So I was looking for jobs online earlier today (I swear I was. I wasn't checking out Kat Giantis's 'Undressed' column on MSN. No, no. Not me.) when I remembered today was my friend's birthday.
It was obviously too late for snail mail (though I do so love that personal touch), so I resorted to an e-card from Hallmark.com. (Clearly the best in the e-card crowd, as they have Hops & Yo-Yo, the reigning celebs of all e-card-dom.
Ugh. I was asked to log in.
Reluctantly, I set about creating a new account, only to be told ON THE FINAL STEP that my email address had already been registered. But of course I didn't remember my password. I didn't even know I had a password.
So I asked to have the password emailed to me. And then waited for my password to be emailed to me. And then went back to Hallmark.com, signed in all over again, and finally sent my card.
It was a ridiculous process to go through just to send a gosh-darn free E-card. For anyone other than this particular friend, it would have hardly been worth it. I sure hope he appreciates Hops&Yo-yo.
(Though it did get me thinking about how nice it would be to have that little "remember me" box at the sign-in stage in human interactions. "Oh, yes -- please feel free to forget me," you'd select after having done or said something incredibly stupid. Or "Yes! Remember meeeeeee!" you'd pick in the [infrequent] cases where you'd been endlessly impressive to a future date or boss or someone of that ilk.)
Okay now -- shhh. I have a secret. Have you heard of BugMeNot.com ? It's a website where people submit their registration information for websites so that, when you go to sign on, you don't have to go through the rigamarole of using a pretty-much out-of-date email address and making up a fake name and street address (everyone does that, right? Not just me?). They don't give away any registrations that cost money, but they have a pretty wide range of sites -- everything from nytimes.com (sans Select, of course) to some pretty random sites.
Generally, if I'm going to go to a site on a regular basis, I'll sign in. Maybe I do want their emailed newsletters and whatnot. But if I want to go read one article at a pretty obscure site, I hate it when it takes longer to register than it would to read the darn article in its entirety.
Ethically, I still grapple with it a bit. Am I cheating?? Some people justify it by comparing it to a library: all information is free and available to the public until the moment you want to take it off the premises; at that moment, you must either register (get a library card) or pay for it ($0.10 or whatever the going rate is for a photocopy). But if the only place you want to put the information is in your own brain and you have the patience to sit there while you read, then it's free.
And so I that line of reasoning seduces me. I'm not stealing the information and taking it elsewhere. I'm not infringing on copyright at all. And what's the point of registration in the first place? For demographics? And why do they even bother; don't they realize how many people are entering fake data?
So thanks, BugMeNot. You've been endlessly helpful in both my aforementioned internet stalking and my job search.
Speaking of which, I've really got to get back to that.
Today was a beautiful day in New York. I spent 2 hours sitting on a bench in the park, watching the dogs play in the dog run. Spring has sprung, my friends.
Bought one lottery ticket.