Header image was created by Mr. Murf and is pretty great.
Part of being a blogger and podcaster is, ostensibly, keeping up with the latest trends, and so it was that last week I installed the new Nintendo mobile social network, Miitomo. I had some pretty strong moral misgivings about the whole deal, but I figured that 80% of my Twitter feed couldn’t be that wrong, and I hated to miss out on what seemed to be a lot of hat potential.
Indeed, Miitomo is rife with hats. You’re encouraged right from the outset to make a little character that looks like you, and through virtual point stores and Plinko-style games you amass hats and dresses and weird costumes that make you look like a loaf of bread.
The interaction in Miitomo is also quite different. Instead of posting status updates or short tweets, you’re given questions to answer. Sometimes they can be pretty innocuous, like “What do you like about cats?”, whereas other times they’re pretty obviously bait for their intelligence databases, like “What was the last thing that you bought?”. (I mean, clearly all the questions are intelligence-gathering, just some are more blatant than others.) Your Mii hangs out with friend Miis, talking about the people you have in common and sharing information.
And it’s here that I started to feel antagonistic towards Miitomo. The questions it asks can feel pretty personal (“Describe your perfect wedding,” for example) and I’m not necessarily game to share that with every person I know on Twitter and Facebook.
Other times I just don’t have the emotional energy to answer this stuff, much less make it entertaining for an audience. “What’s your definition of friendship?” Man, that’s a pretty heavy question for answering on the bus at 8:30 a.m.. Like, I’ve got things to do, y’know?
On top of it all, it turns out that while I’m not paying attention my Mii is going around to all of my Miitomo friends and asking them to write about my best qualities, an awkward question that I would never actually ask. Hey, nice person who I have interacted with twice on Twitter, let’s talk about why I’m so awesome now! It’s so terribly not Canadian to burst into someone’s virtual home and demand that they say why they like me. “But I don’t know you very well.” “Too bad — put on this hat that looks like a slice of pizza and answer the question!”
Rather than let my Mii wander aimlessly, starved for content and fresh outfits, today I logged on, erased all my data, and deleted the app. I think Miitomo is a lot like Snapchat — something I would have loved when I was a teenager and endlessly fascinated with myself, but now just a little too personal and exhausting to maintain.