Many years ago, when my first child was a freshman in college (2004, in case you were wondering…..), I learned about a cool new technology called “Facebook”. At the time, it was limited to college students, who used it to connect with classmates. And to find out what was missed when said student accidentally slept through a class.
After a few years, Facebook became a site for high school students, then junior high students, and finally, a place for lonely parents to stalk their almost adult kids.
So I signed up.
What fun! At first I loved having the ability to post my every thought. (“What a long week!!”) I enjoyed sharing every important event in my life. (“Cleaned the bathroom this morning, then made some bread!”) I was privy to every single detail of every single friend. It was so incredibly….intimate.
Most importantly, I was able to silently monitor the social, academic and personal lives of all three of my kids. (“In a relationship” and “Single” were the key posts, but I read everything.)
After a while, I sort of settled into the wonderful world of Facebook, learning to disregard the claims that someone had just won a Pulitzer Prize, laughing at the jokes, and quickly scanning the posts about people’s head colds.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed my time on FB. I’m back in touch with a whole bunch of people from my past, and that is invaluable. I can chat with my old High School friends, and even the kids from elementary school. In spite of my fear of the NSA, I’ve been back in touch with friends in Tunisia, and have been able to learn about the events of the “Arab Spring” and all that has followed. That is amazing and awe inspiring; I get to ask about what is happening from people who are marching in the streets of Tunis. That experience can’t be matched, and I owe it all to Facebook.
But there are a couple of problems with this wonderful social media site. First of all, of course, is the horrible stalking by real and fake advertisers. I mean, seriously? I wrote once before about those horrific Dr. Oz ads (if you want to, you can read that here), but there are zillions of other ads to complain about. Shoes, bags, Masters Degrees, cremation (!), weight loss, jewelry, cosmetic surgery. You name it, I have been its target.
Second of all, those awful posts that appear on my…page? timeline? wall? thingy?….advertising a restaurant or a game or a TV show. Yuck. I don’t like the fact that I have to unlike it, then I have to explain WHY I unliked it. I just want it to go away!
But the main reason why I am kind of all done with the foolishness of FB?
Well, about 4 years ago, one of Kate’s friends wanted to win a contest on Facebook. She needed lots of people to vote for her. Kate talked me into setting up some Facebook accounts for people who weren’t real. So I made a page for my dog, Tucker.
Huhuhuh! How funny is this? I uploaded his picture, made up some information (you know, like “occupation: pet”, “age: 42 in dog years”). I thought I was hilarious. I got him his page, and voted for Kate’s friend, and promptly forgot all about it.
But here’s the problem.
Every single day, for the past three months, I have been getting an email from Facebook. It says, “Tucker, 10 people are waiting to meet you!” or “You have 15 friend requests, Tucker!”
And I want to scream, “No he doesn’t! He’s a damn dog!!! He has no friend requests!”
But no one would hear me, obviously. All I can do is delete the messages. Every day. Every single day. Over and over and over.
I tried to deactivate his account, but wouldn’t you know…….
I forget his password.