My friend told me she was signing up to a free online dating website.
I hate to be left out, so I signed up too. (No, seriously. I often volunteer to accompany people to routine GP appointments and grocery shopping. You never know what might happen, and if you’re there, the possibility of missing it is greatly reduced).
I called my friend a couple of days later. ‘I’m not sure about this site,’ I told her. ‘For a start, my inbox is overflowing. I gave them my actual email address, so it’s becoming very annoying.’ ‘Oh,’ She replied sympathetically. ‘Obviously I gave a hotmail account.’
I swallowed my anger at her selfish organization, and kept talking. ‘I’m not sure the people on this site are normal,’ I said carefully. ‘Oh no,’ She agreed cheerfully. ‘They’re terribly weird. I would never date any of them.’ I wondered briefly why my friend had been so keen for us to sign up to this dating site, but continued bravely. ‘They keep sending me odd messages,’ I told her. ‘And the site wants me to fill out endless questionnaires.’
‘Oh yes,’ She replied. ‘I’ve avoided all that.’
I had not. So now a lot of very personal and highly sensitive information is floating around on the internet. I can’t believe I told the whole world my favourite wine gum flavour. Although such good questions have restored my faith in the dating site matching algorithms.