People use Foursquare for a variety of reasons, some want to show off where they are to their friends and family, while I like the idea of being able to look back on where I was today ten years from now. With sharing where you are comes the potential for other issues, like being judged.
If you’re not worried about your privacy, the jokes and comments you might hear based on where you’ve visited might annoy you into not wanting to share. Whether it’s because you’re visiting the same bar for the fourth night in the row or you check-in to a location near your ex’s house, someone you know is probably judging you for it, even if its silently.
I like coffee quite a bit, therefore it’s not odd for me to check into Starbucks daily on Foursquare. I certainly get an earful about it from time to time, but all joking aside, it’s probably not the healthiest play to hang out. A service called Fitsquare wants to take a look at all of your Foursquare check-ins and score you on them based on how healthy they are.
Not only will you get scored based on the locations you visit, you’ll also receive
nagging helpful emails that will suggest a healthier activity to participate in.
It’s all fun and games until someone gets healthy
I’ve been using Fitsquare for the past few weeks and rather than finding the emails annoying, I find them to be helpful. Sure, I lose a bunch of points every single time that I check-in at Starbucks, but the app is working hard to make me mindful of my actions:
Along with telling me that I’m being pretty unhealthy at the moment, Fitsquare suggests a nearby location that might be a bit more “active”, such as a gym.
The app is partially a research project by a college student, as the site explains:
fitsquare is a research project ran by final year BSc Computer Science student Samuel Jonathan Smith at the University of Lincoln. The research project investigates the design and development of an adaptive persuasive technology and it’s effectiveness in encouraging positive behaviour change on the foursquare social network.
The idea of adaptive persuasive technology is an interesting one, especially if the project can prove out some of Smith’s ideas on how to influence people socially using his app.
If you’d like to be a part of the research and find out how healthy (or unhealthy) the places you check into on Foursquare, then give the site a try.