May 21, 2006

Most embarrassing moment ever

So I got curious about what happened to people I went to college with and signed up with Friendster yesterday. My account had my real name and a real photo. First I just looked up my old friends & acquaintances, and then I got bored and browsed through everyone's profile. Totally harmless right?

Ha. I just now noticed the feature that says "Who's viewed my profile?" I thought, "That's odd, do these people know they're being reported to me?" Then I found out I was being reported to everyone whose profile I had viewed! Most of the people probably wouldn't have thought anything of it, but I did look at the profiles of a few of the girls I had asked out but who'd rejected me. Now they're gonna think I'm one of those clingy "my crush burns eternal" guys. It was totally harmless! But how do I reassure them of that other than write a message saying so -- which would only confirm their suspicions of my clinginess! Also, I looked up some of my co-workers -- just to see how prevalent this thing is among people my age, and now the females are gonna think I'm checking them out (not likely!).

There's a place for innocuous, quotidian voyeurism -- y'know, like when you were in high school and looked up your crush's pictures when the yearbook came out, stuff like that. Imagine if everyone whose yearbook pictures you looked at received a notification! So I just deleted my fucking account rather than suffer the public humiliation. That's what I get for taking a stroll down memory lane: some damn computer broadcasts my private wanderings to the whole world!

[For the differential psychologists out there: file under Neuroticism.]


  1. that happens to a lot of people. one time i saw a pic of a semi-hot chick on a friend's profile where it listed their friends. i clicked it for kix. later i saw she'd looked at me, and at first i didn't know who she was, but she saw that i saw her so she saw me, and i saw that she saw me....

  2. reminds me of the lyrics of a john mayall (british blues rocker) song... "i was looking back to see if she was looking back to see if i was looking back at her." aww, the pinging to and fro of social engagement cycling inexorably towards a deafening squall of feedback -- a phenomenon i am intimately familiar with as a social retard. very embarrassing and awkward for all involved parties.

  3. I don't see why it really matters that some former college classmates know that you were looking at their profiles. Even if they were girls you'd unsuccessfully asked out. It doesn't sound as if you have any more contact with them, so even if they think you're weird for looking at their profiles (which they're probably don't, we're just assuming), it makes no difference whatsoever.

    Iron Rails & Iron Weights

  4. That's nice in theory, Peter, and yet I had a sympathetic cringe when I read the original post.


  5. Get with the 21st century, cyber-stalking makes things a lot easier for introverts. Next time use a fake name.

  6. Embarrassed Nerd5/22/06, 5:27 PM

    Yikes. I too cringe sympathetically. The feature you describe is almost sadistic. One would think the nerds who designed Friendster wouldn't have concocted such an anti-introvert device. Please tell me MySpace doesn't do the same, or I'll be joining Agnostic in acute neuroticism.

  7. I also joined Myspace about two weeks ago to check up on old friends. I immediately searched my Myspace page, and I didn't see a similar feature, so I think it's safe.

  8. you have friends who are 13?

  9. Ha, I was pretty surprised to see how teen-dominated Myspace is, but there are tons of people from my HS & college. Ex: for my graduating class of college, there are 360 people on Friendster, and 269 on Myspace. And because Myspace is so youth-oriented, it feels more enjoyable and less like a cocktail party at Yale Law.


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