Monday, October 13, 2014

the creepy like

I did just get a new iPhone recently, and just in time, too... the whole thing was about to implode. The software apparently had a glitch, and in order to fix it, you had to do a backup and a restore and then fix this and then fix that and... it was just too much work.

So, in September, The Lovely Steph Leann and I traded in our 2-year-old iPhone 4s phones, which had served us well, for a newer model--namely, the 5. Not the fancier 5c, but the 5, which is just fine. Definitely not the 6 or 6+, because that's too much.

We like to be one level behind... when the 5 came out, we upgraded our 3sg (or whatever it was called) for the 4s, and now we're up to the version 5... we figure when the iPhone 8 is released in 2016, it'll be just about time for us to get a 6... for like, 99 cents. Because that's what the 5 cost us, and the 4 before that.

My old phone was such a hassle... it took forever to load a page, especially Facebook and sometimes it wouldn't even load Instagram. And the worst part about it was the scroll delay... sometimes you would flick your fingers up and down the screen, and it wouldn't scroll... so you'd hit it again, trying to get it to move. Then, it would finally catch up, and anywhere you had hit the screen while it was frozen, it would take that tap and apply it to whatever is on the screen.

For example, I have a friend named Missi on Facebook. She has a large family, one that I joke should be a reality show (I call it "Lee & Missi Ivey + Fivey", to be aired on Saturday nights, right before "Big World, Little People with Big Hands" and right after "The Man with a 788 Pound Tumor in His Armpit"... TLC has the most wretched of shows sometimes, but I think "Lee & Missi Ivey + Fivey" would be a hit.) and she takes lots of pictures as any proud mom would.

This is the kind of family where everyone in it is gorgeous. Like, she is gorgeous. Her husband is a good looking dude, and a doctor to boot. Her kids, from her teenage son to her youngest son to the three girls in between are all gorgeous. You look at this family and either think "What a lovely family!" or "I hate that family for being so lovely", but either way, we do follow each other on Facebook and Instagram.

I scroll Instagram as I do, tapping some pictures here and there, "liking" the ones I like, and scrolling past those that don't necessarily interest me...

An interesting case study would be the psychology for "liking" pictures on Instagram and "liking" posts on Facebook. In terms of Instagram, there are some people that I just simply like nearly everything they put up. Partly because those people always post awesome pics, and partly because I feel that a "like" is a form of support... "hey, you've got a fan out here"... others, I just like pics that I like. I've seen a bajillionty sunsets, so it takes a really, really good sunset to get me to "like" it. 

I've seen two bajillionty pairs of feet or knees on a beach, or in a deck chair poolside, so I seldom like those pics at all. But if it's creative, if it's the baby picture, if you are on vacation to somewhere cool... I will "like" that thing without a moment's notice.
I mean, why else would I have liked this
picture of Fergie?  Oh, who am I kidding...
I always "like" pictures of Fergie.

Back to the family... so, one day I'm scrolling Instagram. And my phone freezes. I do the typical movement with my finger, trying to move it up and down and I'm getting nothing. Usually at this point, I'll double-click the home button (the round button on the bottom). This will bring up a series of pages that will show all the applications I have open, and I'll close them one by one. I gave this one a little more time, but finally, gave up, did the double click and waiting for the screen shots to come up.

But they didn't. 

Frustrated, I contemplated just doing the "hold down the top button and the home button at the same time" thing to restart it--an iPhone version of blowing into your Nintendo cartridge to get it to come on... unsure if it really did anything, thinking it probably did more harm than good, but at least it's something...

Kind of like when you are sitting in traffic--if there is an accident, I'd rather take a side road that might take me ten miles out of the way and 15 minutes longer drive time than to sit in traffic, going 2 miles an hour, even though I'll likely get out of the traffic soon and would be home quicker. At least I'm doing something.

Just as I started to hit the home/top button, my phone awoke... and several things happened fast. The Instagram screen scrolled at a rapid pace, up, down, then up. Then, my tapping helped me to "like" three pictures as the phone caught up on any tapping I did... the first two, I frankly don't remember, but the third, I do. 

It was Missi's daughter, a lovely teenage girl in the picture. And she was on the beach. In a bikini. And my scrolling, spastic iPhone decided it would be hilarious if I not only "liked" that picture, but that since no one else had liked it, I could be the only one. There it was, teen girl in a bikini, and under it with a heart, "@superdave310".

But before I could do anything, the application screens came up, and out of all the apps I had open--Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Words with Friends, text messages, Safari, ESPN scoreboard, Angry Birds Rio--only two disappeared... one was text messages. The other was Instagram. 

Then, the phone went off and restarted.

So I held in my hand an iPhone that had just decided to tell my friend Missi, "Hey, how are ya? I like that pic of your daughter in her bikini. Awesome!" I would have just called "To Catch a Predator" with Chris Hansen myself, but my phone was restarting.

See, it's one of those things you have to be careful of--appearing "stalkerish" in your "liking". You don't want to be the guy who likes the pic 30 seconds after it posted... I've been that guy, double tapping a picture of my friend Megan and her daughter at a picnic, or a picture of a church kid named Morgan and her sorority activities... either one will likely get 100+ likes, and you can like it while being covered by the anonymity of the phrase "103 likes"--but when it's "posted 35s ago", you look like a stalker.

Likewise, someone pointed out to me that you can't "like" a pic that's been up over a year or more. That's creepy too, like you went to look at their pictures and decided to randomly like stuff... I mean, I've done it, but only with people who know I'm only a slight stalker. Just kidding. I mean, really, just kidding.

Anyway, when it came back up, I raced to Instagram and found the pic again, and "unliked" it. By this point, there were already a half dozen "likes" on it, so I didn't even see my name, but I knew it was there. Besides, Missi likely already got a notification that said "d$ liked your post"... then again, in my mind, it said "almost 40 married d$ is creeping on your daughter".

Then, like an igmo, I sent a direct message that sounded good at the time, simply saying, "Hey, didn't mean to like that picture, sorry that was weird" but probably read as "I'm so weird, I'm so weird, I'm really strange, and I'm so weird."

Darn you, spastic scroll.

A month later, we are still friends, so I can only assume no harm, no foul. Still, a little unsettling.
Lesson?  Beware the scroll.  Always check to make sure you aren't hitting "like" on a picture that just got posted, especially if it's from a chick.  And never, ever "like" teenagers in bikinis.  Trust me.  Nothing but trouble.

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