Friday, June 22, 2007

Lame? Whatever.

Yesterday I logged into Facebook and noticed a little icon on the right sidebar telling me that I had a new notification. Apparently this was not a notification worthy of sending me an email; rather, I just had to notice it myself on the site. I clicked on it and was informed that I had been judged on Facebook's new Lamefactor application.

Let me back up. Facebook has just recently added all sorts of silly applications that let users personalize their profiles just a bit more. Samples include a graffiti application that allows users to draw on each other's designated graffiti walls, a "places visited" map that shows which countries and/or US states the user has been to, a "political compass" designed by the Washington Post to tell you where you lie on the liberal-conservative scale, and a movies application that lets you rate movies you've seen, list movies you want to see, and compare your movie profile to those of your friends.

There are a lot of them altogether, probably hundreds. I added three: the graffiti, the map, and the political compass. But now I'm sort of vaguely convinced that the applications exist just so that we can get more spammed than we already do, because the application cannot be installed unless you grant it access to all your information. So today I removed the three that I had.

Anyway, back to the Lamefactor thing. Curious about who had "judged" me (and not happy about the pejorative connotation of the word), I clicked on the link and was informed that I had to install the Lamefactor application in order to see my rating. Rating? Okay, fine. I added it. Then I was informed that somebody had anonymously rated me on some sort of lameness scale, and that I wouldn't be able to see my rating until a second person rated me as well.

For a brief second, I thought about asking Torsten to rate me just so I could see what the other rating was. Then I got a grip on myself and realized that I just wasn't that interested in what some random, anonymous person rated me on a scale. So I went into my profile to delete the application and noticed that despite claims of needing a second rating before I could see the results, my "Lamefactor" was posted on my profile for all to see: 2.5.

A quick look around the application defined the possible rankings for me: 1=lame, 2.5=whatever, 5=solid, and 7.5 and 10 equal silly (might I even say... lame) strings of adjectives basically saying "I like this person."

I could be offended by this. After all, 2.5 out of ten isn't exactly a great score. But then I did a quick assessment of the implications of this rating: Someone, who has to be a Facebook friend of mine in order to access my profile and yet chose to remain anonymous and therefore render their neatly packaged "opinion" useless, bothered to go onto the profile of a friend of theirs who didn't even have the application installed (most likely because she could care less what her lamefactor is), in order to rate them "whatever."

Doesn't that seem like an oxymoron? This person is "whatever," therefore I couldn't care less about them, and yet I choose to spend time TELLING them that I am indifferent to them.

Speaking of lame, is all I'm saying.

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