So I got an email the other day from a company which I have used in the past, apparently celebrating the launch of their new app[lication]. Woo, yeah – break out the champagne! It also invited me to become a friend of theirs on Facebook (“Please will you be my friend?”) and to Like them.
Now, my love affair with the corporate machine has never been what one might describe as anything more than tepid: sometimes it’s been good for a ride but I’ve never felt the need to settle down and try to build a life with it. Certainly we haven’t been what one might call involved – indeed, tolerated would probably be the kindest description of our association. In fact, now that I think about it, the most unsatisfactory relationships of my life have been with banks, insurance companies and privatised bloody utilities and yet, in recent years, all of them have started writing to me, calling me at home and even messaging me on my mobile phone. This was disconcerting enough, believe me, but now they’re using social utilities to come across all needy and unnecessarily emotional on top of that. This is going further than mere harassment.
It doesn’t stop there, though: entertainment (or what passes for it) has also seen fit to go down this same route. “Will you Like this book, film or game that hasn’t even been released yet? If you say that you Like it then you will be given all manner of bonus materials.” I don’t know, I haven’t seen it yet – however, since I’ve never been in the habit of announcing an engagement prior to a first date, I see no reason to start pre-empting my future tastes or anticipating commitments now. And since when did Like become a commercially-appropriated official endorsement, anyway?
“You’ve just bought something over the internet – why not tell your friends about it?” Er, for the same reason that I don’t call them up when I’m going through the checkouts at the supermarket: for a start, nobody cares and, secondly, the most it could possibly amount to would be using a credit card in a dick-waving exercise, which is simply pathetic. “Here, look at me spending money in an act of conspicuous consumption and profligate wastefulness! Let me inspire you to feelings of jealousy and contempt.” I think not.
Oh, and I do not want to be friends with a bloody pizza! Listen, it was a moment of weakness, alright? You fulfilled a short-term need – I was briefly enticed by your exotic dressings but, when it got down to it, you were just a seductively attired doughy mess and all that remains this morning is a battered box and some cheesy crust. It’s over, now leave me the hell alone!
I’m fairly confident that the new anti-stalking laws ought to cover this sort of relentless pursuit and I’m almost tempted to set off on an exploratory test case.