Disclaimer: The term “check-in” will be used multiple times in this blog. Kindly bear with me!
Rohan added a life event to his timeline – “Got married to Shruti.”
You would have seen this status message or the likes, if you too are bitten by the Facebook bug. Well, wedding and engagement announcements did top the list of life events Facebookers added to their timelines in 2013. But what followed it closely at number 2, was Travel. Checking in to an exotic destination and posting a selfie (again, the word that dominated the year gone by) was all over Facebookwalls.
Ever wondered, why people share where they are with the world at all costs and at all times? I have seen people use location tagging while walking, crossing the road, climbing stairs, in the lift and sometimes even when one’s food is going cold.
Naturally, my curiosity was piqued. So, I decided to speak to some friends, colleagues, relatives and acquaintances to unearth the reasons and here is what I found:
1. For chance meet-ups
So, this smart and extremely social lot checks-in to let people know where they are. And if by chance, any of their friends (and not relatives) happens to be at the same place, they can catch-up.
2. To maintain a personal travel diary
This category comprises the lazy bunch. They feel that it’s always a good idea to check-in while travelling because it serves as a diary for ‘personal travel history.’ They simply derive pleasure out of scrolling through their Facebook timelines post the trip and get reminded of where all they have travelled. (You don’t need a diary, but almonds, instead!)
3. Sharing is caring
This is the ‘well-wisher’ chunk. “I check-in when I discover some unusual/funny/unique place to let my friends know of it and inspire them to visit the place too,” said Devang, a chartered accountant who loves travelling.
Yes, indeed! This group feels that it’s not just shopping, food and gaming (I’m suffering from the Candy Crush game addiction of late) that one can get addicted to. Check-ins too have joined the race as they are a pure form of addiction and nothing else. People just pull out their smart phones and check-in invariably wherever they go, without even thinking why!
And keeping the tradition of saving the best for the last, here’s the main reason why check-ins have become an integral part of our social lives. People I spoke to did not refrain from using these statements: “I want people to feel jealous when I visit an exotic place”; “I love showing-off to the world and that’s the ONLY reason I always use location tagging”; “Narcissist, call me that”; “Gives me a sense of satisfaction and pleasure to see the number of likes and comments when I post travel pictures”; “I want people to know how exciting my life is.” (Well, whatever makes you happy!)
That’s about those who derive a feel-good factor from check-ins. But did you know there are folks who consciously refrain from check-ins? I’ll cover that in my next blog. Till then, you tell me whether you fall in any of the above categories or you have a different reason for check-ins?