Can I tell you how old I am but not my birthday? May 29, 2011 7:24 PM   Subscribe

Is it (or would it be) possible for users to share our correct ages on our profiles without displaying our entire dates of birth there?

I like my age being on my profile, but I would also like to make it marginally less trivial for someone who knows me to figure out who I am. So I share only my year of birth. Unfortunately, that means that my profile thinks I'm a year older than I really am for most of the year, until my birthday arrives and I catch up. It makes me feel dishonest.

Is this a thing that might be changed, please? Perhaps by accepting the information, but having the option to conceal some of it? Thank you.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars to Feature Requests at 7:24 PM (83 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing there's only one or two people who would use the preference "show age, but hide birth date". Why not put in a false birthday that's a month or two off from your actual birthday. That way you won't be as dishonest, and you'd throw anyone who knows you off your trail.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:34 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel older than I am and look even older than that.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:43 PM on May 29, 2011


or...you could wait to get as old as I am where two or three or ten years one way or the other doesn't make that much difference statistically.

You're over thinking this. one year either way doesn't change the overall perception of who you might be.
posted by tomswift at 7:46 PM on May 29, 2011


you could do what I did - which is to put in only the year - your age still shows up, but you haven't provided the exact date.
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:51 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


namewithoutwords, I think that's exactly what she did. But just to be clear, the problem is that people will think that you're 22 years old when you're really 21 and half?
posted by MrFTBN at 7:54 PM on May 29, 2011


A month and year?
An astrological sign and year?
posted by Bruce H. at 7:57 PM on May 29, 2011


This feels like a solution in search of a problem.
posted by dersins at 8:04 PM on May 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


But just to be clear, the problem is that people will think that you're 22 years old when you're really 21 and half?

Well, yeah. And then they'll think I'm 23 when I'm really 22 and some days! It's just... not true.

I mean, I was just asking. But it's OK, I figured it out. I put my year of birth as 1990, so now I'm lying to my profile but my profile is telling the truth.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 8:05 PM on May 29, 2011


If the age would roll forward on your birthday then your exact birthday would be available to anyone who bothered to wait around and look for your age rolling over. If this person had a hunch you were you they'd even have a day to check and make sure. And then what a pickle you'd be in.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:07 PM on May 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


If you think someone is online stalking you to the point where they could use your birthdate as a way of figuring out who you are, there are deeper implications to your life than just lying about how old you are for a few months because the year and the months don't add up to your actual age.
posted by hippybear at 8:08 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was born in 1985. I am 25 and will remain so until almost the end of the year. Therefore, metafilter thinks I was born in 1986. Profile says 25, there's no "false" information anywhere, and everyone's happy.
posted by phunniemee at 8:11 PM on May 29, 2011


If the age updated itself automatically on the correct day then it would be an enormous burden on those of us who compulsively check everyone's profiles. We'd have to move to a daily schedule so we could be sure to catch the change - and then there's the whole issue of time zones, which potentially mean that a reported change of age may be nearly a day out. I'm just saying that it means a whole lot more work and it still wouldn't be right.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:12 PM on May 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


This really seems like a non-problem. Don't we leave behind caring about half a year when we stop saying we're "nine and a half" or the like?
posted by Justinian at 8:15 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


my year of birth as 1990

Kill me. Kill me right now.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:19 PM on May 29, 2011 [94 favorites]


This really seems like a non-problem. Don't we leave behind caring about half a year when we stop saying we're "nine and a half" or the like?

Nonsense. I'm 46 going on 47 and proud of it.
posted by scalefree at 8:22 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah. People born in 90's (well, 1990) can legally drink this year (in the U.S.). Time marches on.
posted by MrFTBN at 8:23 PM on May 29, 2011


Didn't Bob Dylan have something to say about this?
posted by marxchivist at 8:26 PM on May 29, 2011


Kill me. Kill me right now.

Oh, they will. They will.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:28 PM on May 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


Oh, they will. They will.

Death panels!
posted by Forktine at 8:33 PM on May 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does she or doesn't she? Only her MeFi profile knows for sure.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:37 PM on May 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


Does she or doesn't she? Only her MeFi profile knows for sure.

I am old enough to get this.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:43 PM on May 29, 2011 [34 favorites]


damn kids!
posted by tomswift at 8:48 PM on May 29, 2011


For some little while now I've had the same Internet birthday as George W Bush. Weird, huh?
posted by flabdablet at 8:52 PM on May 29, 2011


It's just... not true.

In many East Asian cultures, children are considered 1 year old at birth, rather than at a year after birth. So maybe instead of thinking of it as dishonest half of each year, you could think of it as East Asian.
posted by scottreynen at 8:56 PM on May 29, 2011


You feel dishonest about fudging your age on an anonymous online forum? You could add you SSN, mailing address and banking information, too. Think of how relieved you'd feel.
No one cares how old you are.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:00 PM on May 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Does she or doesn't she? Only her MeFi profile knows for sure.

I am old enough to get this.


Me too.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:14 PM on May 29, 2011


Is this going to devolve into the LLL style prove your age by answering questions thing? Because I enjoy that sort of thing.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:16 PM on May 29, 2011


"Well, yeah. And then they'll think I'm 23 when I'm really 22 and some days! It's just... not true."

One of the best lessons I learned in my 20s was to ask, "Who cares?" It let me stop worrying about shit like this.
posted by klangklangston at 9:19 PM on May 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am old enough to get this.

Uh...me too? Being young doesn't mean you can't know your pop culture trivia.

But I guess that's what you get when you grow up in a family that jokes (quietly, of course), "are they real or are they Memorex?" any time a woman with breast implants walks by.
posted by phunniemee at 9:27 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Didn't Bob Dylan have something to say about this?

"Slap that drummer with a pie that smells."?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:28 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this going to devolve into the LLL style prove your age by answering questions thing? Because I enjoy that sort of thing.

Q: Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

˙uooʇɹɐɔ plo-ɹɐǝʎ-ǝʌlǝʍʇ ɐ :ɐ
posted by Sys Rq at 9:31 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does she or doesn't she? Only her MeFi profile knows for sure.
I am old enough to get this.
Me too.

*shakily raises hand from walking frame to signify 'me too'*
posted by dg at 9:48 PM on May 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kill me. Kill me right now.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:19 PM on May 29 [18 favorites +] [!]


Thats horrible. Just wait a few months and let nature take its course, old man winter!
posted by hal_c_on at 9:48 PM on May 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


You could choose a birthday that's close to yours but a week or a few off. You could even make it a couple weeks later and people will think you're a year younger than you really are for a couple weeks.

But really, how is this that big of a problem?
posted by chimaera at 10:02 PM on May 29, 2011


It's not. I just thought it was weird for us to be calculating people's ages by crude year-from-year subtraction on a site where the difference between a minus sign and a hyphen actually matters. Since I've seen the feature I suggested on other sites I thought I'd ask about it. But if it's not going to happen, I'm fairly sure I'll be OK.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 10:27 PM on May 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is why I refuse to participate in leap years, and have anchored my floating fortress on the International Dateline.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:34 PM on May 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well, yeah. And then they'll think I'm 23 when I'm really 22 and some days! It's just... not true.

You had always seemed to moral, upright and trustworthy. But now? I'll never read your comments in the same way again.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:20 AM on May 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


ARE YOU EVEN TWO OR THREE CARS, OR IS THERE A SUV IN THERE TOO?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:24 AM on May 30, 2011 [15 favorites]


Uh...me too? Being young doesn't mean you can't know your pop culture trivia.

But I guess that's what you get when you grow up in a family that jokes (quietly, of course), "are they real or are they Memorex?" any time a woman with breast implants walks by.


But your family got the line wrong. The difference may be trivial, but if we are trivial with trivia, we will trivialize travesty! Or try to traverse a tragedy. Or take a trapeze to trigonometry. Treacle? I get confused.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:26 AM on May 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


dg: "Does she or doesn't she? Only her MeFi profile knows for sure.
I am old enough to get this.
Me too.

*shakily raises hand from walking frame to signify 'me too'*
"

::Raps twice on lid of coffin to signify yes. Bony hand crumbles to dust.::
posted by Splunge at 12:37 AM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


an SUV, sheesh Brandon!
posted by Meatbomb at 1:09 AM on May 30, 2011


What about those of us who measure age in " iterations" rather than years?
posted by The Whelk at 2:14 AM on May 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Kill me. Kill me right now.
posted by CunningLinguist


It's time to report to Carrousel, CunningLinguist.
posted by vacapinta at 2:33 AM on May 30, 2011 [11 favorites]


I just thought it was weird for us to be calculating people's ages by crude year-from-year subtraction on a site where the difference between a minus sign and a hyphen actually matters.

Your favourite band punctuation sucks. Your age lasts only a for a year, but grammar is forever.
posted by arcticseal at 2:46 AM on May 30, 2011


I demand the long-form birth date! Why won't you release it?
posted by pompomtom at 4:24 AM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


SHE MET A COUPLE GIRLS IN A ESCALADE
posted by SomeTrickPony at 4:38 AM on May 30, 2011


Just be glad we calculate anything. Every year, right before NaNoWriMo starts, I have to go in and change my age manually. I forgot one year, so the next, on my birthday, I had to add two years to the number. The shame didn't fade for weeks.

(If you people think that 1990 is bad, let me just point out that kids born after the first Star Wars prequel was released are now in middle school.)
posted by SMPA at 6:31 AM on May 30, 2011


> But your family got the line wrong.

The family was making a joke.
posted by languagehat at 6:50 AM on May 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


But I guess that's what you get when you grow up in a family that jokes (quietly, of course), "are they real or are they Memorex?" any time a woman with breast implants walks by.

That's not what this:

Does she or doesn't she? Only her MeFi profile knows for sure.

refers to.

Here.
posted by cooker girl at 9:16 AM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, it is possible to

But your family got the line wrong.

take artistic license for the sake joke clarity, and

That's not what this...refers to.

have a catalog of more than one historical advertising message in your repertoire.


sigh...
posted by phunniemee at 9:19 AM on May 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wasn't trying to be, like, super-picky or anything. Just helpful. Sorry I made you sigh.
posted by cooker girl at 9:22 AM on May 30, 2011


Does she or doesn't she? Only her MeFi profile knows for sure.

I too am old enough to remember that line, but cant remember the name of the product.
posted by timsteil at 9:29 AM on May 30, 2011


Clairol. Had to do with "Is she or isn't she a natural blonde?"
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:04 AM on May 30, 2011


Clairol®
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:07 AM on May 30, 2011


Had to do with "Is she or isn't she a natural blonde?"

When I was, oh, I dunno, 7 or 8 years old, some James Bond movie was on television and there was some redhead he was conversing with and Bond used the phrase "well, if the curtains match the carpet" or something... and my mother said "ooo, NASTY!" (something she almost never actually said) and then refused to explain to me what was so nasty about that interior decorating comment.

I wandered around our house the next day looking carefully at all the windows in the house to make sure we didn't have a nasty house.

Ah, to be young and naive again.
posted by hippybear at 10:11 AM on May 30, 2011 [14 favorites]


Watching MST3K as a young in was like getting a Historical Pop Culture graduate degree.
posted by The Whelk at 10:22 AM on May 30, 2011


Or you could put "I am NN years old" in your profile, and then update your profile on your birthday.

Seems like sometimes the simple solutions are the best....
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:39 AM on May 30, 2011


And why Shirley Polykoff matters.

I sometimes look at the profile of a poster to see location. Sex and age matter far less to me, esp. on the green, as some answers will have to be modified by location, and the questioner doesn't always mention it. I assume that all Mefites are honest, brave and strong. If not, send me back the pro-rated portion of my 5 spot, pls.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:53 AM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


have a catalog of more than one historical advertising message in your repertoire.

Well, I, for one, can't believe it's not butter -- and I'm soaking in it!
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:13 AM on May 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hey Vinny, gimme a pizza wit' nuttin'.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:52 AM on May 30, 2011


Nuttin' ?!
posted by Flunkie at 1:11 PM on May 30, 2011


OH SWEET NUTHIN
posted by The Whelk at 1:11 PM on May 30, 2011


Calgon, take me awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:23 PM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nuttin' ?!

Magnifique!
posted by dersins at 2:42 PM on May 30, 2011


I still don't trust anyone whose profile says they're over thirty.
posted by bendy at 2:58 PM on May 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's wise of you. We are old and wiley and are only seeking to corrupt your young flesh for our own twisted ends.
posted by hippybear at 3:04 PM on May 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


Say goodbye a little longer.
posted by cj_ at 4:33 PM on May 30, 2011


Chew the gum called Big Red...

Hm, is Big Red even made any longer?
posted by maxwelton at 6:39 PM on May 30, 2011


Ho, ho, ho!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:03 PM on May 30, 2011


is Big Red even made any longer?

apparently so
posted by hippybear at 7:32 PM on May 30, 2011


Yer soaking in it.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:45 AM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I dunno, but I'm still hoping a double pleasure is waiting for me.

Fucking gum commercials. On my death bed, sans memory of anything else I experienced, I'll remember 80s stick gum jingles.
posted by cj_ at 2:48 AM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, you know, it was pretty good. I went up to the lake with a bunch of sex-soaked 18 year old all-American boys and girls in cut off jeans, and we barefoot waterskied and chewed gum. How about you?
posted by dirtdirt at 6:26 AM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


If we're talking about pop culture references that date us, I once referred to a co-worker as "pulling an RCA Victor dog" to describe the weird head cock they gave at something that was confusing them.

This pulled a number of other amusing cocked headed inquiries from those around me who had no idea what I was talking about. When I looked it up, I realized I was making a reference that was about a century old, and I was unintentionally dating myself as being immortal.
posted by quin at 7:50 AM on May 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


quin, FYI, HMV stands for "His Master's Voice," the tagline under that long-dead doggie.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:00 AM on May 31, 2011


two or three cars parked under the stars: "
...
Well, yeah. And then they'll think I'm 23 when I'm really 22 and some days! It's just... not true.

I mean, I was just
asking. But it's OK, I figured it out. I put my year of birth as 1990, so now I'm lying to my profile but my profile is telling the truth."

A really snoopy person in your life (and the NSA, of course) could infer a great deal about who you really are from not only your profile page but also from your comments. Using your comments in this thread alone and their context, someone less intellectually lazy than I am could determine not only your actual age (you gave it outright) but probably infer which half of the year your birth month is in.

I changed user names a few of years back because at the time a quick Google search made connecting my user name to my real name trivial. However, anyone who actually knows me would be able to figure out who I am almost instantly from the wealth of personal anecdotes in my comments. Most people's comments are chock-full of mine-able information.

A better pony might have been fuzzy ages: "early twenties", "late fifties", "mid forties", etc.
posted by double block and bleed at 8:06 AM on May 31, 2011


pb: Why does the preview honor the </i> tag, but not the actual post?
posted by double block and bleed at 8:08 AM on May 31, 2011


some James Bond movie was on television and there was some redhead he was conversing with and Bond used the phrase "well, if the curtains match the carpet"

Diamonds Are Forever! (Most of the Bond movies are now on Netflix Instant. Huzzah!)
posted by epersonae at 8:12 AM on May 31, 2011


doubleblock and bleed, it appears there were two opening <i> tags leading off the quote there; I'm not sure where the preview vs. post discrepancy lies (the preview code is a bit odd in places, certainly) but I'm guessing the source of the problem here was actually a doubled-up and insufficiently double-closed tag generated by the quoting script you're using.

I feel like I've seen that a few other times in similar situations. Maybe it's something to do with how the selection-and-quote process happens? Like, it's possible that in selecting the bit of two or three cars' comment you meant to quote you also accidentally ended up "quoting" a bit of the italicized previous line that was them quoting MrFTBN's "...when you're really 21 and half?" comment? I dunno. It's one of those doesn't-come-up-too-often mysteries that now that you mention it has been sort of on my radar.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:18 AM on May 31, 2011


I was unintentionally dating myself as being immortal.

So you traveled back in time and hooked up with yourself, because you are both vampires?
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:22 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I totally get the 'does she or doesn't she?' joke. They covered it during the Mad magazine unit in my seventh-grade English class . This is absolute, literal truth.

And worse, I am thirty-five-years-old!
posted by stet at 2:14 PM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, as an unkillable narcissist with a time machine and a powerful need for good company, it seemed like the thing to do at the time.

And the blood drinking doesn't make me a vampire so much as a connoisseur. An... aficionado, if you will.

The bursting into flame at the sight of sunlight and stakes through the heart is what makes me a vampire.
posted by quin at 2:23 PM on May 31, 2011


I like the green ones.
posted by flabdablet at 8:23 PM on May 31, 2011


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