Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Roughly One-Third Lame

As you can see, 35 percent of me is infected with lame. Honestly, I would have estimated that I was slightly more than half lame — not less — but who am I to argue with Lamefactor?

In case online social networks weren't already a means of gauging someone's social acceptability, Lamefactor is a new Facebook side project that allows users to rank their friends,, in terms of lameness. In short, it marks the end of everything safe and hospitable that made Facebook a haven from the innate crappiness that is MySpace and Friendster.

Spencer turned me onto this little feature, which has you log in and then begin ranking associates on a scale ranging from one — "lame" — to ten — "savage/wicked/other regional slang." You can't skip a person, thus disabling the option of only giving out high marks and keeping your hatreds private. You also can't see who ranked you what, but only what your average score is and how many votes — that is, judgments — you have been dealt. Thus, it's a free license for everybody to take you down a notch. After all, the name of the game is Lamefactor and not Coolfactor or Acceptablefactor or Doesn'tHaveFoodOnFacefactor.

Being bored during a few brief minutes of inactivity this past long weekend, I started clicking through my Facebook friends, ranking them as accurately as I could. Shortly into this, however, I began to feel awful about the process and irritated at my compulsion to destroy profiles that still had perfect ten scores with a snarky five or even — on a few particularly vicious occasions — a one to the people who appear on my Facebook "friends" list only by virtue of my reluctance to endure the social awkwardness of not accepting their offers of friendship.

Then I stopped.

Most people I'm friends with hadn't received any votes yet and the notion of them logging in and seeing that their first and only vote has been a one did not sit well. ("Hey, let's have a look at this new thing on Facebook! … Oh, apparently someone I know actually thinks I suck and is too polite to tell me to my face but not polite enough to anonymously vote that I am virtually devoid of any good qualities. Nice!") In hopes for karmic retribution for my earlier judgments, I finished out my friends by giving everyone else tens, in hopes that someone bothering to check out Lamefactor would be momentarily brightened at the notion that someone, somewhere does indeed think they're special. Hokey, I know, though to contradict the altruism I must admit that it was a mental struggle to click the "ten" option for a few cant-standables who popped up.

Okay, I'll admit that my mad ten-givings were even less selfless in nature. First, I wondered if the good people at Facebook actually may have designed the system to assign rankings based on how politely or meanly someone votes, rather than on how other people vote on them. Second, I honest-to-God feared that trashing my secret enemies would end up subjecting me to a scam in which the dumped-upon can pay to find out who gave them low scores à la the "purity test" episode of Veronica Mars and Tina Majorino would expose me for the callous would-be-anonymous that I am.

Thus, if you're my Facebook friend and you log in to Lamefactor and find that you have one and only one vote and it's a ten, know it's me. Conversely, if you log in to Lamefactor and fine that your have one and only one vote and it's not a ten, then feel free to load hatred upon me.

Um, also, I was drunk.

Humanity: zero, teh internets: three bazillion.


  1. Anonymous8:59 AM

    oh, don't worry. i know the guy who created Lamefactor, and all you need to know is that he's a 2 (maximum). remove the app --> remove the shame.


  2. Anonymous12:21 AM

    how exactly do you remove the lamefactor application? i didn't know what it was and added it, but i don't want anything to do with it. HELP!

  3. Anonymous7:17 PM

    i <3 first anonymous poster, i too know the developer, i think the lameness of the application speaks for both.

  4. Anonymous4:52 PM

    Hey, I just kind of stumbled on your blog, great stuff here.

    and this one really got me thinking. I kept ignoring notifications that "someone judged you on lamefactor" until I got four of them and finally added the application. I kind of thought it was the stupidest thing (as are most of the applications) and thought it wouldn't catch on, but people are more vain and malicious than I give them credit for.

    I had four votes, and a score of a whopping 2.5. I don't think I would have cared what number it was, what I did care was that only 7 of my friends have the application and they are all people who are nice to my face, sit with me at lunch, invite me to parties. How stupid does that get? at least I don't pretend to like people in real life when I don't, I'm friendly but I don't make an active attempt to hang out with them all the time.

    This application just exposes the true nature of highschoolers, and anyone out of highschool using it is seriously immature. If someone needs a rating to validate themselves or feel good about who they are, I feel sorry for them and all their pathetic squandering.

    All I need is my own happiness, my boyfriend and my best girl. I'm never going to see all these people after graduation so why does it matter what they think?

    If this had happened about a year back I think it would have crushed me, just as they are probably crushing a lot of people now. My moms friends daughter has a rating of 1 (12 people rated) and she is SUICIDAL because she thinks no one likes her. So now she retreats into a corner and is anti-social even more. Do people know they are encouraging someones death?! and whats more, if they did know would they even care? I just don't want to hear about another suicide attempt again.

    This just makes me lose my faith in humanity, as if it hasn't already deteriorated enough. so much for humans being innately good.

    People are afraid of what they don't know. I experience that a lot. I'm a vegan kid in AP classes and a track runner with brightly colored blue hair who sleeps in her car sometimes, lives at festivals and studies Chinese. I don't fit anywhere. People don't know what to make of me at my school cause I don't fit any stereotype, and I'm cool with that. I used to dumb myself down for some people or change my appearance for others (mainly the AP kids) but I don't bother with that anymore, it was naive and my senior year kicked total ass cause I wasn't worried about that shit anymore, and I'm sure as hell not going to start worrying about some "lamefactor" thing.

    I'm sorry this is such a long comment, but it was so relieving to find someone who finally agrees with me. and I'd give everyone a ten too :)

    Keep Blogging.

    - Cait

  5. Anonymous4:55 PM

    p.s. even if you don't have the application people can still rate you, how sucky is that?