This week I got an email from the website Groupon. This wasn’t really a surprise, as they send me two emails every day about their latest offers. But this one wasn’t about offers, instead it cried: “We miss you. We haven’t heard from you in a while”.
This was a bit of a surprise, as I only signed up two weeks ago to find out what all the fuss was about. Okay, I’d not taken up any of their offers (I was tempted by the vajazzling, obviously), but after just two weeks it seemed a bit much for the company to be pleading for contact. I mean, that’s a bit needy isn’t it? And I’ve seen films where people are overly needy, and they normally end in a certain amount of stabbing.
But this reminded me of another rather needy email I received recently. And this one was from someone I’d had a much longer relationship with.
Now, MySpace has taken a bit of a kicking over the last couple of years, not least from CMU, but my decision to close my account was not down to the site’s rubbishness. Actually, I’ve never had a personal MySpace account, but one day last month I received an email notification that someone had posted a message on a MySpace page I’d set up years ago for a website I used to run, and which I had long forgotten about.
Not wanting a load of out of date information sitting on a redundant MySpace page, I quickly moved to get the profile taken down. To complete this process, you have to click a link which is emailed to you. The text in that email is a painful exercise in desperation.
“Sure you’re ready to let go of your friends, music, and that profile design you spent so much time creating?” It begins. Why, yes. Yes I am. “Cancelling your account means your profile and all your content will be removed from MySpace and you can’t get it back!”
To be fair, I suppose MySpace didn’t know for certain that that’s exactly what I wanted. Presumably they feared I’d slipped, fallen on my mouse and accidentally clicked through the complicated menu system that hides the option to delete your account.
After questioning the nature of my intent, the dying social networking site – whose slogan used to be “a place for friends” remember – suggested an alternative to me deleting my profile and further downgrading their user stats. Just delete all your friends and then change your privacy settings so no one can see your page they suggested. Very friendly.
“Why not preserve your profile, playlists and photos”, the MySpace email asked, “by deleting your friends and changing your privacy setting to ‘only my friends’?”
So, not only is this website incredibly needy, now it wants me all for itself. Forget about the others, let’s run away together. It’ll just be you and me. We don’t need them. I’ve always been suspicious of them, if we’re being honest. I think they’re out to get us. They whisper behind our backs. I hate them. HATE THEM HATE THEM HATE THEM!!!!!!
So, I deleted my MySpace profile, shut down my computer and headed home. Where my pet rabbit was boiling on the stove. Bloody needy websites. In the future I’m keeping my distance.
Taken from this week’s, CMU Weekly. Click to listen to me yabber on in the CMU podcast, too.