I Call Bravo Sierra

Common sense isn't very common.

How Did I Get Here?

Posted by Keen Observer on March 5, 2011

This would be my Facebook post.

I’m crotchety and “old”, but I’ve been involved with computers directly or indirectly since the early 80s, so it’s not like I’m a Luddite.  But the idea of joining Facebook always seemed to me akin to answering that poor Nigerian prince’s email.  Whenever I interact with anyone or anything online…unless I know them personally…I use the absolute minimum of information possible to successfully complete that interaction.  Where possible, I use fake phone numbers and addresses (I live at Parliament, for example, or a former place of work), and I have a Yahoo! address that I use as a spam drop.  I hide behind the firewall of my hardware router.  And so on.  Facebook seemed like a bad idea in that context.

However, I went to the wedding of one of my cousins back in October, and aside from getting so shit-faced drunk that I have a scar to remind me of it (I really needed to blow off some steam around family, thanks to my personal life having been destroyed), one of the main things that came away from that experience was learning exactly how many of my family was on FB.  Most of them, I actually wanted to keep in contact with, and with some of them I had kept in touch through email, but one or two had changed emails and forgotten to let me know…of course, some of that happened around the time I was invited to change jobs from the one I had.

As a side story, a former co-worker at my current job had previously invited me to look her up on FB when she left the company to pursue a better employment opportunity.  I had indicated that I wasn’t on it, nor was I likely to be.  How little did I know.  This little interaction was about three months previous to the wedding.  This becomes important later.

So, after I got home from the wedding (it was out of the city) and went to the doctor to get fixed up, I thought a bunch more about things and decided to join up.  And I was literally amazed at what I found.  I hadn’t realised how many of my family were actually there, despite what I had learned at the wedding.  So I set out certain details in my profile and started building my friend list.  I also sent a friend request to the aforementioned co-worker, with a brief note.  She accepted, and she also recommended me (or they saw on their own) to other people we worked with, and soon, I had quite a nice friend list building.  I have slightly more non-family than family on my list, but my second bit of amazement was seeing the invisible network among many of my co-workers that I hadn’t even realised was there.  And with that also came the lesson of learning to be careful what I post or comment.  Here, I mostly don’t care, but I’m still careful about names.

It’s been largely a good experience for me, but I do get frustrated with some of the technical aspects of FB, and the way they can get quite heavy-handed with their users.  (I hate the new profile view, by the way.)  I’ve been able to re-connect with old friends and some family with whom I’ve fallen out of touch.  It was by this method that I learned the marriage of a different one of my cousins had broken down.  But I’ve also found that it’s a new way to be ignored by people.  The irony in this post is that I started my blog (such as it is) long before I joined FB, despite hiding behind pseudonyms and whatnot, exposing myself (when I can be bothered) a lot more to the world at large.  So it would seem that I had a bit of an inconsistent set of messaging to myself. 🙂  I guess the trick (justification?) is in keeping the different sets of information separate, so that no one can make the connection that it’s all me.

But now I’m starting to ramble.  Off you go, then.


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