In the last week I’ve created accounts on two different social networking sites.

The first was Goodreads.  I’ve been avoiding it for fear of spending all day in book gluttony when I do, in fact, have other things I need to do with my time.  Having signed up now, I see the potential for wandering around the house with my laptop and entering all my books, but I’m not really tempted to do it.  And given that I have a very long list of books I plan to read, I’m having the opposite of my expected reaction: I’m not really sure what the point of it is.  I’ll keep poking at it, (especially if the consulting people keep pulling me in to pointless phone calls) but I don’t think I need to have worried about gluttony.  That said, if you’re on there, wanna be friends?  You can find me under the cleverly stealthy username of Anaea Lay.

One really cool thing about Good Reads – right after I signed up it asked me, “Are you the Anaea Lay who wrote that earth shatteringly brilliant story published in Apex last June?  If so, we’ve got all kinds of extra features for you.”  It may not have been worded quite like that, but I’m sure I’ve accurately rendered the underlying sentiment.

The other site I joined was OkCupid.  This was definitely a consequence of “Everybody else is doing it,” and “My roommates are never home.  It’s just me and the caaaat.”  Which I’m enjoying quite a lot, but I was concerned about a few weeks from now when I feel an urge to be social, but there’s nobody to pick on.  So I did the logical thing and joined a dating site to look for friends.

That’s, uhm, well, I didn’t think that through too well.  For some reason people who contact me are pretty clearly looking for dates, despite my profile making it pretty clear that I am not.  I didn’t particularly want to insert a, “I find dating extraordinarily creepy and don’t want it anywhere near me,” but may have to if I’m going to get any mileage out of the site.

It has been a fascinating exercise in confirming my prejudices, though.  OkCupid might say we’re a 99% match, but I’m still perfectly willing to reject you as worth interacting with once you mention depression, hating Southerners, or your shallow understanding of politics fueling your desire to light conservatives on fire.  Depression is boring, I am a Southerner, and I like setting people who take action based on shallow understandings on fire.  So I’m definitely still me.  That’s good to know.

After the first onslaught of messages freaked me out (Why are they telling me about their new house and financial stability?  I just want to play boardgames and gossip about the publishing industry) I’ve instituted a “Reply to all messages,” policy.  Given that it’s anonymous, and they started it, I also implemented a “Reply with exactly what you think based on their message,” policy.  I doubt OkCupid can track message content and give a “Tactless and cruel” award, but I’m likely to earn it if they do.

But hey, somebody needed to tell that guy that “I’m looking to cure my depression,” was not a good way to pick up girls.  It’s a public service, really!

One thought on “Social Networking

  1. I signed up for GoodReads a couple years ago and have done approximately nothing with it. The startup effort of putting in everything you’ve read is way too intimidating, and then I never bothered putting in new things I read.

    Actually, by telling depresso-oversharing boy not to overshare, I think you’ve done him a service and the female population of OKCupid a disservice – now how are they supposed to instantly know to run screaming?

    Given what passes for conservatism in the mainstream media, I can see disliking them as a group if you live in an area that doesn’t have any of the good kind of conservatives (yknow, the kind that can do math and hold a conversation with people who don’t completely agree with them) left. Saying you want to set people on fire, however, falls into the same category as talking about your depression to total strangers – making your mental disturbances the center-front of your personality is pretty darn off-putting no matter what those mental disturbances are.

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