Checking in online isn’t quite the rage that it once was when people were checking in everywhere on Foursquare or Facebook, but it still somewhat popular. I still advise my clients to make sure they have their check-in accounts set up properly, and for some, I encourage them to be more active in encouraging people to check-in by offering different types of rewards. According to Pew, more than 18% of all smartphone users used check-in apps in 2012, up from 12% the previous year. That might not seem like a lot, but it really is quite a lot. In fact, this year, there are about 33-million people using Foursquare alone.
In the end, it’s up to the users to determine whether they see any value, either in rewards or just the gaming aspect of it, in checking in to various places of business. For some, it’s just a matter of keeping a record of what they are doing and where they have been. And check-ins are just relegated to physical places. With GetGlue you can check in to television shows, movies, and sporting events. With Untapped you can “check-in” to whatever beer you are drinking at the time. But clearly, there might be times you might not want to check-in to certain things on those apps. For instance, you might not want to admit to the Untapped crowd that you are hoisting an Old Milwaukee. And there are certain TV Shows or movies that might be embarrassing for you if you tell the world you’re watching them.
But for actual locations, there are some which are best left unsaid and unchecked-in. Here are 5 places where you might want to keep the smartphone in your pocket and avoid the embarrassment of telling the world where you are:
1. Funeral homes
It might seem a bit classless if you’re checking in to Uncle Andy’s funeral. Even more so if you’ve checked in enough to be Mayor of the place. Of course, if you’ve checked in that frequently, it probably means your at the age where more of your friends are dead than alive. And of course there’s also that final check-in, the one where you don’t check-out.
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2. Adult book store
We have two adult book stores a few blocks from each other in downtown Lancaster. I rarely see anyone going in or out of either of them, but when I do, they’re always looking around and lowering their heads, I presume for the purpose of not being seen. They don’t want their friends, coworkers, or even family members knowing where they are going. If that’s the case, you probably don’t want to check-in online and tell the entire world.
If people see you checking in to the local prison, there’s a good chance they won’t expect to see y0u checking in anywhere else anytime soon. At least for another five to ten. Best to just let them think that you’ve “gone on an extended vacation” somewhere. You know, rafting on the river rather than up the river.
4. Hair Club for Men
This actually goes for any sort of place where you’re getting any sort of “work” done, from body “enhancements” and tummy tucks to a new head of hair. Best to let them be surprised when they see you, rather than giving them the heads up before hand. Subtle is probably your best bet in these cases. If they’re gonna snicker and whisper, let them do it when you’re around, rather than before they see the finished “product.”
5. Unemployment office
It’s one thing for people to know you’re out of work, and a whole other thing to constantly remind them online. And again, becoming Mayor of the unemployment office as a result of being there too often might send the wrong message. Your goal is to get a job, not look as though you are completely unemployable.
Those are my choices for 5 places you might not want to check-in. What are your choices?