‘XYZ and his family are enjoying a nice day out in Disneyland’. I always think: “Duh, you just advertised that your house is empty and can be burgled at leisure… Great article, made me laugh – if it wouldn’t be so sad, SY


    Comment by Hospitalera | February 20, 2012 | Reply

  2. Many thanks for your contribution – it’s most welcome and I’m glad you liked it!


    Comment by Bar De Ness | February 22, 2012 | Reply

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