Friday, September 30, 2005

My Distate for Animals and My Indifference to Friendster

1. Newsflash: I am not an animal-lover.
People I know tend to be surprised when they learn that I am not a fan of dogs, cats, or any pets for that matter. Somehow this fact is idiosyncratic with the rest of my personality. Folks seem to assume that I love animals as much as, or perhaps more than, the next person. Au contraire. I enjoy the idea of animals in the wild and used to love going to the zoo to look at the tapir. When it comes to dogs or even "cute little puppies" coming near me however, I would rather they stay away. There are a few of reasons for this.
a. For one thing, I was a very small child. As a little kid, most dogs towered over me. When my parents took me to places with dogs, they barked and freaked me out. They slobbered over me. They generally smell b-a-d. I've never really gotten over this.*
b. My father detests cats. My yia-yia does too. From a young age I was reared to think that they were dirty and to be avoided. That impression/indoctrination has stuck with me.
c. I'm kind of allergic to dogs which poses a natural deterrent.
d. Personally, and most likely for the aforementioned reasons, I can't think of a good rationale for spending all sorts of time and money on a pet. Why not buy a new pair of sneakers, spend time with a friend? That said, even I might make an exception if the pet were purchased from "Wet Pets San Pablo." That place is deserving of anyone's patronage solely because of their fantastic home-video-esque commercials. Perhaps I'll make a trip soon.

2. Major Shakeup at Friendster: This morning right before Fed Courts started I was shocked to learn about a new feature on Friendster. You can now view who has looked at your profile in the past month. Shockingly, this can be quite a few people. Interestingly, I just discovered, that this log builds up over the course of a month but is deleted immediately at the month's end. Now that it's October (by a mere forty minutes) I cannot see who viewed my profile in September. This must be Friendster's version of a perverse notice requirement. By that I mean that the Friendster folks introduced this feature at the very end of the month to titillate their users but provide very little satisfaction. Also, in so doing, they warned people that now their "stalking" actions are subject to scrutiny by the very objects of their curiosity or obsession.

The general sense I'm getting about this feature is that it's pretty devastating for people. It takes the fun out of the anonymity of Frienster, that sneaky sense of snooping with no possibility of detection. The person who revealed the feature to me was devastated and, as the following transcript of an AIM conversation with another Friendster demonstrates, this will likely have a chilling effect on dating. I may go so far as to predict the demise of Friendster.

Dirtina's high school pal, and coincidentally Friendster (DHSP): some girl named "Arlene"** bookmarked me
Dirtina (D): how exciting
(DHSP): i don't want to look at her profile though
(D): i know, it's a total trap!
(DHSP): because then i'll be the one guy [in october] who looked at her profile
(D): exactly


* Noted exceptions: Otto & Gretta, the best Beagles in the world. Distinct personalities in their own right. RIP.
** Names have been changed to protect the innocent.


Anonymous said...

Just so you know, you can go into your profile and turn off that feature. Maybe if we all do, they'll take it off.

Anonymous said...

Quick, somebody call EFF!

dirteens said...

anonymous - thanks for the tip. i investigated and while i cannot find this elusive anonymity feature, it looks like everyone else did. the six people who have looked at my profile since friday night are not visible to me (those wily bastards).

same anon said...

Go to My profile, then edit profile, then edit account. You can scroll down to "view profiles anonymously" and change the answer to yes.

Dont' worry, I was freaking too. Must continue to stalk!

Greg Mills said...

The Wet Pets commercial is really the best thing going on television, even perhaps in Western Culture. And I say this as an expert.

Woefully unuploaded to YouTube.