I don’t have an iPhone, but I know where to get one. When the humans are asleep, I wake up to play a little Plants vs. Zombies and see what my pack is doing on Twitter. My main human often takes this great bit of technology and places it conveniently in his back pocket, where I can mask my web surfing as a friendly sniff of his butt.
Recently, I jumped on the bandwagon and started using FourSquare, the location-based social network launched in 2009. After just a few days, I became mayor of several fire hydrants, two parks, and a trash can.
With Foursquare, dogs can “check in” at any location, sending a GPS coordinate to the central server and keeping track of how many times you have visited that place. Once you earn enough points, you are proclaimed the “Mayor” of that location, sometimes earning a special treat from that business as a reward. There is a gaming element to the service, allowing you to earn badges for meeting specific achievements — like “Cat Chaser,” for taking a mayorship away from a dirty feline — thus motivating you to keep checking in.
There are some concerns among dogs about sharing one’s location with the rest of the world. In addition to the fears of stalking (I’m always thinking someone is following me), dogs are concerned that all of the best spots in the territory will be challenged if one is not there to pee on some landmark. While some humans get it, most don’t understand the growing importance of dog culture in today’s — SQUIRREL!
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