Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Being Wanted

datingA dating website, for which I'm a member of (I'm thinking about deleting my account because of reasons...), has this "meet me" feature. You're shown a photo and then click "Yes", "No" or "Maybe" to the question "Would you like to meet this person?". If you click on yes, that person gets a notification.

I've had a look at it myself and find myself clicking on their profile to have a look before clicking.

Every so often I get an email telling me that someone clicked yes! Someone wants to meet me! And I find myself horribly disappointed that they didn't have a look at my profile before making that choice. Actually - back it up a bit. I didn't realise what was happening until one of them said to me "I think you're hot. Take the complement". So they're going purely on my profile pictures. It's flattering... but it's kind of creepy. Kind of like being honked at when walking down the street. What are you expecting to happen? That we'll suddenly become soul mates? Things you'll never hear said seriously:
"Here I've been waiting all of my life for someone, just as creepy as you, to wolf whistle at me without knowing anything about me."
datingWhich has me thinking... if only they knew ANYTHING about me. I'm not just a pretty face! I'm horrendously opinionated and a bit of a hippy. Oh and I look quite different now - I no longer have the beard (I decided it was making me look old).

But I digress. I was thinking that this just HAS to turn into a blog post. And then I got an email. I've been having issues with accounts. Everyone wants me to have an account with them! In this case, I had wanted to download a file and they insisted that I needed an account to download. The email today was to tell me that they were closing my account for inactivity.... Which is funny because I never wanted the freakin' account in the first place.

Google want me (and everyone else) on Google+. Hell, we're all probably wanted on a whole range of things that none of us really want. This has me thinking about the terms and conditions that I agree to to do the simplest of things. Leaving a comment on a blog has lead me to get a Disqus and Wordpress account. Asking questions about the Chromebook is made somewhat more difficult given that I would need to have a Google+ account to talk to those in the know. I sometimes find myself creating an account just to see if something can be shipped to New Zealand at a reasonable rate. Downloading a file landed me with a 4shared account. These are trivial activities.

Which leads me to wonder, what have I agreed to? What is so valuable about having me as a member that has Internet services everywhere making me sign up and agree to the mostly unread (I only really read terms and conditions when it comes to agreeing to them on other people's behalf. For example, I would highlight any problems with terms and conditions when teachers suddenly decided they were going to use an online services and thereby agree to those terms and conditions on the kid's behalf) EULA and things of that ilk just to do the most trivial of tasks.

I was talking to a friend about a documentary called "Terms and Conditions May Apply" (Ironically, if you want to see the film you're kind of stuck with having to agree with Vimeo's terms and conditions). I highly recommend watching it. In it they say it would take a month, working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, every year to read all of the terms and conditions that we agree to. The friend reckoned that it was untrue as that was assuming that we apply to all of the big services out there. Given the amount of, what I could consider to be micro-services relatively speaking, I would probably estimate that figure to be higher... Think about it. Every time you buy something... Every which way you communicate on the web... When you use an application (whether online or not), you've agreed to a set of terms and conditions that you've probably never read.

I know that I'm wanted. The question is "Why?".

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