Standing on the rooftops
Everybody scream your heart out.
I think we’ve finally reached the point where Facebook check-ins have lost their allure.
People still do it all of the time, of course, but now tend to do it when they are at a place that is actually interesting. When check-ins became popular about four or five years ago, people were essentially checking in everywhere.
Any bar, store or restaurant we frequented was documented on Facebook. And I’m guilty of it, too. It was cool to be able to record your whereabouts at any given time, and simultaneously be able to publicize who you were with. The other part of it is to boast about your social life. In essence, by checking in at a bar with a bunch of friends, it’s like telling the Facebook world, “Yeah peeps, I go out on Friday nights and I have a bunch of friends, check it!”
Of course, it might not be so much that checking in has lost its luster than it is that people just lose their motivation to do it as they age. When you’re 26, it’s not as becoming to brag about being drunk on a Friday night than when you were 21.
So now people check-in mostly from interesting places. Sporting events, concerts, foreign cities are all included on that list. And bar-based check-ins have slowly faded.
But not all of them.
Again, being at bar is a pretty generic and unremarkable thing, so the majority of the time it isn’t worth a check-in. But there are some unique types of bars that people like to flaunt when they attend. Breweries are one. Beer gardens maybe.
And the most popular bar for checking in? Rooftop bars.
If somebody you know is at a rooftop bar, you absolutely can expect at least one check-in, one photo of the view from the rooftop, and another photo of the person with their friends on the rooftop, so as to confirm that they are there.
And I’m not trying to be too judgmental, because rooftop bars are pretty cool places. Especially in New York City where you gain a perspective of all the high-rise buildings that you wouldn’t see anywhere else.
They’re also pretty exclusive, too. I’ve only been on a legit rooftop bar — as in one at a fancy hotel — once in my life, and it was only because I was with a group of attractive girls at the time. A guy like me, who is not famous and doesn’t usually dress to impress, is going to have a hard time getting into such places unless he has some decent looking arm candy with him. But the one time I did go, it was pretty ballin’.
So because of all those factors — the view, the mystique, the exclusivity — I would bet money that everyone who has ever been to one of these places in the Facebook era has posted about it 100 percent of the time.
It’s almost as if you would think it’s mandatory. Like when the bouncers check your I.D., they also check your phone and refuse to let you in unless you show them that you checked in on Facebook. The check-in almost always comes with an obnoxious and ostentatious message along the lines of “Normal Friday night … Just chilling on a rooftop in NYC. #CityLiving #ILoveNewYork.”
It’s just not enough for people to stand near the edge of a tall building, absorb the magnificent view and internally acknowledge it in all of its awe. Instead, they must sabotage the moment by using their phones, essentially staring at a small screen instead of the beautiful landscape directly in front of them.
Again, a huge motivation for check-ins is to brag about where you are. So if people have the opportunity to brag about being on a rooftop bar in the most densely populated city in the world, then they are not going to pass up that opportunity. And the rest of us, as Facebook bystanders, simply have to live with it. Or utilize the “Hide” option in which we are allotted.
Which bears a thought — Facebook allows you to hide or block people, but it doesn’t allow you to block certain types of posts, regardless of who wrote it. Zuckerberg, get on that.
Anyway, maybe there has been one person in the world who went to New York City, got into a rooftop bar, looked at the view, shrugged, and kept their phone stowed away in their pocket during the entirety of their visit. But I have yet to meet that person, and until I do, I will safely assume that rooftop bar visits and Facebook check-ins go hand-in-hand like selfies and Sundays.
There’s no better way to describe the feeling of standing thousands of feet in the air then the way the Lostprophets do in their 2006 single, “Rooftops” (whose lyrics I also started this post with):
Standing on the rooftops
(Wait until the bombs drop)
This is all we got now
(Scream until your heart stops)
Never gonna regret
(Watching every sunset)
We’ll listen to your heartbeat
(All the love that we found)
Notice that nowhere in the song does it say, “Checking in on Facebook.”
The Lostprophets get it.