posted by coyote
Mister Sloppy had left an urgent summons in my voicemail. Wise coyotes do not casually deny evil geniuses of his calibre. I hoofed it across Centretown.
When he buzzed me in, I followed the whooping to his secret subterranean lair, where his manic keyboarding – two computers at once – gave me pause. So did the plethora of vintage mega-sized Jolt Cola empties. He only cracks his stash when he's kickin' coding old-school. Which is never good for the state of world.
"Ummm, so, how long you been at this?" I asked.
"Since the Prime Minister got hisself posted on YouTube three days back" he said, keyclacks barely slowing. "If Jurassic politicos are pretending to use social media, it's finally jumped the megashark. They think they’ll go viral, I’ll give ‘em freakin’ viral! It's almost ready!"
"What is, Sloppy?" I asked.
Fevered blue eyes blazed.
"The Next Big Thing!" He purred, grinning, well, evilly. In capital letters. "AntiSocial Media! Facebook and Myspace are tossing net privacy under the bus, people are sick of tweeting, dorks who don't understand social media are trying to warp it back into old paradigms they do understand. So it comes to this! Is my new Antisocial Networking site not genius?"
He waved at his monitors. "Here! You can only set your relationship status to, "Alone", "It's complicated" or "None of your damned business"! It automatically rejects all friend requests! And the only reject options are, "No response"; "Ewwww"; an LMAO emoticon; or an autogenerated phrase saying, "I'd rather...." followed by a random act of self-mutilation!
His speed and pitch rose.
"You can’t control your own friends list, but all other users can remove anyone from it! When you comment on someone's status, or insult ‘em on a comment thread, it’s visible to anyone except them!
"And get this! There's no way to just follow anyone. It's only got a "stalk" option! A bot program pops up your photo on every website they browse. An automatic search for every web photo of them slams together a tribute album site that auto-links to every page that references them. The album background wallpaper can be either candles or hand-scrawled protestations of love.
"And only by paying for a premium license do users gain the power to file virtual restraining orders on their stalkers! But they only limit how many times your stalkers’s pictures pop up on websites you browse – you can never block ‘em entirely! Cool app, or what!!??"
"I love it!" I yelled, trying to match his fevered tone as I edged back up the stairs. "For masochists!"
He didn't notice. At the rate he was going, I figured he might safely pass out in a few hours. At least until I heard another Jolt fizz open. Ol' Slop was bellowing, somewhat musically, something like, "Yo ho ho, I'm gonna rule the w-o-o-oooorld!", as I let myself back out.
I hadda admit right then, that insanity other than my own can be kinda disconcerting...