“Place-dropping”: the new social currency?

You just landed in Paris. What’s the first thing you do? Head for the passport line? Withdraw some money at the ATM? How about updating your Twitter/Facebook status? It’s called ‘place-dropping,’ an increasingly popular form of “digital bragging” about where you’ve been online. With many of us carrying laptops, checking mobile phones and using location services, it’s easier than ever before to log on and update our status, notifying our friends back home about our adventures. But is there a difference between simply sharing news and simply being obnoxious?

Like so much of social media etiquette, the proper rules of place dropping are still up for debate. Writer Spud Hilton took a stab at laying some ground rules in a place-dropping article on World Hum last month, suggesting a good place drop “conveys you were there” but doesn’t “overplay your hand.” But Hilton is talking mostly about place dropping during face-to-face conversations. What about doing it online? In some cases, there’s justification. For instance updating curious friends and anxious family members on where you are. For frequent travelers, a place drop is also a research tool. I often sent requests for destination insights during my recent trip to Southeast Asia. And it’s a handy way to find travel friends who are nearby.

Yet place dropping has limits. It prevents us from truly immersing and enjoying ourselves in our destinations. And if done excessively on social media, place-dropping alienates friends and followers. At a time when we can get anywhere on earth in 24 hours or less, it also seems increasingly redundant.

What do you think about place dropping? Is it just a sign of our ever-more-connected global lifestyle? Or something more heinous? Leave us a comment to start the discussion.Related:
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Before you go, be sure to check out Travel Talk, in which the guys visit the spiciest restaurant in NYC — try to slake their thirst with beer.