Besides, I know it isn’t really my life. It’s a website called MyLife and it looks like a nosy outfit trying to make money out of fear and suspicion. If MyLife really knew anything about me it wouldn’t keep trying to make money off me by appealing to my fears and suspicions. And if it did, it would try to do that by threatening to tie my foot to an anchor and throwing me in the deep blue sea. It has not done that, to date, so what does it know?
Instead it tries to pry money out of me by telling me my Reputation Score has changed. Odds are it can only go up, so I’m not worried. If I were actually worried about my reputation, I certainly would have lived my life in a very different way, and I would have been a lot more careful about what I’ve rubbed all over the internet. I am not a careful, secretive person. Anyone in the world can figure out exactly where I live and come over and bonk me on the head at any time, but I happen to believe it’s unlikely, because I do not make a habit of harboring fears and suspicions, which is probably why I am a registered Democrat.
MyLife tells me I have one review on me already, and I’m only getting four and a half stars. Don’t I want to know what people have said about me? Yeah, not all that much. And don’t I want to see what they’ve got on me so I can correct stuff that’s wrong?
Oh lord no. You start trying to correct the record and you might as well be putting up little orange flags next to the things you’re really ashamed of. You’ve had the same wife for forty years? You’re cruising for boys in the rest areas. You’re not colluding with Russia? Russia is totally who you’re colluding with. You couldn’t possibly have done that thing with that prostitute because you’re a germaphobe? Oh baby, a hard, golden rain is gonna fall.
But finally one day MyLife figured out a way to make me click on it. It gave me the tiniest bit of information about myself and some of it was wrong. It says I am Mary E Brewster (I arguably am); it says I also sometimes go by Mary E Brewster (I arguably do); it says I am 64 (everybody and his cousin who is in any way associated with a Medicare provider apparently knows that PLUS my phone number); and it says I currently work as a cook at a hospital in Twin Falls.
So I decided to click on over to MyLife just in case anything else snortworthy turned up, for y’all’s entertainment. They do it the usual way. They start their report with little screens (“Arrest Records,” “Imaginary Friends”), and a progress bar inches along (“80% dirt uncovered: do not close browser until we’re done sweeping up”) that gives you the illusion it’s thinking hard about every aspect of your life. It asks if the person you’re looking up is yourself. I click “yes” because I hope maybe they won’t charge me for my own information, although the flaw in that logic is pretty clear. By the time they come up with the screen where they want your money, you’ve wasted enough of your time looking at the progress bar that just maybe you’ll decide it’s worth it after all. I guess that’s how it’s supposed to work.
My favorite screen was the one where they were scooping up information from the “Web,” and then followed up with information from the “Dark Web.” Oooooo! Spooky. I picture it as one of those funnel-shaped webs the wolf spiders spin. Evidently it’s a thing, though. Because of my finely-tuned instincts about what will be a waste of time for me to know about, I did not look into it too deeply. Just enough to learn that a part of the Dark Web uses a traffic anonymization technique called onion routing. This is where they get you. You decide you need to do something about the onion routing, which sounds ominous, and your search engine comes up with a four-step cure, and eventually somebody is secretly recording you swinging a dead chicken over your head and putting it on YouTube, right there on the Sunny Web where anyone can see it.
Anyway, they did not offer me my own information for free, so as far as anyone knows, I’m a cook for a hospital in Twin Falls. That is as plausible as anything else and does accurately reflect my kitchen skills. If anyone would like a Fruit or Pudding Cup, let me know.