location-based media

Are social media deepening nutritional inequalities?

CNN’s food blog Eatocracy has joined forces with the popular location-based social networking service Foursquare to launch a new healthy eating campaign. The concept is very simple: people are encouraged to check in local farmers markets to unlock special ‘Healthy Eater’ badges. The  mix of emulation and status anxiety motivating most Foursquare users should expose them to nutritionally correct environments. It should also provide CNN journalists with something to talk about (I was gonna say ‘something to sink their teeth into’) for a week-long series dedicated to tomatoes and jovial shopkeepers.

If you detect a little sarcasm in my prose, it is not because of the unlabored definition of health that such intiative seems to promote. CNN might be perpetuating the stereotype that ‘healthy’ equates to ‘fruit and vegetables’. But, as far as social media are concerned, this is as good as it gets when it comes to health information campaigns.


Christopher Columbus's Foursquare Badge

For those of you who don’t know what the hell this is about, here’s a link to today’s news story about the first man checking at the North Pole on the popular location-based social networking service Foursquare. This image is what art critics might call “a harsh social commentary”. Also, it is what I call “just a cheap trick, ’cause I’m too lazy to write an entire blog post about this stuff” ;).


What if…