Wednesday, August 08, 2007

When the internet makes you lose your anonymity.

I've signed up to a million of those "find your old friends" sites, like,,, some others I can't remember; more to spy on what high school friends are up to now and to see if I could find a few people that have dropped out of my life that I would like to talk to again. With all the new fun technology and an open wallet, one now can easily figure out who is searching for them or looking at his/her profile on theses sites (not all of them, mind you, but a good chunk).

So when I got an email from saying so and so recently signed up as an alumni for my high school class, I immediately went to this person's page and took a look. Note -- I never went and searched for this person; it was that told me about this person. And I'm sorry, curiosity killed the cat, and I always have to look if you're going to email me.

I went and looked, and the person didn't really have anything up that was interesting and then I disappeared back into the depths of cyber land, hoping never to be seen again. A few hours later, that person mysteriously added me as a contact. Upon further investigation, if you pay a few bucks a month, you too could know who is searching for you and looking at your profile page. And if you add up all the dollars you could spend on these sites just to find out who is looking at your profile, you'd be forking out about 10 bucks a month or more. And for what? This I'm still not sure about.

So now that I'm this person's contact, I get emailed all the time about how so and so has put up new pictures (which, yes, I promptly go and look at), and that so and so has written a new blog entry (you have to pay to read it, which I still say is crossing the line -- that whole paying thing).

The kicker to all this is that I don't remember even saying two words to this person while in high school, although I know I did talk to his now wife every so often, and I'm pretty certain it is his wife who is updating his profile and not actually him, and even more so, I'd be surprised if this guy could put a few words together to make one cohesive sentence, but since I would have to pay to read his blog entry, I'll never know.

So now I'm my high school's football hunk's newest contact. And when I looked at his pictures, the shiver shakes hit me hard because he's looking more and more like a psycho killer Al Bundy than a high school hunk. And then I think how we've never really talked, and that here I am, 15 years later, looking at his personal pictures and wondering who is the sadder of the two?

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