Keyboard Confessional

29 01 2010

They say that confession is good for the soul. The Roman Catholic Church has made confession a formal part of its membership involvement, and Protestant denominations likewise encourage it. It’s the reverse of Festivus in which we air our grievances; instead, we air our shortcomings, the very things that others (e.g., family, friends, God and governments) might have against us.

But what if we post our confessions online on a Twitteresque site for the whole world to see? Heck, there are still millions for whom the idea of answering the pressing question, “What Are You Doing Now?” is not only an imposition, but a tremendous waste of time. Never mind that few people really even care what you or I happen to be doing right now (FB Status Update: I am writing my blog. So there.).

So that’s why I am a little mystified with Blippy.com, the confession booth of all things credit.

Yep, you read that right. Blippy members reveal their purchasing habits (every last one of them) to the online denizens who might actually give a flip. It’s bad enough for me each month to read my transaction history for all of my credit card accounts; I cannot imagine posting it in real time for the world to see.

Now maybe this confession is good for their consuming souls, but for life of me, I cannot figure out how this could lead to any good. Maybe a person simply wants to brag about their consumption in a conspicuous kind of way. And maybe they wish to reveal their own inability to rein in their spendthrift ways. But I just don’t want anyone and everyone to know how I spend my paycheck each month. Imagine the marketing data to be mined from such digital breadcrumbs!

No, my expenditures are between me, Visa, MasterCard and my bank. If you want to know how I spend my money, just hang out with me for a while. It will all become pitifully obvious. I do not need a social network for sharing my financial indiscretions (or obligations). The little Apple sticker on the back of my car already broadcasts to whom my computing and phone allegiances lay. Most of my clothes have some sort of identifying logo on them somewhere. And my bikes are very well-branded.

And I really don’t want to leverage the social web to broadcast any more of this. Well, except maybe when I get that Apple tattoo. That’ll be something to tweet about.

Dr “Just Don’t Tell My Boss” Gerlich


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