CouchCachet wants to help you out. You want to spend your Friday night watching Freaks and Geeks on Netflix, but you don’t want your friends to think you’re lame, nor do you wish to be bested by whatever cool thing they are doing that night. Enter CouchCachet, the new application that, used in conjunction with Foursquare, checks you in at cool events happening around town, even though you are actually snuggled up in bed.
The website asks:
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an app that showed you all of the cool parties, bars and restaurants that you could be hitting tonight? Of course it would. But you know what would be even better? A social application that will lie and say you are already doing those things while you sit at home in your pajamas.
Brian Fountain, one of CouchCachet’s creators, says the app was intended as a joke but also to address the issue of FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. Sometimes social media seems only to exist for people to brag about how amazing their life is, how cute their dog is and how much deliciously photogenic food they consume. This can make their followers/friends feel bad. We all live internet lives, where we present the best version of ourselves on the web, and when we see everyone else having more fun than us, we experience anxiety and FOMO. Says Fountain:
‘FOMO’ is the label we’ve given to describe that weird feeling you have about whether you should be out having a good time. Seeing all the things that you’re friends are doing in your news feed just aggravates that condition. And yet we all have times where we want to be boring and lame and catch up on our DVR.
The app allows you to fake the social life that all your friends are having. ‘It’s life without the hassle of living.’ Once signed in, users can choose what kind of night they want to ‘have’ from Artsy Fartsy to Outdoorsy.
There is no fear of getting caught, since the app automatically chooses venues that your friends have never checked into before, and hopefully won’t check into later that night. To make your night seem more authentic, it also connects to other social media applications to tweet lyrics from that concert you are supposedly at or to post pictures of cool people having fun on your Instagram.
Clearly it is tongue-in-cheek, but rather than reducing FOMO it seems more likely to enhance it. Not only are you not going out, but now you are lying about it, which brings on a whole new realm of social awkwardness. But you know what? All your friends who went to that Lumineers concert last week? They were probably all at home watching Downton Abbey just like you.