Please don’t check in if…

Mar 23, 2012 by

Friend or Foe?

Disclaimer: I really like “checking in” on Facebook.  I would say I like doing it on Twitter, too, except that I always forget I have Twitter.  I don’t  FourSquare.  I know that’s the original platform, but who has time for all the things?  I will admit that I do enjoy giving a quick little shout-out to a cool bar or museum or especially a show I’m experiencing, in real time, while I’m there.  I think this is super extra fun while traveling.

Disclaimer completed, something needs to be said right now, because people have run amok with this checking in technology and they are using for inanity instead of good.  I feel like I can take on the challenge of educating people about how to handle this fairly recent technological development, instead of just being pissy about it in silence.  Education, really, is why God gave us blogs, right?  So we can all state our late night ramblings as unassailable truths?  I thought so.

So here it goes, in honor of everyone checking in at midnight showings of “The Hunger Games” tonight (of which I do approve, by the way).  You’re welcome in advance, world.

For the sake of toning down what could be considered a harsh anti-everyone diatribe, I have decided to direct this missive to one fictional person who will stand in for many.  Her fictional name is “Tiffy.”

Please don’t check in if…

You have arrived at work.  There is no need to check into work during your regular work time, Tiffy.  We assume you are there.  The only exception to this is if you have arrived at work the day after you were fired and security was instructed not to let you back on the premises.  In that case, please do give us a heads up, especially if there are coworkers who need to get out of the building.

You’re at home.  This is pretty much the same as being at work, my friend.  You’re there so often that it’s just kind of repetitive to let your social network know every time you arrive.  Unless you just got out of prison, home is kind of a given.  BUT you get EXTRA points for checking in at home if you ESCAPED from prison!

You are at your mom’s house.  Unless she lives in Japan or on the moon, or you haven’t spoken to her in over a decade, your mom’s house is kind of like your house.  Exceptions include if your mother is some kind of celebrity, or you didn’t know this person was your mother until recently.

You are at the mall.  No exceptions.  Just, never tell me.  Tiffy, you can be the worst.

You are having some kind of routine medical exam or dental cleaning or something.  Do you honestly think people care?  We assume you’re keeping yourself in working order, and you can feel free to assume the same about us without a play-by-play of what gets a check-up when.

You are eating something boring.  If you’re having an amazing dinner at Tru, or eating shark, or opening that can of anchovies that expired in 2006 just to see what happens, tell me.  If you’re eating any combination of the following, don’t tell me: sandwich, salad, apple, chips, spaghetti, cheddar, Mr. Pibb, Applebees.  This is a non-inclusive list of boring foods, but I think you get where I’m going.  Everyone eats, Tiffy.

You go to this place every day.  If you get a cup coffee at the same Starbucks every morning, I don’t care.  If you eat lunch on the same bench every day, shut up.  If you tumble out of the same bar each and every night… get help.  But still don’t tell me.  Tiffy, I’m concerned.

This is a by-no-means exhaustive list of the kinds of places and activities that do not need to be shared on Facebook, Twitter, or FourSquare.

I know that in our confessional culture, it can be hard to recognize when you have over-shared or over-bored on your profiles, but I am here to help with a little trick.  When writing plays, many playwrights will ask the question “why this day?”  That is to say, “what happens on this day that is different from any other, that makes it worth dramatizing?”  This might be a good guideline to keep in the back of your head, Tiffy, in future.  The next time you are about to let your 2,389 friends know that you just got to work at the regular time and you’re eating oatmeal again, ponder if someone would want to write a play (or even a commercial) about this moment.  If the answer is no, hold off on alerting us until you find a gold nugget in your oatmeal that’s so valuable you can quit your job, tap dance on the copier, and strip naked as you run for the elevator.

That, we’d all like to hear about.


  1. Please don’t check in if you are visiting my home. I don’t want the world and all your friends who I do not know to know my home address in such a public manner. Thank you for that courtesy. 🙂

  2. Sheesh. Amen. Consider the creep factor before checking in, please.

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