It’s hip not to whoresquare

I recently enabled Foursquare email notifications for check-ins. You see, for once, the way Android handles notifications is inferior to the iPhone. For reasons posted by Joe Lapenna last year, Android cannot handle Foursquare push notifications like the iPhone, and after a few months of Foursquaring, I really did feel like I was missing out on half the point of Foursquare; knowing where your friends are. Of course, I could open the app each time and look at recent check-ins, but that’s a pretty substandard way to do things, so I thought, “What the hell, how many emails can I really get a day?”, checked the box, and boy was I surprised.


At first, it was fun! But very quickly, I was shocked at the places [and frequency at which] people checked-in to! I guess this is the first question that crossed my mind; why the hell do people check-in to these random places, or, conversely, why do I check-in to the places I do.

I, for whatever reason, seem to have taken to the moral high ground on places that are “worthy” [I will elaborate on this at some point, just not this post] of check-ins, and am pretty much not concerned with the points/leaderboard side of things. This is definitely not the case for others, where, to some extent, anywhere they are, is game. 

The list below, compiled in collaboration with @marawlings, @rajeshvemasani and @renny510, is a list of… “guidelines”, you could say, of venues to [or not to] check-in to. I personally object to some of the ones deemed acceptable here, and won’t check-in to many of them, but we had to reach some level of consensus, so I’ll live with it.

Note: I’ve also given credit to the people that were the “inspiration” for each of these venues.


  • Toilets [thanks @marawlings, @jymmysim] 

  • Airport Gates [thanks @adrianjuarez]

  • Flights [thanks @adrianjuarez]
  • UPDATE: Your home [thanks @kazwala, @reetssydney]
  • Your bedroom [thanks @gerdschenkel]
  • Your bed [thanks @gerdschenkel]
  • Your bed [alone] [thanks @gerdschenkel]
  • Your home desk [thanks @gerdschenkel]
  • Streets & Highways [thanks @adrianjuarez, @reetssydney]
  • Other people’s homes  
  • Other people’s homes masked as commercial establishments [thanks @renny510]
  • Train stations [thanks @jessnichols]
  • Bus stops
  • Ferry terminals [thanks @elsplatto]
  • Taxi ranks [thanks @rajeshvemasani]
  • Suburbs
  • Venues that are NOT places of interest [by “places of interest”, I kinda mean look for exclusions above]


  • Offices – Check-in once a day [thanks @jessnichols, @zander1979, @rajeshvemasani, @montyhamilton, @adrianjuarez]
  • Malls – Check-in once a day to the same mall, as well as any subsequent shops you visit within the mall, but only if you’re in the shop for more than 15 minutes [thanks @rajeshvemasani]

  • Airports – Check-in once a day to the same airport, as well as any subsequent shops you visit within the airport, but only if you’re in the shop for more than 15 minutes

    [thanks @montyhamilton, @zander1979, @leondoyle]

    UPDATE: When it comes to interstate travel, it’s fine to check-in to the origin and destination airports on arrival and departure [HT @leondoyle]

  • UPDATE: Airport lounges – Check-in once a day to the same airport lounge [thanks @zander1979 for the explanation [see comments below]]

That’s the list for now. Would love for you [especially the #dop Sydney crew] to add, question and abuse it, because this still is a work in progress, and the wording, for one, is terrible.

P.S. Thanks for the inspiration re: blog post title, @jessnichols.


12 thoughts on “It’s hip not to whoresquare

  1. c0uP says:

    *sigh* that makes it even lamer. Sadly, I don’t know if I can be bothered using Gowalla as well. Feels like there’s too much invested in Foursquare, and I see no real benefit in using both.

  2. Zander says:

    How can one not check into an airport lounge? It’s a separate and specific part of the airport, which is relevant to someone knowing where you are. More importantly, it’s somewhat exclusive. At least if I check in there specifically, my more common acquaintances will know I’m nearby, but probably won’t be giving up the free booze and snacks just to go hang out with them. (And I don’t see how this is different to checking into a shop at the airport or in a mall.)

  3. psshhh i don’t subscribe to your 4squetiquette regarding checking in at home. If you live in a apartment block then it engenders neighbourly connections (like, ‘melrose place’ style) and even foursquare has home as a category. Ahem now if you will excuse me *checks in to Work_desk_alone*

  4. c0uP says:

    Kudos on the "4squetiquette" term, but otherwise, blergh! UBank has misguided your introduction to Foursquare. *shakes head*

  5. *an apartment block… i resent the comment re UBank connection – perfectly capable of being misguided as an individual! And I stand by my melrose defence. Also also: i demand you add "4sqetiquette" to your tag list

  6. c0uP says:

    It has been added. Only 3 search results in Google too. Maybe there will be a future post on 4sqetiquette, as there have been other scenarios we’ve discussed today.

  7. c0uP says:

    @ilikechips is the only sane one of you lot!Well, now that you mention that I didn’t mention you, I realised that reets only thought of reet’s street because of le casa, so I’ve had to update the post as such.

  8. joe says:

    Disagree with the home check-in. I live very near several great pubs, as well as a popular park, so sharing home check-ins is actually very social.

  9. c0uP says:

    @joe: Fair enough. A use for home check-ins I never thought of at the time.Looking back on it a year later, I don’t think I’ve tarnished my 4sqetiquette at all, although I did check-in to Penn St. Station, but then again, that is more than just, *a* train station. Yes, that’s right, mind, rationalise…I guess some of the more "mundane" places seem worthwhile when you’re in another country.

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