Saturday, September 8, 2018

Quit Following Me, I'm Not Going Anywhere

My computer worries about me a little. So every now and then it will pop up and say "The website you are trying to infiltrate may contain third-party pansy pox. Do you want to continue anyway?" And I guess I say "Sure, why not" enough times that now it only offers bulletins sporadically.

Didn't have a thing to say, for instance, about the thing you click on to find out what your Medieval Warlord name is, which is obviously super cool and which you can get just by typing in your mother's maiden name, your first pet, and the last eight digits of your Social Security number. (It was dumb, though. I had to put in every pet I ever had plus my anniversary before it came up with something Nordic. All hail Canute the Credulous!)

I don't really go online much. Not much more than five or ten hours a day all told, and a lot of those hours I would probably have wasted digging for earwax. So I don't know all the stuff that's out there. I am comfortable enough with Facebook. Facebook is where all the baby boomers went to find out if the guy in high school was still really cute, and then stuck around when he wasn't, because it was sort of reassuring. Also, it's a place to go if you like to see complete sentences. But the rest of the social media thingies are a mystery. I did get a Twitter account because evidently nobody will read your books if you don't have a bunch of people following your every chirp, but it was incomprehensibly boring and I ignore it. I'm trying to pretend I never joined LinkedIn because I have no interest in finding a job. I don't know what Snapchat and Instagram are and have no curiosity about them at all.

But then my computer started with new warnings. Not popup ones, either--actual emails someone took the time to write, just for me. At first the emails suggested I might be interested in something called Quora. Then it kept coming up with names of friends of mine who like Quora, and started wheedling. Wouldn't I like to join them? Not really. It's probably some social medium where you can share smeary photos of the left-most portion of your dinner, fork-side, with ironic captions containing only the initial letters of a sentence, not to exceed twelve characters.

So I ignored all these obvious attempts to grab my attention. My attention deficits are working in my favor these days.

Still came the increasingly earnest messages about the desirability of Quora, and then they started in with the warnings. "Sally Spankmeister followed you on Quora," they said. "Frank Fuddleton followed you on Quora," they said. Day after day.

But I've never been anywhere near Quora. I don't even have the passport. And note the past tense. These people are not following me on Quora: there's no opportunity to whip around and catch them at it. No. They followed me. They stalked me. Without my knowledge. Or is being on Quora like being on methadone? Maybe I have to go to Quora with a big stick and start peeking behind the hedges. But I know what would happen then:

"Welcome to Quora. Gotcha!"

36 comments:

  1. I've not heard of Quora until now, it's a new one that hasn't reached Australia yet, although it probably will after this comment. I get weird emails about sites where people have linked to me, and most of them go straight to my spam filter, so I don't see them until I get in there and delete everything without even reading it.

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    1. Wait! Your true love was in that spam filter! Also, someone who wanted to give you a million bucks!

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  2. So did you finally break down and have a look? I had to Google Quora, and although I'm skeptical ("anyone can answer anybody's questions"? "a cross between Twitter and Facebook"???) I wouldn't mind if YOU joined up and then told us how good/bad it is!

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    1. Yeah, no. I already hate the sites where random ignorant people answer your questions. I think this is one of those.

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  3. I used to think there were no stupid questions until I started reading Quora. You will find some of the most ignorant and dumb-ass questions you can imagine right there for everyone to read. It's entertaining for a few minutes, but quickly fades back into the social media black hole.

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    1. Thanks for the report from the front lines, Jono.

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  4. I hate that. This is funny, but I hate that sites do this. When your friend sign up for sites like Quora, it asks them if they want to add their friends. It then goes through their contact list and automatically adds friends, based on email accounts even if they don't have a Quora account.

    Instangram is even worse. It tries to do that based on telephone contacts. I signed up for Instagram and it needed a phone number. I had a generic account that did not have my name attached to it but noticed that friends of mine were adding me, which was scary, before I realized why it happened.

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    1. Instagram is way more popular and I don't have ANY idea what it's about. My curiosity about it is quite low, too. I have this vague idea it's where you take a bunch of smeary pictures and throw them out there for no reason.

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    2. I found LinkedIn super creepy the very first time I sipped from that cup. It took me even less time to withdraw from that than it did to get out of FB. The worst part was when I mentioned an invitation an acquaintance supposedly sent me (years after killing off any LI connections, I thought), and she said she hadn't instigated it. It was all the software, creeping through the ether, finding tenuous footholds.... (Oooh! We need a movie, starring Jeff Goldblum!!)

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    3. No we don't! We totally do not need a movie starring Jeff Goldblum!

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    4. What's wrong with Jeff Goldblum? I mean, he used to be cute. But then I saw on Face Book that he's aged just like the rest of us. So now I want to see him in another movie, where I'll be reassured that everyone's good looks eventually fade.....

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  5. What in the ever+loving f*ck is Quora?

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    1. Evidently if you join Quora you can answer people's questions. And they can answer yours. I'm sure the quality control is super high.

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    2. Perhaps Unmitigated Me's question could be used as a test for Quora quality control?

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  6. I just started getting Quora but I don't know why. It goes directly into my junk folder and I haven't thought to open it to see what it is. Now I know I don't want to know. Thanks!

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  7. Thank you for the review, Murr. I think I can manage quite nicely without Quora. I use Bloglovin' to follow blogs but I'm a little leery -- every so often I'll get a notice from them saying that someone with a handle like "sweetpea@___.ru" is following me. That's Russia. At least they're not leaving comments.

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  8. Sheesh. I need new friends (or not). Quota is totally IGNORING me!!!

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    1. But not auto correct apparently.

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    2. Lo, it will be with you always, even unto the end of the words.

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  9. No Facebook here. Or Instagram. Or Quora. Or Twitter.
    I am so unloved. And unlovable.

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  10. There is a cartoon doing the rounds of internet sites, along the lines of: "Waddawewant?" "Better auto-correct" "When do we wannit?" "Cow."

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  11. I tried out Quora. I found that I tended to skip over the truly boring stuff ("Can you cut an aspirin in half?") and gravitated to the more salacious-sounding questions ("What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done in a Motel 6 with your cousin?") That fare is kind of fun, at least for a while. But THEN, I started hearing that all kinds of people were "following" me on Quora. Well, since I hadn't posed any questions or provided any answers on Quora, I had to assume that people were 'following' all the tawdry crap I was reading. So that kinda scared me off of Quora.

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    1. Trust me. They weren't. After all, they are following me, and I've never been there. What IS the most embarrassing thing you have ever done in a Motel 6 with your cousin?

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  12. My other Quora experience was when I signed up for "Quora.fr", or whatever the French-language Quora is called. I was going to keep up my french, by reading posts from the common man! I was going to keep my finger on the pulse of francophone culture! My two observations -- First, the salacious questions and discussions are actually way more tame in the French version than the English speaking version. (Because of vestigal Catholic morality lurking in the background?) Second, while some questions and discussions are less sophomoric than the English version, there is also a tendency for some laughingly cerebral discussions, like "Use of the Silent 'e' in post-revolutionary speech-making among the left-wing political parties of Southern France". So I eventually threw up my arms and exclained "Helas!", and stopped with the French Quora....

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    1. Hmm. Have you tried Duolingo? (My auto-correct just changed that to "dueling." I'd be interested in your answer to that, too.)

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  13. It's the Borg, which co-opts the technology and knowledge of other species to its own Collective ("the man" perhaps, or gasp, the "deep state"? )by insidiously transforming individual beings into drones. Facebook, Instagram, Quora, Snapchat,Reddit, Corporate America, maybe SCOTUS if something doesn't happen, are the relentlessly exploring tentacles of the Borg. You know the truth: resistance is futile.

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    1. Well, technically it's Voltage divided by Current, but the drone description is spot on.

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    2. Oh heck. I don't know what either of you is talking about.

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  14. ...but what I really wanted to say was how much I enjoyed reading this alongside my insanely delicious breakfast of fat-free yogurt, almonds, blueberries, and a helping of freshly baked peach cobbler on top. Have a happy day, Murr!

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