Columns

2017.11.29 Gotta love people who know what they hate

By RICH FOLEY 

I’ve almost made it through another year without feeling the need to get a smart phone. My dumb phone still works fine, and I’m not constantly bothered by apps. But one relatively new app does sound intriguing.

The cyber world is crawling with dating apps, but one named Hater has a unique way of bringing people together. It has an algorithm that matches people based on mutual dislikes. Research at the University of Oklahoma showed that mutual negative attitude about someone or something  can be an aid to bonding. Hater uses these mutual dislikes to play matchmaker.

Users are asked to select whether they like, love, dislike or hate famous people, things, concepts and activities. There are 3,000 topics available. I’m assuming the more topics a person has provided their opinion on, the more compatible the match might be.

Hater recently revealed the most hated person, activity, thing or concept in every state, based on over 100 million answers provided by over 600,000 users. Most hated items ranged from revealing to funny to one state’s response which I’m not allowed to mention in a family newspaper.

For example, Hater users in California hate fidget spinners more than any other person, thing, activity or concept. I can understand not caring about them, or not wanting to watch others play with them, but actually hating them more than anything else?

In South Dakota, the New York Times is the most hated thing. I wouldn’t have guessed anyone in the state even subscribes to it, but I’ve never been there so I’m not an expert. Maybe the streets of Sioux Falls are lined with New York Times vending machines, ones that never sell a single paper.

A few states to the south, Texas residents hate sleeping with the window open most of all. There must be some mysterious reason that keeps them from just closing the window.

Closer to home, people in Michigan hate “Pride and Prejudice.” I’m not sure if they mean the book or the movie. Probably both. In Ohio, tying a tie is the most disliked thing. Anyone who’s ever done it could understand that.

The folks at Hater also released a map showing the most hated food in every state. It, too, is interesting, amusing and sure to cause an argument or two, all wrapped up in one small map. 

Pizza, in one form or another, is the most hated food item on the list. In Michigan, it’s cold pizza. I guess the type of pizza doesn’t matter as long as it’s cold. In Delaware, Hawaiian pizza is most hated. In New York, they dislike ranch dressing on pizza.

Virginians hate dabbing pizza grease with a napkin, which I think is an activity, rather than a hated food. Residents of Maryland are similarly confused, hating “the corner piece of a brownie” more than anything. I’ll take any brownie up for grabs, corner piece or not. Folks in Missouri spurn “the last bite of a hot dog.” I’d agree with that, plus all the bites before the last one, too.

Several states hate what I suppose you’d have to call “ordinary” foods. Oregon residents hate fast food, while those in Connecticut dislike canned food. Along with fidget spinners, Californians hate Chick-Fil-A, while folks in New Mexico hate chicken nuggets, apparently no matter where they are bought.

 Snooty people in New Hampshire loathe spray cheese, those in Wisconsin give Lunchables a thumbs down, North Carolinians hate cottage cheese and tuna salad is the most abhorred item in Georgia. What is wrong with tuna salad? It’s tuna, it’s salad, what’s to hate?

The common folk in several states take on the food snobs, though, as Asian fusion leads the most objectionable list in Maine while hummus is loathed in Kentucky. Dim sum is despised by people in Idaho and tapas loses the popularity contest in North Dakota.

Fancy beverages are disdained as well, with Voss brand water hated in Alaska, LaCroix in Nevada, chai lattes in Pennsylvania, matcha tea in South Carolina and kombucha in Arizona. On the flip side, Hawaiians hate Coke.

And finally, there’s Indiana, whose most hated food item is charcuterie, a word that made me thankful I have a big dictionary. It defines it as “sausages and other cooked or processed meat foods.” That sounds gross to me, too. If I ever get a Hater account, I’ll probably be matched with a woman from Fort Wayne.