Wednesday, February 14, 2007

jfw valentine's day special!

So, there's this online service some bloggers are using where you can make a blogwidget and people can send you valentines, which you don't receive until Valentine's Day. What intrigued me about this is a separate feature they have, called the "Mutual Love Note." How it works:
A Mutual Love Note is a special type of valentine that gets revealed only when two people have sent each other a Mutual Love Note. If only one person sent a Mutual Love Note, the other will not find out about it. Your Mutual Love Note will be revealed to the recipient only if the feeling is mutual, in other words only if the recipient has also sent you a Mutual Love Note.
The unveiling of this also doesn't happen until Valentine's Day, so there are presumably there will be people hitting refresh all the way until midnight tonight hoping that the crush for whom they have a Mutual Love Note sitting in cyber-reserve will leave one for them.

When I first saw this, I thought that had the Internet existed Back in the Day, a certain weird and mournful conversation several years after high school ("You mean--you mean you'd always had a crush on me too???") might have been avoided. But then I imagined that if the service became popular, it would lead to the fear that some people out there who wanted confirmation of someone's crush on them would leave Mutual Love Notes like:
I *knew* it!  I knew you were in love with me!  How about we play
a special Valentine's Day game of Wheel of Fortune:

U N R - Q U I T - D

Do you want to buy a vowel? I am flattered, though, sort of.
So, as with so much else, within the Internet lies great potential to create opportunities formerly blocked by asymmetries of information, but this potential comes along with whole new possibilities for mischief.

Update: Sal has signed up to get Valentines. See Sal and I in our matching robot pajamas here. Leave him a valentine or Mutual Love Note here.


Anonymous said...

The mutual love note reminds me of the feature in the saturated schools of the Add Health sample where kids are asked to name their best friend and their girlfriend/boyfriend. There's a good proportion who name someone who doesn't name them back. So sad! The researcher knows, but they may never. JJ

jeremy said...

JJ: Does Add Health have date of interview? If one looked at the dates of the interviews, one could model how much of nonreciprocation was due to true nonreciprocation versus the turnover in girlfriends/boyfriends and best friends.

Lucy said...

There was a similar service that did the email rounds when I was in undergrad, where you listed emails of people you had a crush on, then those people got an email from the service and had to list emails of people they had a crush on. If there was mutual crushing, both people would get a message. I think everyone just ended up uploading their entire email address books, though, so they could find out who had the original crush, which made the whole thing pretty useless.

Sarahliz said...

There was a livejournal specific version of this awhile back which let you input the usernames of people you had crushes on. You could then go check how many people said they had a crush on you. If you matched it would tell you. Ultimately I think you could also pay some relatively trivial amount of money to look up who had said they had a crush on you. But of course the problem, as Lucy notes, is that people would put names of people they didn't have crushes on to see if that was the person who'd put their name in. That said I did actually manage a short-lived and not-entirely-advisable relationship with one of my crushes as a result.

p.s. Why am I utterly incapable of entering the word verification letters right on the first try? Why does blogger hate me?

Absolut said...

From my perspective, there are two limitations to this service.

1. I have several email accounts and the chances of the many people with crushes on me entering the right one are low. ;)

2. The people I tend to have crushes on are not the type who'd use someting of this sort.

How come there is no special JFW valentinr version?

Anonymous said...

Or the mutual love note can go something like this:

Person #1: "I have always loved you."
Person #2: "And, I have always known."