Monday, September 20, 2010

Who Gives A Fuck Where You Are

A while back, I launched The Who Gives A Fuck What You're Doing Campaign. It was intended to keep Facebook users from posting stupid shit about their kids and pets; tales of marathon running, road biking, and yoga; pictures of their meals and hobbies; or anything related to the weather, hating work, or Monday.

TWGAFWYDC worked as such: If somebody posted something on Facebook that annoyed you out of its complete impertinence to your life or your rational sense of what is truly worth sharing, you would comment, "Who gives a fuck!". It was an ambitious movement with the ultimate goal of training the social networking community to police itself, resulting in more interesting and more relevant content.

Initially, TWGAFWYDC had legs. Comment disses were flying all over Facebook with the fierceness of Sully Sullenberger flying into the Hudson River. Soon, however, it faded like The Great Doppelganger Craze of early 2010 or The 2 Girls 1 Cup Mania of mid-2008. I think people felt it was too personal, that if somebody's gonna take the time to post, not matter how inane their posting, they deserve to be heard. I disagree, but the people spoke.

Well now, I'm launching a new campaign that actually may stick. It's called The Who Gives A Fuck Where You Are Campaign and it assails only a portion of overzealous social networking behaviors - the use of location-based social networking apps like FourSquare, GoWalla, and most recently, Facebook Places.

Right when Twitter was hitting the tipping point, I evaluated it. I said it was a a useless piece of shit, a flash in the pan, and a viable candidate to become a really hard Double Jeopardy answer in 2012. Turns out I was wrong.

Well now, it looks like location-based social networking apps are set to have their Twitter moment. In my humble opinion though, I highly doubt they're going to have the same longevity and significance. Why? Because they're stupid.

Basically, they're simple applications that usually reside on a smartphone. When you go somewhere, you hit a button, the app finds out where you are, then broadcasts it to all the idiots that are stupid enough to follow a dumbass like you on your social networks.

These apps annoy me because, as of late, I can't log on to Facebook without finding out that one of my "friends" is at Carl's Jr. or Dress Barn. I can't log on to Twitter without finding out that someone I "follow" is at Supercuts or H&R Block.

I gotta tell ya - I don't give a fuck! And neither should you.

Are we really so desperate for a human connection that we need to know where our acquaintances are at all times? Maybe if we're stalkers. Do we really need to be subjected to the boastings of people that actually think we're impressed that they're at a certain restaurant or club? Hell no! Location-based social networking apps are completely useless.

Has anybody ever discovered that their buddy from accounting is at The Container Store in Cherry Creek, then got in the car to join him for a nice day of browsing for innovative storage and organization products? Has anybody ever noticed that their junior high crush is at Jenny Craig on Colorado Boulevard, then biked over to join her for a group weigh-in? I doubt it.

So why do location-based social media users bother "checking in" at every stop they make in their pathetic lives?

Are they bragging? I'm not impressed that you eat at Chipotle. Sure, their burritos are delicious, but a lot of others have eaten them too. Are they hoping for validation of their life choices? If you're male and you're spending a sunny Sunday at Hobby Lobby, you're beyond the need for validation, you need a lobotomy. Do they want to organize a get-together? OK, that's acceptable. However, do they really want all of their 9 million friends involved in this get-together? If not, then why don't they just do it the old fashioned way - by text message or BBM or FaceTime?

On Foursquare, they give you badges and titles for being a superuser. You're The Mayor of The Gap at The Aurora Southlands Mall? That means you've gone to The Gap at The Aurora Southlands Mall more than anyone else in the world. You get recognized for that? Really?? You did not map the human genome and you did not solve the global clean water crisis. You bought a few moderately priced plaid shirts. Get a life, or at least go to Banana Republic once in a while.

On a side note, how come nobody ever shares that they're doing anything worthwhile? People are always at the dry cleaner or the tanning salon or the tattoo parlor. How come nobody's ever at The Opera or Habitat for Humanity? My guess - because they're wasting so much time checking in at useless places.

And how come nobody ever checks in when they're visiting embarrassing locations - your proctologist's office or Curves or The Church of Scientology or a teabagger rally? Don't be selective about where you check in. If you're gonna overshare, then go all out and over-fucking-share!

Regardless, with all this location-based social networking, are you really enjoying where you are? Checking in is another chore while you're doing your chores. And, isn't the goal of being out of the office to check out? Is life a job? Do we really need to punch a time clock for our leisure time? Fuck!

So...as I said before, I'm officially launching The Who Gives A Fuck Where You Are Campaign. If you're on Twitter and you see that your wife's friend's husband used complex GPS technology to alert the world that he went to Honey Baked Ham, reply with, "Who gives a fuck!". If you're on Facebook and you read that your mortgage broker's sister used her gorgeous new iPhone 4 to let everyone she knows know that she's at The Playful Pooch Kennel, post a comment saying, "Who gives a fuck!". Repeat and repeat and repeat.

If we all take part in TWGAFWYAC, Gowalla and Foursquare and all of their copycats will begin to perish. Facebook Places and Google Latitude and all the other corporate attempts to cash in on this ridiculous fad will also perish. And we, the people of the social networking universe can safely return to reading status updates about Farmville, Bravo reality show spoilers, biased and uninformed opinions about sports, repetitive birthday wishes, and everything else that makes social networking so great. I still won't give a fuck.

6 comments:

यात्री said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Good job, thanks for taking the time to write on this issue. I laughed reading this scathing criticism of all of these stupid location announcing apps. Everyone recognizes their stupidity but no one has the guts to come out and say it.

I think it has to do with the fact that most people live boring lives, and they want to be seen as celebrities. Of course, nobody gives a fuck that I just went to goodwill to donate some shoes and dvds. Why create this noise? Go meet your friends and share these experiences.

I also think this has to do with the culture of loneliness, people with fewer friends and connections are more likely to use these location apps.

But then I also think that 99% of the people are stupid, and the remaining 1% has to tolerate the stupidity.

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