As much as I talk about things like Untappd, truth be told, I really dislike social networking. I hate Facebook, though I keep an account there because sometimes it’s unfortunately necessary. Facebook is the new Evite.
I call this anti-social networking, because the irony is that I use foursquare and Untappd mostly to track myself. I have an awful memory these days, and living in NYC I’m out a lot. Foursquare helps me remember where I’ve been. They even have a private ICS feed so you can see all your checkins in calendar applications like iCal. It wasn’t until recently that I even noticed the point system there, pointed out by a competitive friend of mine.
Twitter I initially thought was silly and useless, but I’ve come to like it more, especially because of Tweetbot. The vast majority of my tweets are Untappd checkins. I do this so bars and breweries can see that I’m drinking their beer or at their bar. I’ve gotten free beers because of it. I would love nothing more than to make my Twitter account private, but unfortunately when you mention or message someone on there from a private account, they never see it. I think that’s kind of stupid, but it is what it is, so I leave my account public. This unfortunately makes me link my Untappd checkins to Twitter less frequently since people can search for my name and see all the beers I drink. I can stop any time I want. Really.
Untappd needs a little work in this department, which I know they’re aware of. People on there friend others as it were myspace. And some of those people drink so many beers that my real friends get buried and I never see what they’re drinking. They need friend lists, or something like Tweetbot’s Mute function. Untappd does have a privacy option, but like Twitter, anyone who isn’t your friend won’t see your activity. Untappd has great brewery support, so unless every brewery whose beer I have were my friend, they’d never see anything. So I have to keep that account public as well, but fortunately on Untappd, anyone who isn’t your friend only sees your first name and last initial. And my avatar of my hand holding up a pint of Pliny the Elder at the Russian River brew pub.
Now off to purge some Untappd “friends” until there’s better functionality to organize them….