Foursquare Is Powerful Enough to Cure Insomnia and Depression

So¬† I’ve been toying around with Silicon Valley’s latest toy Foursquare. I realize geolocation services are going to become very big this year as mobile and social become more common. But sometimes I wonder how carried away evangelists can get sometimes.

Anyhoo, I haven’t seriously used Foursquare but have been intruiged by its usage – it seems a lof of people on Twitter love to use the service and tell everybody that they became Mayor of Casterbridge or some such place. Harmless fun I suppose.

So I decided to see how useful this service could be. Does it have a place in health care? How can Foursquare be re-purposed for more utilitarian goals beyond telling friends what watering hole you’re Mayor of? (See note below this post.)

What if you could “check into” emotional places or disease states? (Yes, I like taking it to the absurd.) Foursquare doesn’t let you do that – not for very long at least. I can see how spam could become an issue for Foursquare (I’m probably not the only joker doing these sort of things). So here’s what I did: I added the items Insomnia and Clinical Depression and linked to them on Twitter. A few hours later, Foursquare removed (or “closed”) these places. Here are screenshots:

So wow! Foursquare could end Insomnia and Clinical Depression! Score one for Social Media!!!

I’m all for using social media for all sorts of things. And I’m sure Foursquare has its uses. But I also sense that social media mania may be getting out of hand. I wonder if the majority of the adopters of these servcies have a clear purpose in mind before they adopt them. Or are they just adopting them because they exist, with some getting lucky in finding purpose after?

What do you think? Do you use Foursquare? How do you use it?


On a more serious note, I’d like to add that perhaps we could take some inspiration from this sarcastic use of Foursquare – along the lines of a service which enables people with similar issues (diseases, practical problems, political affiliations, industries, etc.). A sort of mashup of Twitter and Foursquare and Yelp and Get Satisfaction.

Foursquare is based on one simple piece of meta-data – geolocation. It’s the primary social object around which all other social objects and behaviors and meta-data orbit.

But there are all kinds of meta-data. Think about that, developers.

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