I’ve done it, you’ve done it, and probably most of your friends have done it too. Had a couple glasses of wine, downed a six pack, or huffed a can of Sterno and logged onto Facebook or Twitter, where you proceeded to make a complete jackass of yourself.
Hey it happens. As the world of social media resembles more and more the world of actual society, the same stupid behaviors crop up. Well, Webroot has a solution for helping you avoid binge-fueled embarrassments on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, etc, as well as your personal blog: a Google Chrome plug in called The Social Media Sobriety Test.
[ See also: This ad has been brought to you by you, part I ]
The idea is essentially the same one Google introduced with its Gmail Goggles: At specified hours of the day or night, the SMST will make you pass a timed test challenging your dexterity and mental alertness before you can log on. It’s not a breathalyzer, but it’s the next best thing.
This sounds easy. It’s not. One test has you count to 30 within a specified period of time while the screen displays various numbers and images to distract you. (I did it in 31.68 seconds – pass!)
They get trickier. Another displays two lights. When the right one flashes green, you must press the R key. When the left one flashes, press L. And sometimes both will flash at once. I had to take that one ten times before I passed (and I was sober, I swear).
Other tests make you follow a moving finger or “walk a straight line” with your mouse cursor. If you pass, you’re automatically redirected to the service you were trying to log into. If you fail, you can take the test again a seemingly infinite number of times (at least 10, anyway). Or you can skip it and still get into your account. However, neither Webroot nor TY4NS is responsible for what you do there, so don’t come calling us to bail you out.
If you’re in a sharing mood, you can also tell the world why you’re not assiduously updating your Facebook status every 15 minutes:
Now one might rightly argue that allowing SMST to post “Your Name is too intoxicated to post right now” (especially if, like me, you were testing this at 9 in the morning) might actually be worse than anything you were going to say. So maybe it’s best to click “skip” when SMST asks if you want to post that. Of course, you might be drunk or stupid enough to say Yes.
Like I said, it happens.
ITworld TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan would like to apologize for anything stupid he has said while under the influence or otherwise on Facebook, email, Twitter, text messages, comments, or in person. Sadly it’s too late to apologize for his snarky humor site eSarcasm (Geek Humor Gone Wild). Follow him on Twitter: @tynan_on_tech.