Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Foursquare Flirting... Do’s and Don’ts

You’re in a bar or restaurant, waiting for a friend to arrive. You take out your phone to check in on Foursquare, and when the “who’s here” list pops up, you notice an incredible hottie. You look to your left. There they are, in the flesh! They’re even better looking than their picture. Do you make a move?

Five years ago, it would’ve seemed bizarre to imagine checking your phone to see what attractive strangers are in the bar with you, but today, it’s commonplace. As the web has gotten increasingly social, it’s become acceptable to scope strangers online using internet dating. But is it really a good idea to use Foursquare to flirt with strangers in person?

In a word: yes. Using Foursquare to target and approach someone is superior to craning your neck around the bar, for three reasons.

  1. It gives you a legitimate reason to introduce yourself to someone, and it’s a natural conversation starter. (Sure, you could make something up, but lying in a pickup scenario only works if you’re smooth as butter.)
  2. Social media sites attract social people. A guy who makes a habit of logging his every bar hop is more likely to be open to a conversation with a total stranger than someone who’s more private.
  3. It takes the awkwardness out of “asking for her number.” On Foursquare, the groundwork for exchanging contact info is already laid for you. If the conversation goes well, you can friend one another on Foursquare, and from Foursquare, you can follow that cutie on Facebook and Twitter. It gets you “in” with a minimum of awkwardness or pressure.

That said, Foursquare flirting is a great way to meet people, but it’s best approached with a little caution. Some people don’t think carefully through the privacy issues involved in publicly posting their locations, and they might be put off or creeped out by a stranger approaching them. You run the risk of catching the other person off-guard, and you may tap into some hidden paranoia about privacy. It’s their information (even if they’ve splashed it all over the internet themselves), and the more respectful you are of that fact, the better your chances.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for approaching a stranger who you’ve just seen on Foursquare:

The Approach
DO acknowledge that it’s unusual. No one wants their pickup line to fall flat, and Foursquare flirting risks catching your cutie off-guard. The best way to combat potential weirdness is to say, “Hey, I know this is a little unusual, but I just checked in on Foursquare and I think I saw your pic. You’re on it, too, right?”

DON’T try to be mysterious or clever with your Foursquare info. Want to creep any girl out? Approach her with info she hasn’t given you (her name, nickname, last initial, where she likes to hang out) and refuse to tell her how you got the info. Trust me, this is not cute or flirty. It’s unnerving, and it’s going to make her guarded and suspicious. When flirting with a Foursquare stranger, it’s best to be friendly and straightforward. Don’t “tease” her or refuse to disclose how you know so much about her… chances are, she’s not going to be amused.

The Convo
DO move the conversation toward things you don’t already know. Sure, you’ve got information about her sitting literally in the palm of your hand. Resist the urge to use it to move the conversation along. Instead, use the Foursquare connection only to introduce yourself, and then immediately segue into conversations about the real world… the bar you’re in, the pizza place across the street, the earrings she’s wearing, whatever. Just be real.

DON’T use Foursquare (or your phone) as a crutch. Once you’ve gotten her attention, put the phone away. Do not – I repeat – do not take this opportunity to frantically scroll on your phone and say, “Oh, wow, I see that you’re the mayor of … uh … six places. I guess you go out a lot!” That’s awkward. It moves you from “guy with a good opener” to “guy with no social skills” in seconds.

The Connection
DON’T assume. It’s impolite to assume that just because a stranger has been civil to you in a bar that they want to continue the conversation at a later date. Lots of people enjoy ephemeral bar conversations, and may plan to chat with you a bit and then move on. You’re not best friends just because you both use Foursquare. You’re still a stranger they’ve known for half an hour. Act like it!

DO cement the connection casually. If you’ve had a great conversation, close things out by saying, “Hey, I had a lot of fun talking to you. Would you mind if I friended you on Foursquare?” They’re probably going to say yes, because it’s awkward to say no. That’s why this next step is very important.

DO leave them an easy out. If they agree to be Foursquare friends, just say, “Great, I’ll add you!” Do not whip out your phone and add them on the spot, as that puts pressure on them to take their phone out and accept the request. This little bit of social grace allows them to back out of the Friend Accept later if they’re just saying they’ll add you right now to be polite. (You do only want to talk to people who actually want to talk to you, right? If they don’t follow through and accept the request, at least you know where you stand.)

And that’s how you use Foursquare to flirt. Hope these tips help. Do “check-in” with us and let us know how it goes for you!

SOURCE: Techcoquette.com

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