Back up off a bitch. Seriously. You’re getting to be like the creepy uncle who wants to kiss on the lips. Get out of my personal bubble already.
So here’s the back story: I’m doing a little cursory web-searching for an article I have due, when at the bottom of the page I notice this:
One of the Google guys’ newest brainsurges, Social Search results. (Ed. note: Clearly the real buzz today is Google Buzz, but that’s not pissing me off — yet — so I’m running with this. Run with me.) Basically, below the “legitimate” results Google presents me, I now get this, a section of results from people in my “social circle.” And according to the web giant, this fellow, [name redacted], is a buddy of mine, who has germane information to share. Well, I beg to differ. Not only was this entirely unhelpful, but I have no fucking clue who this guy is. And I don’t care.
I’ve done a decent job of keeping the circumference of my social circle off the internet — you know, like actually social — so the fact that Google purports to have some insight into my personal life is presumptuous at best and unnerving at second best. OK, Google, I say. I’ll play your little reindeer games. Show me whom you think my social circle encompasses.
I click. And I find: A couple friends, a handful of people I have worked with once or twice over the past two-or-so years, one chick I’ve never heard of, and a guy I positively detest. Nice work, ya meatballs. And interestingly/bafflingly, that hoser from above, [name redacted], isn’t even among my secondary connections.
And what the hell happened to opting in? This is why Republicans are afraid of the public option. “Cancel anytime” is for Columbia House CD clubs and Time Life video series. It’s not classy. When y’all launched Gmail it was like some velvet rope shit. The club might have been huge, but you made the guest list invite-only, and we all felt a little special. Now you’re pouring me a second drink and I didn’t even know I was at the party. I didn’t want that first Googltini to begin with, and now I have a hangover.
In an introductory video on the Google Labs blog, the Social Search lead designer asks, rhetorically, illustratively, and with a funny accent, “When you’re planning a trip, wouldn’t it be nice to see what your friends think about the destination?” I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. Fucking ask them, you dumb fucks. Fuck. This is infuriating. I heart the internet, but why are we trying to make interpersonal communication obsolete? I’m not even saying you have to pick up a phone, or — shudder — have a conversation in person. Write an email, send an IM. Don’t let Google convince you to circumvent actual dialogue just because you can.
Or you know what, do whatever you want. But, Google, let me make this perfectly clear. I don’t like it when you insinuate yourself into what you determine to be my social life. Let me invite you in. And don’t tell me who my friends are. It makes you look like an asshole.
Google. Seriously. Back up off a bitch.