Different Ways Consumers Are Using Social Media

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So I was thinking about all of the people checking into 4square, using Twitter and Facebook and other social media sites and realized that although there was one intended use for it, they have started to evolve into other things.  For example, a large group of friends and I went to the beach this past weekend and we ended up using Social Media to help find our way around.  The funny thing is that we used Social Media in a completely different way than we were supposed to. Let’s use 4Square and dinner as an example.

When we were at a happy hour and thinking about where to go to dinner, my friend checked into the bar and was trying to become the Mayor.  Although he did not succeed, while he was checking in he did ask where everyone wanted to go for dinner.  No one could make up their mind so I asked him to see what was around us on 4Square and then lets try whatever has the most or close to the most check ins…obviously it would be popular for one reason or another.   4Square instantly became a restaurant and club locator for us and we ended up finding a cool new bar and a great new restaurant to eat at.

Another funny thing I saw happen with 4Square was at Affiliate Summit.  Someone set up a location in the lunch room as someone’s *ss.  Although disturbing to think about when you’re eating lunch and childish…it was sort of funny and people started to check into that person’s *ss for lunch to become the mayor of it.  What got me thinking after that was that you could use 4Square for a ton of different social purposes.

Why not set up a location as someone’s heart and then have everyone you know watch your location and when you ask your partner to Marry you you can check into their heart if they say yes and you can check into their *ss if they say no.  Sorry, had to throw that one in there again.  Another funny application and social media tool that I found this weekend was from my gay friends.  It is an iPhone app called Grinder and my friend Kim and I got hooked.

What Grinder does is it uses your location to tell you when other gay men are logged into the application and are close to you.  It actually pulls up the pictures that they have uploaded and tells you how many feet away they are from you.  Kim and I ended up getting hooked on this application and we kept looking for people all night when we would be in restaurants and in clubs just to see if they looked like their pics or if they were scouting out people too.  Not only was it addictive but our one friend ended up showing us how he uses it to keep tabs on his boyfriend and how he uses it to find him in night clubs.

Both of them will log in before one goes out.  When they are out they’ll use it to find each other and then also to tell where the other one is by seeing how many feet apart they are and if they are moving closer or farther away when they are walking around.  The other way that they may use it is to see if the one is cheating or not by popping up without the other one knowing they are at the same club and seeing if they are logged in and finding them on the dance floor or not at the club at all.  Even if the application isn’t necessarily for you, it was fun to play with regardless.  We ended up setting up a couple of fake accounts and took pictures of random things in our beach house to upload and oddly enough we got some messages back including someone who had stayed at the house we rented before.  It was way to fun and we ended up meeting a bunch of new people and became friends with them.  It turned into a friend locater inside nightclubs and a boyfriend finder.

Twitter also became a huge thing for us this weekend.  We ended up using it when we couldn’t get a hold of our friends at the beach to find out what the weather was like.

What we did was tweet out a couple of questions like “What is the weather like in ^%&^$(&^$( Beach?” and then we started to get people tweeting back to us letting us know that the hurricane not only passed already but that it was pretty harmless.  We used twitter to find out what the traffic was like when we got to a huge bridge that is normally stop and go traffic and we also used twitter to remind our very egotistical friends to pick up the right food at the store.

It is kind of funny how Social Media changes depending on how the person using it uses it.  You take something that is normally just fun to check in and show everyone where you are and turn it into a restaurant locator.  You can also then turn it into a romantic way to tell your whole family that you’re engaged or that he or she said yes.  Social Media has taken over the world and is absolutely a fun and now useful thing that most of us would not be able to live or function without.  Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have another way that you use social media even though it may not be the way the social media site or application was intended to be used.

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