UberPOOL fucking sucks. I try avoid taking them much like I try to avoid contracting the flu. But sometimes, much like contracting the flu, it’s unavoidable.
There’s a lot to hate about UberPOOL, from the fact that your journey takes marginally longer (ugh), to the drunk couple sloppily making out behind you, like two dachshunds sharing an ice cream. But now Uber has worked out how to make the experience palpably worse: by telling you the interests you share in common with your seatmates, in the hope of striking a conversation.
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According to a patent unearthed by Business Insider, the controversial ridesharing company wants to use Facebook data to show you who you’re riding with. Here’s an illustration to show you what Uber’s got in mind.
Who it chooses to introduce you to isn’t just based on something vaguely sensible, like mutual friends. It also encompasses things like your hometown, any companies you may have worked for, if you went to the same university or high-school, to the hobbies you share.
If it all comes to fruition (and it might not, given that many patents are purely speculative or exploratory in nature), when you request a ride, it’ll show you the profile picture, last status update, and common link with your seatmates. It’ll also invite you to connect on Facebook.
Look, I’m pretty promiscuous with who I add to my Facebook. My friends list includes all sorts of near-strangers, from people I met during the first week of university, to fellow travelers I dormed with while backpacking across Europe. There are even a few PR folks on there, too.
But people I share a ride with on UberPOOL? That’s a line I simply won’t cross.
Uber’s also proposing a service where you can proactively request a ride with people who share your interests, proving that it missed all the soul-searching about filter bubbles that happened after the election.
As pointed out by Business Insider, Uber has only filed this patent. It hasn’t been granted it, meaning that this feature might not even find its way to a future update. Fellow introverts can breathe a sigh of relief.