Facebook Phobics Anonymous

do you have a facebook? Gulp!

I know I’m not alone out there. I know that some of you too are quaking, finger hovering – just a second away from turning yourself over to the great F – but still unsure.

A safe and viable alternative might be to make up a fake name and fake identity, and to use it in order to post comments on other Facebook pages. If I were to resort to that deception it would be strictly above board – my anonymity wouldn’t be meant as a method to abuse F hospitality. I am, despite my eccentricities, 100% well-meaning. But then wouldn’t that defeat the purpose? I mean, if it were called ‘fakebook’… A further complication would no doubt arise from the fact that I’m hard pressed enough as it is to remember my actual user names and passwords. The thought of inventing a new name and identity for myself is just ridiculous. I’d never be able to sign back in again. Just going to an ATM sends shivers down my spine these days (will I remember the pin code? won’t I remember it? It’s a Russian Roulette!)

Why am I so worried, you ask, millions are doing it every day. (And if everyone jumped off a bridge…). Two things mainly. Both equally neurotic.

A couple of months ago I met a woman who told me the government uses Facebook pages to track and mark us. Like tagging, but without the funny bracelets. I thought at the time that she was a big loony (as I slowly backed away) – but raving lunatics have been proven right on occasion. Just a couple of days ago a guy was arrested in Thailand based on his Facebook comments. Having said that, I’m not exactly plotting to bring down the government. (Hmm.. – maybe I should erase that comment – someone with dyslexia might misread it and get the wrong idea, ‘not’ being such a tiny, negligible word). The most radical thing about me is my vertigo.

And as for that other, much more psychologically valid point – I dread the return of the repressed. Isn’t Facebook kind of like love, where you’re always interested in those who are interested in others, while those that are interested in you are always scary individuals with weird and clingy habits? (No, I’m not talking about you, dear!). What if I commit myself to Facebook, only to find that all my friends are people I’ve (successfully) lost along the way, rather than those I’m trying to find?

I feel like Woody Allen contemplating what to put on his bagel. I just don’t know. I need help, or a support group or something. Anyone?

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8 Responses to Facebook Phobics Anonymous

  1. coffeepearlsgrace says:

    Personally, I like Facebook. You have great control over your privacy settings, and lately I’ve really started narrowing down my friend list, so it exclusively captures people with whom I want to maintain contact. I learn a lot from my friends, not only about their lives, but also about events and information they share. So it’s neat. But I will admit that there are weeks in which I just lose interest. I’ll visit just a couple of time to respond to my own messages, and that’s about it. Other weeks, I’m more active. It varies. You don’t have to post every comment, thought, or movement for the world to see. So you still have control over your virtual life.

    But I also have friends that got off of FB because it was just “becoming too much” for them. So it’s totally a personal preference, I suppose. Maybe you should try it for a short time. See if you like it. If not, deactivate that account and move on with your life! 🙂

    • Thanks. I appreciate the input. I hadn’t actually thought of the possibility of narrowing down the friends list – I’m not sure exactly how that works. My fear of course is exaggerated. I’m not recovering from some stalker story. I don’t know where it comes from. I like to think it’s in my genes (in a cool way, though. More James Bond than waaa I’m a raving lunatic). I might just be tempted to try it. Look out for some rather hysterical blog messages at first… 🙂

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  3. umavvs says:

    Let me narrate a lil experience. I joined FB a few months back on invitation from a friend. The friend list expanded slowly. One guy sent add request a couple of months back and I accepted. I usually don’t turn down requests unless the profile suggests something murky. This one looked decent enough. It so turns out he’s from the same geographical region as me. Couple of messages later he asks to join yahoo messenger. I accept again in good faith although I don’t have time to spend with each of the people i befriend on FB. Now he’s complaining that I’m ignoring him!! Where to draw the line…these are places where we meet a lot of new people and some get really close based on common interests. Others just stay on the fringes. What to do with people like this who don’t understand how these things work! I felt really bad after that exchange.

    • Thanks for this. I’m sure it helps take the edge off what might appear as my paranoid sociopathy. Precedents have been noted! Clingers are out there! I know ‘following’ (as in followers/friends) is a big thing on these social network websites. But do they really stop to think about the difference between followers and stalkers? I guess if you find someone wearing your underwear and waiting for you in your bed – that’s a no brainer.

      This stranger hankering for your attention does sound dodgy. But what about those people we actually courted – those we enticed to join us in our virtual fun and now feel neglected? We promised them cozy nights by the virtual fire, s’mores and ghost stories. And all they got is an occasional impersonal tweet? We need to come up with some rules. Define expectations. Maybe we need a friend contract or something (I promise to write to you once a month if you… etc. etc. You promise not to write to me more than once a week…)

      All in a day’s work..

  4. I’ve done it! I’ve started a FB page for the protagonist of a novel I’m working on at present. She’s absolutely infuriated at the lack of privacy. I’ve assuaged her somewhat by promising not to import any friends or make her too public (needless to say, I have some ethical concerns there – wouldn’t want to confuse unsuspecting individuals). I’ve decided, though, that it would be ok to let her express herself on other people’s walls. So far, she’s a real sport.

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