iLike? No, I don't

If someone wants to share a playlist with you, why should you have to be subjected to a barrage of things you have no interest in?

The other day, I got an email from my former assistant, the effervescent Brandy Barber.

Brandy is a rising New York comedienne who has a serious distaste for any woman who talks like Woody Woodpecker. Well, actually, for one woman in particular.

Her email was simple, but not very informative. She wanted to share her iLike playlist with me. (That was it. No 'how are you?' No 'I miss you.') Until now, I have not had an intimate involvement with iLike. If I want to know what other people like I tend to ask them.

Sad, I know.

However, because it was Brandy and because she is bigger than me, I clicked on the iLike link she embedded in her email and was immediately blasted to the Facebook app. What did I expect to see? Oh, a list of ELO tracks, frankly. Brandy doesn't just love ELO. She wears ELO t-shirts to work.

What did I actually see? Well, a wealth of stuff I didn't ask for. Hey, Ludacris has added four songs. And they're full-length. Gosh. Julianne Hough, she of Dancing With The Stars, has posted a video. Sorry, Julianne. You are no Lacey Schwimmer. (Oh, Google her.)

And then there was the obligatory Facebookian enthusiasm, asking me whether I wanted to personalize the page.

Well, if I had personalized it, I would have wiped all of this superfluous tosh and twaddle from the page. Especially the display ad wondering if I might be interested in buying Faith Hill's wonderful new Christmas album. Oh, sure. Because I have all of Faith Hill's albums, right?

Brandy is one of the people in this picture, taken at the Drink at Work Show in 2006. CC Maryanne Ventrice

Now then, what was the one thing I found hard to locate on a page with more unwanted information than I got from a rather hairy individual in a cafe in Seville last week? Yes, Brandy Barber's playlist. When I finally found it, I saw that it comprised perhaps 5% of the whole page.

This was like walking into a Barneys changing room to try on a shirt and being told that you have to try seventeen pairs of pants, four pairs of boxers, three coats and a pair of tights, all chosen by members of Barneys security staff, before you could slip on the shirt.

The iLike page was very keen to know if I liked Korn and Staind. Oh, and Limp Bizkit too. Mind your own bloody business. I came here to find out what Brandy is listening to. Now get your grubby, grasping hands off my shirt sleeve.

As far as I could tell, Brandy likes 14 songs by Modest Mouse. Whom I saw live earlier this year and found as fascinating as an enema inserted by a nurse with Tourette's. Perhaps she has other things on her playlist. But in the midst of this shopping mall of gall, I beat a hasty retreat.

Brandy, you're a fine girl. What a good wife you would be. (This is a musical reference, not a sexist statement. Or rather a musical reference to a shiveringly sexist lyric.)

But iLike? I no like.

 

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