The Untappd check-out


Walking away from Untappd was something that had been brewing for quite a while. I had realised I used it quite anti-socially; I didn’t leave messages on other users’ check-ins and, frankly, couldn’t be arsed toasting them any more either.

As to my own check-ins, well I didn’t leave any tasting notes, star ratings or even a location where I drank a particular beer. All I would do was open a beer and then look for it on Untappd, check it in and then drink the beer. Untappd for me had become nothing more than a fancy way of keeping tabs of the range of beers I had tried. And, to be honest, I didn’t really care to do that any more. No matter how many new badges Untappd created.

I observed a few interesting changes in my behaviour after giving up that app. It occurred just before I received my order from TruBru of their selection of GABS beers. So my first reaction was – no word of a lie – ‘‘What’s the point of drinking these if I can’t tell people I am drinking them?’’. Yep, the urge to share a check-in via Twitter had someone become more important that the enjoyment of the beer itself. It was as though the beer wasn’t as enjoyable if I couldn’t tell someone else I was drinking it.

At the time it felt like a real issue. But, after a while, I realised I was being totally stupid. Since then, I can actually say it’s been quite a pleasure to sip from a beer without needing to reach for the mobile phone to complete the once-obligatory check-in.

Related to this, I also found a decline in any urge to try a new beer. Yes, because I no longer had any need for unique check-ins. There was a time when I would buy any new beer I saw, largely because of the unique check-in possibilities. But with that urge gone, I was able to pass by some of those beers.

Which beers did I buy instead? Ones I had actually had before and enjoyed. With Untappd, they would have felt like a ‘‘wasted’’ beer, because I couldn’t get a new check-in. Without Untappd, it didn’t matter – I could drink whatever beer I wanted.

In fact, it wasn’t until I’d given Untappd the flick that I really noticed this subtle influence on my beer-buying habits. Now I no longer go hunting through bottle shops for new, different beers. Nor do I pay attention to the Dan Murphy’s website to see if they’ve got new stock in.

Now, I can drink whatever I want, free of some stupid urge to tick off the beer on some website that rewards – nay, encourages – unnecessary drinking by rewarding us with stupid little badges.

Speaking of which, I’ve probably now got the ‘‘I Quit Untappd’’ badge. You know they probably have one of those too.

Categories: Untappd

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7 replies »

  1. Wow – big call. I get some of your sentiments, but for me the positives outweigh the negatives. I’ve practically given up the toasting thing, and the badges are wasted on me. Still love the pursuit of uniques and the celebration of another century.

    • I just gave it away because I no longer saw the point in it. But if others like it, then that’s fine – they can use it.
      The post wasn’t saying Untappd is stupid and no one should use it, so I hope I haven’t given that impression. I just found it was no longer for me.

  2. You’ve earned the “Untppd Misses you Badge”
    It’s antisocial and yes as you point out, & its about “boasting” on twitter, or filling twitter feeds with how much one is drinking.
    I started using after using an App at GABS and then got bored pretty quickly.

    I am interested when friends are drinking Unique or strange beers and share it on Twitter, but not 55 updates from an app.

    • Since giving it up, I have occasionally tweeted a brewery direct to compliment them on a beer. And, somehow, I felt that approach more satisfying than the indirect Untappd check-in.

  3. Interesting read. As you mention, I enjoy Untappd because it let’s me keep track of all of the beers I’ve had. Couldn’t give two hoots about badges, and do the occasional toast.

    You’re comments also allude to something, let’s call it the “craft beer drinker lifecycle”. When you initially get into craft beer you’re intrigued by lighter, different tasting beers > pushing forwards to something a little more out there > trying as many unique beers as you can > going more ‘extreme’ > settling back with what you like (oldies but goodies). Would be interesting to see how many other people have had similar experiences to you.

  4. Pingback: 1000 and Out |

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