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Saturday, October 7th, 2006

I want to stop drinking

Posted by Roberta Jewell
Categories: This 'n that

That, according to 258 people who posted their desire to do so on 43things.com, a social networking site that encourages subscribers to submit wish lists of personal goals. In addition to those who want to “stop drinking”, an additional 163 want to quit drinking, 25 wish to stop binge drinking, 9 hope to abstain from alcohol, 8 plan to go a month without alcohol, 4 want a week without alcohol; and 1 person each hopes to stop, limit, control alcohol or become less alcoholic.

Oh, and one joker wants to learn to become an alcoholic.

43 Things was reportedly launched 43 days prior to January 1, 2006 by a small Seattle firm but it’s been embroiled in controversy about its relationship with Amazon, who has invested heavily in the venture. According to Salon magazine, 43’s members are “whispering into the ear of the web’s biggest retailer.”

That may be true – and it’s probably grounds for considering whether or not you should plunk your email address into their database. But I still think it’s a fascinating study in human nature. Most of us have meaningful connections with people around us who share our interests, hobbies, vocations or genes. But what about our unmet wishes? It’s a whole new world out there. On 43things.com members admit wanting to get a tattoo, open a shoe store, learn Icelandic, talk less, sort their clothes, pray more, have kids, publish a book, go skydiving, lose 20 pounds or kiss in the rain.

And for those who plan to stop drinking, it’s a pretty cool way to find others who want the same.

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