My life has been asking about me via email for a few years now. I don’t pay any attention to it, because the less I know about my life, the better.
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.
Well, if people have nothing better to do with their time than to look up other people on MyLife and judge them, who really gives a shit what they think? Anyone who knows you and has some particle of brain matter will know that since you are obviously not a cook in a hospital in Twin Falls, any other information that they provide is apt to be false as well.
As long as they don't think I'm a Republican.
Wow! You really ARE special! My Life must be one of the few entities that hasn't tried to sell me crap I don't want, but they found you! Try and keep them distracted so they leave me the hell alone.
Got your back, Jono.
If those pudding cups are chocolate, I'll have two please.
I've never heard of "My Life", probably it hasn't yet discovered the wide brown land downunder.
And long may that continue.
WHAT?? Don't you all want to know what your reputation score is?
This post was so much fun. I once watched that progress bar briefly and then thought "what am I doing?!" Cancel. You carried it to a whole new level and a great post. And the wrap and tie in with the pudding…just wonderful, Murr. Kim in PA
The progress bars give me PTSD from the years of installing Windows programs.
I'll put in a good word for you at OHSU Dietary if you want something closer to home.
I've never heard of that site.
Well, I think you should pop over there right now and put in your name. Just to see.
"What he thinks about me is none of my business." A mantra which helped me overcome the proclivity to care about what others think about me.
I say I don't care what people think about me, but that's probably because I assume they like me, they really like me.
A delightful confirmation that anti-social tendencies and low self-esteem save time and money. My name is Mudd: don't bill me.
I wonder if the only people who pay for this information are people looking for dirt on OTHER people. They must make money somehow, but who would pay for their own information?
Oh they explain all that. It is vital, absolutely vital, that you make sure all the information is correct, lest you attract the wrong stalkers.
It's never a bad time for a pudding cup… you have tremendous job security.
Actually, I CAN make pudding. I like even SAYING pudding.
Have you ever written a post about how Mary became Murr? I'd love to read that if you have.
I second that!
I haven't because it's deadly dull. It's just "Mary" done in a fake southern drawl (first "Murry," such as one might say "turrible" instead of "terrible"), because I was one of maybe two students at Clark University who hailed from below the Mason-Dixon Line, and it's the closest we two got to being ethnic. Then it just got shorter. If I had known at the time there was a bird called a Murre I'd have spelt it that way.
I was hoping children were involved because those stories tend to be pretty damn funny. There's still time to make the Murre change. All of my birding friends would approve.
I haven't run into My Life before. It sounds legit. I'm off to check it out! Oh boy I can hardly wait!
Of course, then you will be on their radar, and they will never leave you alone….
When is somebody going to invent a sarcasm emoticon, dagnabit? I was just kidding, mimi.
NO! You must go! Oh poop. Now I'm starting to wonder why I'm the only person who's run into this thing.
Yes, what HAVE you been Googling, Murr? 🙂
Either River is right, or my life is way too dull for My Life. Or both.
Duller than Cook for the Twin Cities Hospital?
You are a mellow fellow. I would have assumed my ID had been stolen!
Nah. Basic information is available readily for almost everyone. And nobody wants my ID. They'd have to clean it all up first.
pudding cup please….
Coming around with the bed tray now.
Murry.. love it!
Murry was my mother-in-law's name, believe it or not.
First or last name?
First! She was Mary Alice, and her best friends called her Murry. Basically the same story as mine.
I hope no one starts asking my Imaginary friends to rate me. I'd have no reputation left, or at least none worth showing up in church with. But perhaps these folks only seek out and question American weblings, specifically of a type who hand out fruit cups and puddings to the infirm. God knows that group must maintain impeccable reputations! Who wants a besmirched fruit cup? Not I!
I am going to work "besmirched fruit cup" into something or other, soon.