Sunday, July 17, 2011

When did we become so elite?

There was a recant discussion on our local Darwin couchsurfing group in regards to lazy couch requests, by that I mean people not reading profiles, no pictures or minimal data in, obvious copy/paste requests. It makes me wonder when we became such elitists. If people looked at me now they would assume that I was an expert in couch surfing. My profile is pretty awesome, great pictures, at least a hundred positive references from surfers & hosts. But once upon a time I wasn’t the person I am now.
My first ever CS request was back in January 2009. I had no idea what I was getting into and my intentions were all but pure. My boyfriend and I were driving from Banff, CA to Anchorage, AK to see the Iditarod race. It was March which meant nights were around -10 and way too cold to camp as we didn’t have the right gear. Plus being northern Canada & USA there was a lot of mining this time of the year and the towns that did have any accommodation left had the high rates of over $100CA a night! So my initial reason was because it would save me money. When I sent my request my profile was simple and didn’t even have a picture, of course that changed within a week but my first ever hosts Cynthia & Randy accepted me quite readily without that picture.

Nowadays I will not accept anyone without a picture of their face on the profile, I feel that with growing popularity couch surfing is attracting more and more of the wrong kind of people when I joined it was less than a million now its over 2 million people. At least if there is a photo of them on the internet there is less chance of them ripping me off right?

Going back to my first experience I may have started with the wrong intentions of the website but I left with all the best and have since given back 100x more than I took. So how can I judge a person for such incompleteness when I myself was guilty of it before I really understood the concept of couchsurfing. All it took was a taste and I was hooked. So that couple taking a chance on me made me the surfer/host I am today.

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