As part of the whole transparent lifestyle, I publish my real name, my age and my gender on my Skype profile. Unfortunately, some morons take the “female” indicator as an invitation to start a chat with me that they think is going to lead to some sort of hot IM conversation. I allow chat messages from people who are not on my buddy list, since that’s a good way for people to make initial contact with me, but I had to disallow inbound phone calls from anyone not on my list because of the many unsolicited (and unanswered) calls coming in.
Since my first name is gender-neutral, I could just leave my gender unspecified, but it’s kind of funny to see how, within hours after setting it to “female”, the unsolicited chats start. If I turn it off, they stop. Back on, they start. Like Pavlov’s dog.
Here’s a few from a 6-day span last month:
firatveli47m says: [which pretty much makes me want to barf]
[name deleted] says: “does this work?” [his brain, I assume, and the answer is “no”] [The owner of this Skype name recently contacted me and said that he was just trying out Skype, and picked me at random to send a test message. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend that practice, but I’m letting him off the hook.]
batmisho9 says: “hi” [twice, 30 minutes apart], to which I reply “do you have a valid reason for contacting me? i’m not available for chatting with strangers, i use skype mostly for business.” He disappears after that.
versace_74 says: “hi” [yeah, that’s original]
sourito (tanger 2007) says: “hollllllllllllllllllla” [okay, at least that’s original]
farido771 says: “212063 80 39 87” [weird, I assume that’s a phone number?]
kingmoon6 says: “hi” [a couple of times, starting to get annoying], to which I reply “who are you and why do you want to exchange details?” he says “am froom toronto” [oh, great, a rocket scientist], and I say “so?” he indignantly replies “SO ? SO”, and I block his ID.
romantic206 (Sameer) says “hi” [the usual couple of times], and I give my now-standard reply, “who are you and why do you want to exchange contact details?” He says “hi” a couple more times, then “how r u”, twice. He then follows with “your name plz”, “do you have time to see you today”, then the ever-barfable before I block him.
I cleared my gender indicator for a while to ponder this, then I saw the description on Alec Saunders‘ Skype profile: “Please be specific in your contact requests. I do not accept blind contacts.”
My profile now says:
Please be specific in your contact requests. I do not accept blind contacts, especially from idiots who think that because my profile says “female”, it means “skype me”.
All quiet on the Skype stalker front since then.