Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Michael Duff thinks you're Uber!

The Internet can be a sleazy, confusing place – filled with spammers, con artists, unethical advertisers and traps for the unwary.

I fell for one of these traps last month and now I’m paying the price. I signed up for a social networking site called Uber that promised to let me create, share and collect media – whatever that means.

I got an e-mail invitation from a friend and signed up, thinking that he had discovered some kind of hidden gem on the Internet.

I signed up for the service and foolishly allowed them access to my Gmail address book. I wanted Uber to search my addresses and match them with the names of people who had already signed up.

Instead, it sent out invitations to every person I had ever sent an e-mail to. Every friend, every vendor, every co-worker, every blogger and every ex-girlfriend on my list got an e-mail begging them to join Uber and hang out with me.

I don’t know how it works in your life, but I’m not actually on speaking terms with everybody in my address book. Some of these people have rejected me. Some of these people have been rejected by me. Some of them are people who wrote me hate mail. And some of them don’t remember me at all.

Some of them are family members that I like to keep at arm’s length. Some of them are friends I haven’t seen since high school. Some of them are readers who contacted me and never got a proper response.

Some of them are celebrity bloggers that I was trying to suck up to. Some of them are executives in my company who barely know I exist. And some of them are editors who like to send me work e-mails at home.

But Uber doesn’t care about any of that. Uber wants them all. The invites go out, and the next day I get a dozen confused responses.

Some of them ask me who I am and how I got their address. Some of them remind me that we agreed never to speak to each other again. And some of them want me to write them back, describing every major event of my life since high school.

I should have known better, but even the most experienced Internet user can hit the wrong button now and then. And if you’re one of those unfortunate people who got an invitation to join Uber – please accept this apology.

Written by Michael B. Duff

August 31, 2007 at 14:30

Posted in Best Of, Columns

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