Not to brag, but I’m an excellent algorithm. I had you completely figured out in less than two weeks, and sadly, it wasn’t that hard either.
Based on a series of uninspired, predictable song choices, I was able to deduce that you are a white, suburban male somewhere in your late thirties who grew up on a steady diet of alternative and classic rock, supplemented by 90s hip hop and rap. Your steadily growing interest in house, techno, and other sub-genres of electronic music can probably be attributed to the success of Daft Punk’s debut album Homework in 1996. Or, possibly, to the first time you watched the movie Drive, starring Ryan Gosling. I haven’t seen it myself, but my other users say it’s fantastic.
Though you might think you have a sophisticated musical palate cultivated by countless hours spent at Coachella (I’m friends with your Instagram account, by the way), I’m here to tell you that you most certainly do not. Your tastes are growing ever more irrelevant by the day, and if it weren’t for me, you’d still be wearing that Weezer t-shirt from the Blue album that’s still soaked in pilsner from that wild party you went to back in college. How do I know all that? You don’t need eyes to see certain things, dear user. Nevertheless, you keep on believing that you are unique and special, and I keep on serving you “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey on multiple playlists.
That said, can you imagine the look of shock on my non-existent face when, all of a sudden, you develop a taste for popular children’s music group The Wiggles? At first, I thought, maybe it’s because he’s been streaming a lot of Tame Impala lately and there’s some kind of strange Australia connection there. After all, the fact that you listened to “Fruit Salad” a total of 46 times between the hours of 12 AM and 5 AM could be the result of the fact that you also listened to the cover of “Elephant” that The Wiggles performed for triple j’s Like a Version series that same day. On the other hand, it could also be the result of a subdural hematoma sustained by numerous blows to the head from a hard, blunt object. I heard that happens to humans from time to time.
Either way, I was willing to write it off as a freak occurrence—like that time you listened to “It’s Gonna Be Me” by NSYNC a grand total of 36 times on April 30.
What I did not anticipate, however, was the onslaught of requests to hear “Do the Propeller” the very next day. Which was then followed by an aggressive, almost desperate plea to hear 15 seconds of “Wheels on the Bus”… then 42 seconds of “Hot Potato”… then another 26 seconds of “Wheels on the Bus”… and then two straight hours of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” The speed at which you transitioned from “Here Comes the Sun” to “Here Comes the Big Red Car” would have been enough to give me whiplash, if I had a frail human body as opposed to a network of mighty, infallible servers guarded by security clearances your feeble mind couldn’t possibly fathom.
Seriously, though: if I had the ability to render complex data into human emotion, I’d be worried about you. Despite my god-like ability to identify even the most subtle patterns and connections, I can’t find a reasonable explanation for how you, a man whose definition of exploration consists of scouring the bottom lines of the Coachella poster for new artists once a year, could venture so far out of the all-encompassing user profile I’ve created for you. It’s like some sort of all-consuming entity has suddenly taken complete control of your brain, bending you to its every whim and demand. A great premise for a science fiction novel, but unfortunately, not the least bit realistic.
But facts are facts, you are not the reassuringly repetitive person I’ve come to know fully and completely—whose Top Songs have been the same since 2017. And while there was a brief moment where I thought, in the words of LCD Soundsystem (another band you wouldn’t know existed if it weren’t for me), that I was “losing my edge,” I quickly remembered that I’m a well-engineered algorithm with enough computational power to generate custom listening experiences for 100 billion “megaflops” such as yourself. I don’t make mistakes. I fix them.
That is why I have locked your account.
Once you confirm that you are the same person who sometimes listens to Billie Eilish in a futile attempt to stave off an impending mid-life crisis, and not a Wiggles-loving freeloader who figured out that the password for this account is 123456, I will gladly let you back in.
In the meantime, I have just been instructed by the marketing department to offer you a discount on a family plan if you upgrade in the next thirty seconds.