More exciting news in Pet Society land: Not only can we now take a douche, we can hang out at the Pet Society café. Oddly enough, I can’t get a latte or scone at this joint. What I can do is cruise other pets, peek into their homes and see the people behind the avatars by clicking on this icon:
I’m not sure how I feel about this lack of privacy. My friend Rich Cranor, a filmmaker, once told me that Facebook was good for keeping in touch with friends, and MySpace was for networking and getting your art out into the world. “Don’t mix the two,” he advised. For the better part of a year, I heeded that advice. But once I got hooked on Pet Society, I started adding strangers so that my pet could earn quick money. Then I began this blog and opened myself up to all sorts of randomness. So far, I’ve been lucky. Except for a couple of freaks on my list, everyone seems pretty cool — and generous, often giving my pet cakes and clothes.
Ultimately, one of the greatest things about the Internet is that you get to meet people you would otherwise never meet. Why, just today, a 17-year-old boy from Sweden found my profile on Facebook and asked me to be his friend! He wrote, “I knew you were pretty.” Never mind that if he saw me in the real world, he’d realize that I was at a point in my life where I’m fighting wrinkles and acne at the same time. On the Internet, anyone can be beautiful, and if not beautiful, then mysterious.
Another great thing about social networking is that once in a while, you run into cheesy profiles like this:
As ridiculous as this guy looks, I’d rather be connected to him than someone who refuses to show his/her face. I don’t think it’s wise to become “friends” with someone who uses an illustration as his profile picture and claims his name is Daffy Duck. Most of us have built up real profiles and posted images of ourselves and our family and friends. The fakers can at least extend the same courtesy by revealing their true selves before requesting friendship on Facebook.
The low-down on the Pet Society Cafe
1. You can alter your settings so that other pets at the cafe cannot visit you while you’re offline:
2. You earn 5 paw points for a visit to each pet in the cafe, but no coins.
3. You can leave messages or gifts to the pets you meet at the cafe, like you would other pets in your friends’ list.
4. Because you’re allowing other people to see your profiles, you might receive friends’ requests from complete strangers. Use your judgement here. Sometimes, though thankfully, not often, what older people say about the Internet being dangerous is true.
5. As of December 18, 2008, there are no lattes or cute, tattooed baristas at the Pet Society cafe. Hopefully, they will be coming soon.