Foursquare Envy

Digitally following my friends' beautiful lives

“About to get a much-needed massage!” a friend posted a couple of weekends ago after “checking in” on Foursquare at 3000 B.C. day spa in Chestnut Hill. I was reading this while cleaning my dog’s ears, which is kind of a messy job, so, while I was happy for her (she works hard and deserves a massage!), I felt a pang of jealousy: She was at that moment being blanketed in delicious hot stones and rubbed with ylang-ylang oil, I was administering eardrops to a squirming hound. Later that evening, after finishing dishes and laundry, I saw that another friend had checked in on Foursquare at the bar at Savona (at 10 pm on a Tuesday!). More self-pity ensued (mixed with admiration that anyone stays out that late on a Tuesday).[SIGNUP]

I’m new to Facebook, so Foursquare took me a few weeks to figure out, but basically it’s an application that posts your current whereabouts immediately on Facebook, and can become quite addictive. “I have one friend who’s checked in at like seven places by 8 a.m.,” says one girlfriend, D. “And sometimes it’s the Bryn Mawr Wine and Spirits. Are they even open that early?”

D. herself is one of the fabulous people posting her whereabouts on Foursquare. I love reading her posts about where she is, since it usually sounds like a lot of fun. One night she’s drinking margaritas at Verdad in Bryn Mawr, the next she’s having a burger at a bar in Conshy, and by the weekend, she’s reporting herself lounging poolside at a five-star hotel in California. It’s fun to live vicariously through her, but D. doesn’t take it too seriously. “I do it for fun, but mostly I check in because my boyfriend and I have a contest about who can post more places,” she laughs. “And I like to help out friends who have businesses by putting them on Foursquare.”

Actually, I keep seeing on Foursquare that D.’s at a new place, the Green Bean coffeehouse in Gladwyne. Who knew that a coffee place had opened in that little village? “It’s these two young guys who opened it,” D. told me, “and it’s such a cute little place, I like to put it on Foursquare.” So I’ve decided to put an end to my Foursquare Envy — I’m going to meet the fabulous D. at the Green Bean tomorrow and watch her check in on her iPhone. It might not be a gorgeous hotel in California, but it’s better than cleaning out the doggy’s ears.