Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I put this application called an "Honesty Box" on my Absolutely Indispensable Facebook Profile, which never really seemed like a super idea. The idea is that people can leave little notes anonymously; officially, "Honesty Box lets users send each other anonymous messages, removing any inhibitions and letting people be completely honest with you." Honesty Box basically presents you with a decision: do you want to know what people honestly think of you? There seems like not only a good potential for abuse — it's restricted to your friends (or "friends") thankfully — but also a great way to shatter your blissful ignorant belief that people actually like you. I was conflicted over the concept, but I eventually decided that, first of all, my friends/"friends" are completely indifferent to me. (Check out my Facebook wall. It grows at a rate of about one post a year.) There are days when I feel like I could grow to fifty feet tall, start breathing fire, and walk around stomping on Tokyo and the people who know me would still be completely oblivious. Well, things are busy at work, and I'm totally stressed, and it's my other friend's birthday next week or whatever.

My other thought is that if my friends do hold an opinion about me, which they don't (see caveat below), their opinions can't possibly be any worse than the opinion I have about myself. This is what we call a "win-win" situation, right? But then, here are the first four reviews for the Honesty Box application:

[anonymous person] (Putnam City North High School) wrote
at 12:52pm
Whitney Porter (LA Tech) wrote
at 12:41pm
I want to delete replies
Lyndsey Shea (Hingham High School) wrote
at 12:27pm
i want to delete my reply threads too. how do i do it ?
Alicia Colón (Howard) wrote
at 12:05pm
What if I want to delete a reply thread? I don't see where I can do that. Is there not an option to do that?

I think that speaks to the quality of some people's friends.

Much to my surprise — I was really expecting "Jay, you are an ass." — somebody wrote something nice to me. I quote, out of sheer joy, "Hey Jay. I think you're a very cool person I knew from a very long time ago. I always pictured you working at NASA or something just because you're so smart. Anyways, I really do hope you're doing well and having a happy life." Thank you, Anonymous Person. That really made my day; I'm even going to resist the temptation to cynically pick it apart because I'd like it to keep making my day. (This does not come easily to me.) Did you hear that? Somebody thinks I'm a very cool person! Smiley emoticon, please! I see a meet-cute romantic comedy in the making here: like Anonymous Person turns out to be my most despised rival at work, but it turns out that from behind the Internet, we're great friends.

I can't say anything because I'm about to cowardly compliment my friends through Honesty Box — my original plan was to cravenly tell people off via Honesty Box instead — but what the hell? Call me crazy, but I think being nice should be, uh, a nice thing... free of subtext, ulterior motives, and face-to-face. I'd like to extend a little invitation to them: Contact me! Leave messages! Constructive criticism appreciated! (Euphoric praise appreciated even more!) I don't bite — okay, I do, but not the amiable — and I won't read into your comments or develop expectations (really, when have I ever had expectations?) or anything. Just want to share the love.


Jay said...

Addendum: Turns out Honesty Box isn't restricted to just your friends. Any jackass in your network can leave you a message. My bad.