Many people are probably aware of the social media service “foursquare”, for those not in the know Wikipedia says:
Foursquare is a location-based social networking website for mobile devices, such as smartphones. Users “check in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby. Location is based on GPS hardware in the mobile device or network location provided by the application. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes “badges”.
Now I have never used this service since even rocks call me sedentary in my ways. When I am not working in front of a computer monitor, I am likely to be behind a book and so my check-in history would be rather repetitive and extremely boring.
This social networking service does make me wish for a different type of service that would be more useful than letting your friends know what store or restaurant you are currently are visiting.
What I would like to see a service called;
But of course with a logo that doesn’t suck.
Now I would envision prayersquare as the place to check-in with your private and liturgical prayers. You could then follow the prayer activity of fellow members of the body of Christ and have events such as:
- Praying the Sorrowful mysteries.
- Attending daily Mass.
- Reading the Office of Reading in the Liturgy of the Hours.
- Praying for the repose of the soul of my loved ones.
- Prayerfully preparing for the Sacrament of Confession.
- Praying before the Blessed Sacrament.
Though this would have to be social networking with a twist. Your prayersquare account would have to be totally anonymous to discourage people bragging about how pious they are. Not much point in bragging like the Pharisees about how much they contributed to the Temple. Seeing the prayer activity of others would help encourage people to join in and pray themselves.
I can also envision some cutting edge technological integration to make checking in of prayer easier.
- Mobile phone Liturgy of the Hours apps such as iBreviary and Unversalis could have prayersquare integration and as you read through the various hours it posts your prayer check-in.
- Wi-Fi enabled and touch sensitive Rosaries could check in after a decade or a set of mysteries.
- Location aware phone apps could check you in when you go to your parish.
- Logos bible software integration.
- Phone personal assistant applications like Siri could detect prayer ejaculations and check them in. Though it would have to have a “Jesus prayer” filter so as not to check-in every utterance of this prayer so as to not clog up the prayersquare timeline.
Like foursquare there could also be achievements. For example:
- Volunteered for 3 AM adoration in the Blessed Sacrament chapel.
- Found a priest giving confession out of the hours of 5 to 5:30 PM on Saturday.
- Graduated from the purgative way to the illuminative way.
- Found a spiritual directory that doesn’t believe in that anonymous Christian crap.
- Read the Catechism in a Year via flocknote.
- Actually “prayed attention” during Mass.
Now of course this post is firmly tongue-in-cheek, but really I wish a service like this existed.