Can't Buy Me Love? Not So Fast...

The Popularity Dialer would have saved Ronald a lot of heartache.
The Popularity Dialer would have saved Ronald a lot of heartache.
Photo courtesy Amazon

August 15 | Post Archive

Let's face it: "geek" can be a difficult reputation to shed, and even the "normal folks" can't always make their way into the more desirable echelons of social bliss. It doesn't matter how cool you really are, or how cool you've become since you left the 8th grade. Unfortunately, labels have a way of sticking.

What you need is a "ringer," and I don't mean a secret deal with the head cheerleader to pretend you're dating. Sure, you could date her and wind up inventing the next big dance craze in the process. But it's risky, my friend – just ask Ronald Miller. For those of you looking for a safer route, you need the Popularity Dialer, the friend that's always there to get you out of a jam and make you look just a little more "choice" to the ladies or a little more "hard-to-get" with the gentleman callers. It's as simple as visiting the Web site, choosing what type of fake call you want to receive and when you'd like to be called. The popularity dialer has other great applications, like getting you out of a boring meeting or obligatory visit with distant family members. Just kidding, Aunt Louisa. I wouldn't do that to you.

All joking aside, the folks behind the Popularity Dialer seem to have a more noble ambition. They call themselves "new media artists" who are "interested in investigating how technology can alter social situations." The group cites MySpace as an example of technology influencing social interaction:

If we examine social software sites like MySpace, we see that people already use technology to manipulate their "presentation of self" on the Web. Users create personas that are enhanced versions of who they are. In creating these upgraded models of themselves, most MySpace users write content that makes them appear hip, trendy, daring, and "in the know" and users "collect" friends to their network as a type of social currency. While MySpace is great for manipulating one's persona on the net, the Popularity Dialer allows its users to forge social currency and hipness in real time. With the Popularity Dialer, you can gallivant around town, looking like you've got buckets of friends who are dying to hang out with you at the coolest spots.

New media artists? I’m not so sure, but the Popularity Dialer looks like another great addition to the prank-call toolbox. Just ask my wife.

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