March 2, 2009
I’m not actually ON Facebook
I’m just spying on everyone else who is
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS THING?
Who developed this creepy, invasive, corrosive, contagious gallery of winners and losers? (You, Facebook failures, you know who you are.)
DID YOU JUST JOIN FACEBOOK?
Who doesn’t cry a silent tear when told, “You have no friends.” You are so pathetic. You better hurry and round some up. Doesn’t matter who they are. Have you seen them or heard their name somewhere? Invite him/her. Tell them,
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a Facebook friend—would you be mine? Could you be mine? I’ve always wanted to have a Facebook friend just like you. I’ve always wanted to live in the Facebook cybersphere with you! So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day; since we’ve heard of each other we might as well say: Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my Facebook friend? Won’t you please, won’t you please? Please won’t you be my Facebook friend?
I NEVER HAD ANY INTENTION
of getting onto Facebook; as I ask a friend before I join, isn’t it just an intrusive time-waster? But you can’t search for your long-lost friends without registering your own self. That gang of mine hadn’t heard from the designer of this very webpage, for several years—and I find him on Facebook in minutes, tapping maple trees out on the other coast.
Even so, I think long and hard about whether to enter yet another circle of internet hell. Just one more thing to check on and fit into a day. I ask myself, as I often do, “What would Barry Gifford do?” (He once exclaimed, about friends’ suggestions that he start a web page, “That’s not what I’m here for!”) I think certainly, this guy is not going to be trolling around Facebook. I was actually disappointed when I found that he does have a page—but relieved it’s not one that he tends, it’s a user-generated group of fans. Although these days I guess a Facebook celebrity page would be considered part of a standard marketing/outreach package, for professionals of any ilk, just like a website.
I DECIDE TO INFILTRATE
Facebook so I can write this column. I invite some obvious friend choices that are already on it, and build a pathetically small coterie of friends. At first I see that I am online with (2) of them (this is a toggle option). Fuck, I’m thinking, I really don’t need people to know I’m on Facebook at any given time. It’s none of their business what I’m doing, even though I notified them at 8:31 that I was opening a bottle of wine.
ALEXANDRA, YOU’RE MISSING THE POINT!
Hey braniac, what you’re doing is exactly the point! This is social networking. Everyone is supposed to know everyone’s business. Maybe you’re unclear on the concept?
“How do you know everyone else is telling the truth?” friend Kathy wrote me.
“You don’t.” I responded. “The whole thing is just something you get sucked into, as into the vortex of your toilet. (Yes, I am going to say that in my column. In fact, I already have.)”
I HAVE TWO PHONE CONVERSATIONS,
trying to get the hang of the Facebook phonemenon, the first with Friend A of City B and the second with Friend C of City D. I had introduced them years before in City E.
Sssssh. Listen to this: On January 25, 2009, at 4:57, give or take a nanosecond, Friend A became friends with Alexandra Jones and one Friend F. And at more-or-less 5:22 p.m. Friend ME commented: “And now all the world knows about it!” And later, in her column, on 2/28/09, she wrote,
BIG FUCKIN’ DEAL!!
WHO CARES!? Well, perhaps Friend A and Friend ME and Friend F do. Perhaps Friend ME had no idea Friend A knew Friend F. What if I commented, “You guys know each other!? Let’s all get together for a beer!” And perhaps a real-world encounter would result. (There’s plenty of funny Facebook take-offs on You Tube, but I love this one, Facebook in Reality,” best.)
ASIDE: A REAL REAL-LIFE ENCOUNTER
I had dinner last night with a Facebook Friend I’d never met. But I knew of him before that when he wrote to me out of the blue at the Ax Files:
“Hello there, I stumbled upon your site from the CBS blog. I thought I’d send a note telling you how much I enjoyed reading you today. An important note: Anyone who can still reference Zasu Pitts while in the bottom of a hole can indeed cure herself. Just remember to look up. I shall continue to read.”
Then I run into his name on Open Salon and ask him, “Are you the same Michael Procopio who subscribes to my column?” Yes, he confirms. Then, I find him on Facebook, and he accepts my Friend Request. Then, I see he has posted that his dinner date for the evening has become ill, and does anyone want to join him for a special pre-opening “practice dinner” at Contigo, a new tapas place at 24th and Castro (check it out). Long story short, I do. Real life ensues.
I’m on the phone with Friend A, we’re exploring Facebook together. It’s fun, he says, but there’s lots of potential for obnoxia [Friend A’s word for all that is obnoxious –Ed.]. Friend A searches for my profile among Alexandra Jones’s. I comment that a lot of them are blank. “There’s lots of blank ones,” he remarks.
I draw a mental image of dozens of empty Profile icons studding the Facebook landscape like blank headstones butting up against engraved ones reading “Alexandra Jones.” This Alexandra Jones was from Seattle, this one from Youngstown, Ohio, Marble Falls High School, France, Atlanta, Wales, London. No one knows very much about the blank ones.
Friend A is trying to show me the ropes. We are both online. “And, look we can chat…” referring to live-time Post-it-like notes between just the two of us.
“We are chatting” I say.
“We are chatting,” he concurs.
So here I am in cyberspace, and of course there are some handy things about Facebook. You get information about what people you know are doing that you would not have learned from their contacting you personally, even right this minute, thanks to Status Updates, a little box that asks you, What are doing right now? And gives the time and date you are doing or did it. Thanks to this, for instance, I now know that Luke Thomas, publisher of Fog City Journal, frequently eats bananas. Of course I have to put some silly thing to mark my own territory: “Alexandra Jones…really has to pee right now. Excuse her.”
Later on, on the phone, Friend C thinks this is a stupid feature. “I don’t need to know what Bessy McFartyfart was doing 47 seconds ago!” he griped.
And I instantly enter on my Status Update, “Alexandra Jones wonders what Betsy McFartyfart was doing 47 seconds ago.”
Later on, scrolling through—or scaling?—Friend A’s “wall” (the Facebook bulletin board for each user), I discover that Friend A liked the movie “Milk.” And that Friend C commented, “How many hankies? I was a sponge!!!” Friend A replied, “Yeah, a lot! I felt wrecked afterward and had to have several pieces of pizza/glasses of wine! I thought that they did a great job with the film and Sean Penn was AMAZING!!!”
See—now I don’t have to bother to call Friend A or Friend C and ask either of them if they saw/what they thought of “Milk.” Why would I want to talk to a friend when I can just stare at his wall? OR, I could use my hankie info to catapult conversation in an unexpected new direction. “So, heard you were a sponge!!! after you saw ‘Milk.’ Have you wrung yourself out yet?” Friend C might get a sick jolt, wondering how I knew that. Or not.
SOON INTO MY TENURE
on Facebook, a friend invites me to join his cause: Say NO to biometrics in your CA driver’s license. Is this something I care about? Sure, why not? Another government intrusion on privacy.
Oh! I’ve got a little red (1) on the Notifications button.What can this be?
“Your cause,” I am told in a pop-up menu, “Say NO to biometrics in your CA driver’s license, has reached 5 members and earned a new pixel crowd: Clique.” I say the words aloud, clearly enunciating each to drive home its meaning: “My cause…has earned a new pixel crowd: Clique.”
Wha the fuh? It gives me the option, View Cause, but I don’t even wanna know. How much do I want to know about anyone, come to think of it?
“PRIVATE OBAMA PHOTOS”
is a Yahoo headline I saw a while back. Think about that for a sec. Private, but they’re top story tonight on Yahoo’s Home Page.
“Below are new, private photos of the first 48 hours of Barack Obama’s administration. The President and First Lady Michelle Obama, along with daughters Sasha and Malia, were captured in tender moments by White House photographer Pete Souza.”
Think about all the personal data you’ve entered on Facebook. That information, and tons more gathered from whatever source, whatever it is, is Out There, X-Files style. Whatever left a paper trail or information/gossip trail, can most likely be found on the Web. Temple University Alumni Association’s requests for donations and their newsletter have followed me to every address I’ve ever moved to, and in a timely fashion. Do they have a GPS tracker on me?
One fellow on a neighborhood mail list once revealed he doesn’t care if the government monitors his email or phone calls. I asked him, what about that thing called privacy? He said he would gladly trade privacy for security. Yikes! I told him that was the scariest thing I ever heard, and that someday we could all end up like Winston Smith, scribbling in our journals, squeezed into an awkward angle of our apartments, that one odd corner of privacy, to escape the all-seeing eye of Big Brother. If you don’t really care, check THIS out. (Sorry, don’t know how to install a video link in a WordPress file.)
Nevertheless Facebook has ninety million—90,000,000,000—active users, according to WikiAnwers But another site says it’s 120 million—2% of the world’s population of 6 billion. I’m sure the total changes by the second.
Is there some kind of inherent worth in being on Facebook, and accumulating friends on Facebook, some kind of crackerjack surprise when you reach a certain number? The more friends you have, the more tuned in to what things of interest are going on in your town. But doesn’t it mean that the more friends you have, the less time you have for any one of them? That was one of the reasons I left Philadelphia—too many friends, too much time spent socializing (with people, in the early 80‘s, not their avatars) and not writing. Moving to Portland narrowed the field to one friend to spend time with (but many more to write letters to). If you have thousands of friends, don’t you get thousands of Status Updates? Who wants to thrash through that jungle? You know damn well you don’t know or care about many or most of these people. But as far as I can tell, users want to accumulate as many “friends” as possible, whether they consider them to be friends or not. Because on Facebook, said a friend,
ALL FRIENDS ARE EQUAL.
Well, we know they’re not. You know who your friends are.
YOUR REAL-LIFE FRIENDS
They’re the ones you consider family. The ones you hang with. That you don’t have to clean the house for. The ones who go way back. The ones you talk to every day or so. The ones you love. If they die: You would be devastated, for months, perhaps. You would wail at their funeral. Then there are:
VARIOUS GOOD FRIENDS YOU HAVE OCCASIONAL CONTACT WITH
These are other cherished friends you just don’t see that often but when you do you thoroughly enjoy their company and you promise to see each other more often. If they die: You would be shocked, depressed, saddened. You would cry hard, before, during and after their funeral.
PEOPLE WHO IF YOU SAW THEM ON THE STREET YOU’D INVITE THEM FOR A LET’S-CATCH-UP-WITH-EACH-OTHER DRINK
These are people who you have infrequent contact with, who are great people, solid citizens, perhaps a colleague or professional acquaintance, a go-to type, or old drifted-away friend or college classmate, but neither of you has time or inclination to see the other more than you do by chance. If they die: you’d be shocked and lament your own mortality. You would shed a tear or two at their funeral.
PEOPLE YOU KNOW WHO YOU LIKE WELL ENOUGH BUT SELDOM DO ANYTHING WITH OUTSIDE OF A GROUP EVENT—AND YOU DON’T INVITE EACH OTHER, YOU ALL JUST SHOW UP
People you’ve known, even for years, because they are “out there” and you’re bound to see them. But you wouldn’t call them good friends. You could well have their phone number for some reason but you’re not going to use it to call them up and suggest a one-on-one drink at Cav. If they die: You’d be stunned because you just saw them Wednesday and they looked fine! You’d get choked up at their funeral, or cry if you cry at any funeral no matter whose.
OIL THE SOCIAL MACHINERY FRIENDS
You have a friend request from Xxxx? You could swear Xxxx doesn’t like you. You haven’t spoken to Xxxx in a year. But you will see Xxxx sooner or later, and you don’t want any subtext of why did you ignore my Friend Request. Not worth it. If they die: It wouldn’t have much effect on you. You wouldn’t go to their funeral.
SONS-OF-BITCHES YOU CAN SEEM TO GET OUT OF YOUR LIFE
If they die: You’d rejoice. You would laugh at their funeral. [The author once yelled “FREE AT LAST! FREE AT LAST!” (of the possibility of his ever entering her life again) upon hearing of the wrongful-death case of a former sociopath boyfriend. (She doesn’t care who knows it.) – Ed.]
PEOPLE WHO YOU HAVE NEVER MET NOR HEARD OF BUT WHO YOU WOULD NO DOUBT LIKE WELL ENOUGH BECAUSE THEY ARE FRIENDS WITH SOME FRIEND OF YOURS
Tip: This does not always work. Some of my best friends don’t care for some of my best friends. Who’d-a thunk?
BUT THE PERMUTATIONS AND VARIATIONS
and levels of friendship go on and on, none fits truly into any category, it would be monstrous to expect it to, and especially the Facebook catch-all “Friend.” For instance, I stumbled upon this note entitled: Facebook Relationship Status: articulating the psycho-socio-cognitive plexus, between one Aurora Danai and one Michael Gaio (used with their permission).
1) we say we are “In Relationship” yet show no association to each other’s names (to avoid weighty associated projections).
2) or the option to choose the blank status — that displays no type of relationship label status at all.
What do you feel comfortable with?
From Aurora Danai:
Miquael, thank you for this extremely thoughtful and well articulated email. Thank you also for all of your counseling kindness and friendship.
You are an infinitely attractive vortex field within which is produced the finest universal qualities of uttermost important mental distinctions based on solid values and evolutionary perceptions. The galactical (collective consciousness of the galaxy) is enthrivened by such meticulous attention to the lovetailing synchocratic biorythms that you beharmonate. Perhaps I can create another facebook page called “Evolutionary Impulse” and you can be in relationship with it? XOX Au
From Michael Gaio
You are very welcome Aurora. I see you as such a beautiful embodiment of the conscious evolutionary impulse, and it is an honor to learn and participate with you on a transformative path.
Thank you for this considerate reply. Your language here is also beautiful as it successfully reaches the fringes of ineffable experience with words such as “lovetailing synchocratic”.
May galaxy doves wing thru the bright sky of your heart!
Incidentally, Aurora asks, “Are you having an existential art crisis that only a psychedelic art nouveau intuitive psychic muralist, poet, performance art provocateur and shamanistic healing herbal raw vegan naturist can solve?” Contact her!
WHEN DOES ONE IGNORE
a Friend Request? The line I draw is simple. No total strangers. I have never met and never heard of the person, whether a friend of a friend of not. But even this is subject to case-by-case review. Chances are, if the person is a friend of a friend of yours, you’d give them a chance on that basis. If the person sends a message along with their Friend Request, I’ll consider it. No one, in my experience, besides myself, does. I don’t send Friend Requests to people I know by reputation or sight but have never met, but I have had Friend Requests from some of those people. Usually I will send them a message saying, “I know who you are but have never met you; how do you know me?” And if I make a Friend Request to someone I don’t often see, I add a message of greeting. Those messages, by the way, are not responded to except with friend confirmations.
Aurora Danai says,“I organize this www.chicagonakedride.org. The whole city of Chicago ‘knows’ me and I ‘know’ about ten thousand people personally, but F if I remember how. Right now I have 75 friend requests on this thing… I’m not answering them unless people like you who are nice enough to communicate actually say hi first.”
I GET FRIEND REQUESTS
from all strata of relationship levels. Then I figured out that most people send Friend Requests to virtually anyone, and accept virtually any Friend Request that will add to their armada of Facebook friends. I accidentally sent a friend request to a person with the same name as a friend but who turned out to live in Brazil. He accepted, within seconds. Well, I sent a note saying, “Whoops! Wrong Adolf Hitler,” and deleted him. A friend, however, who created a “TouchGraph” photo with various colored groups of people, further linked by straight lines to others, explained “blue-purple are my…cousins and one Facebook person from Slovakia who asked to be my friend and whom I know nothing about.”
Someone in my building, who I know only through neighborly relations, is ignoring my friend request, or hasn’t seen it yet. I can respect that. Why should I know all his friends’ goings on, just because we’re on pleasant terms with each other? He has a right to keep his Facebook world restricted. But how would you feel if you were ignored by some acquaintance you thought to be a friend? I’ve ignored a couple from people I don’t know, but I’d been afraid someone would get the notification, “Alexandra Jones has IGNORED your friend request.” Even if I don’t know the person I don’t want to offend him (harking back to that lonely, “You have no friends.”). But “IGNORE does not hit a notification,” a friend wrote me. They just never hear from you and most won’t notice. I don’t. I forget,” she wrote, adding, “I’m old.”
But some people do notice, big time.
“IT’S A TOOL FOR HURT,
is what it is,” said a friend, of Facebook, who complained, bitterly, of a (pre-existing) friend, “She won’t ‘friend’ me on Facebook!” She was quite upset about it, until it turned out it was nothing personal, the friend closed her Facebook account and can’t be reached. But she was beside herself for a while. Now she’s upset, not for herself, but her friend.
I was surprised to get some friend requests from people I suspect don’t like me or find me weird, or that I’ve barely or never spoken to. (I could be wrong.) Then I saw on the home page that one of them that he had used Friend Finder to invite 3500+ people to be friends. Isn’t that special? It seems to me that the main objective of Friend Requests on Facebook is accumulating and escalating your number of friends, which if you’re networking for social causes makes sense, but I got a Friend Request from someone I actually hadn’t intended to ever again have contact with, who I think would have a nerve to consider himself a friend of mine. He doesn’t know this, but still I see him around, out there in my city, and I puzzled for a while about whether to ignore him, IGNORE him, or be generous and CONFIRM him. I doubt he would have noticed either way (I puzzled over it, I even wrote on my what are you doing note, Alexandra Jones doesn’t know what to do). I did confirm him some days later, not to be a baby about it, but unbeknownst to him I’m going to continue to ignore him, in real life, to be a baby about it.
THEN THERE’S THE “I REALLY SHOULD BE…..”
doing something else guilty pleasure of Facebook. Along with being a near-perfect distraction, avoidance facilitator, and gossip resource, Facebook may have more sinister aspects. I saw a Yahoo video report captioned: “Facebook is killing your brain.”
Silma Siraj of Australia 7 News reports that brain specialist Baroness Greenfield “is warning that social networking networks like Facebook could damage children’s minds. The British expert is concerned, users who spend hours in front of the screen could lose their ability to concentrate and communicate. For years we’ve tried to make the internet a safer place for children. Now, it’s that feeling of safety or security that could be harming users.”
Baroness Greenfield says, “If most of the time you are in a sense in a safer world, where you’re not being put tothe test of thinking immediately and assessing and evaluating things as they’re going along, then perhaps it might be the case that you end up most comfortable hiding behind the screen.”
“VERY SHORT ATTENTION SPANS,”
says Greenfield, “might actually keep you in a world where you just see the outside world as a snapshot rather as something that has consequences.”
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook stated, “We believe, really deeply, that if people are sharing more, then the world will be a more open place where people can understand what’s going on with the people around them, and that’s really what we want to work towards.” [The author marvels, “This guy’s a CEO?” – Ed.]
Siraj continues, “There are clear benefits to social networking, but the human brain is incredibly sensitive to the environment around it. We simply don’t know how our brains are changing due to prolonged exposure to screen life—life on the internet. Baroness Greenfield is calling for a proper investigation into those effects, saying we should not simply sleepwalk into new technologies.”
Yeah. Don’t you sometimes stumble away from your computer like the night of the living dead, with glazed eyes that have to readjust to the light of day? I know if I’ve spent an hour clicking and scrolling, I feel vaguely nauseated, like when I’ve been on the phone too long.
WHAT’S THE WAY OUT
of this morass of electronic tentacles reaching into our lives and squeezing the life out of us?
“WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO, TURN OFF YOUR TV AND YOUR COMPUTER?
HA HA HA. ha ha. HA HA.”
So challenges Alec Baldwin in a HULU commercial that celebrates softening the human brain to the consistency of a ripe banana. Hulu takes it to the next level, “beaming to your portable computing devices, more of the cerebral-gelatinizing shows you want, any time, anywhere, for free.” Soon your brain can be scooped out with a melon baller and gobbled up by aliens.
My answer is,
YES, NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT.
I am going to turn off my television and my computer. It used to be I would never turn on my computer unless I was going to write something. Now the cursed thing’s always on, or “asleep,” but never turned all the way off. Sixth thing in the morning, after I feed the cats, clean the litter box, take my shower, get dressed, and prepare my breakfast, I head for a coffee shop (optional) and check for email, for my Ax Files blog stats, for Facebook activity, to see what’s new on Open Salon and to scan the newspapers. It’s easy to do this throughout the day if you’re always online, but there’s really no need to do so more than a few times a day, morning, afternoon and night. That’s just not enough, though, for people who need to know what’s happening in the world and with people they know and don’t know, practically by the second, via email, voicemail, texting, Facebook, My Space, Twitter, Tumblr, RSS feeds, Blackberries and web searches.
EVOLVE OR DISSOLVE
said my friend Saand. Is all this instant everything progress? I feel we are devolving right into our keyboards and touch screens. And so, I am granting myself a new lease on life. Off goes the TV, on goes the music. Handwritten notes, cards, letters will make a comeback in this household. I will walk the streets and Shop Local for a stack of postcards to carry with me for on-the-fly communiqués with friends. An email or Twitter may be convenient, but it has no local flavor, no interesting stamp, no friend’s handwriting, no wear and tear of travel, and it doesn’t support the economy.
I’m on my laptop much of the time, writing one thing or another, but writing doesn’t count as an electronic obsession. My computer is a medium for writing. It could be a typewriter, a legal pad and a pencil, whatever, but I’ve decided I am going to QUIT SAFARI while I’m writing and ignore the internet while I do so.
AN ARTIST IN BERKELEY
told me he now spends time watching free movie downloads, that he used to spend in his studio. That is sad and dangerous. There’s too much blue-facing going on in the world—that is, too much screen light illuminating people’s faces as they go about their day, from computers and phones. Get off your goddamn gadgets, googlers! Jerry Seinfeld lamented talking to people who are comparing your conversation to whatever’s on their Blackberries, and gradually looking down until they’re outright texting right in front of you. He counters, do I hold up a magazine in front of your face and read it while you’re talking to me?
I GOT ADDICTED TO MSNBC
during the election. It’s not the news, I told the artist. It’s the mocking of the news. The commentators are fundits, as I’ve previously called them. But please, these are time fillers, if not wasters. I need to be my own priority. There are worlds of time out there to pursue your dreams and schemes, but we distract ourselves with Brain Waste Theater and checking into whatever everyone else is doing. Writer Mark Morford of the dying SF Chronicle kindly offers a service called Geekamania, which does all your social networking for you, “because you don’t have time for this sh_t.” In “What Are You Doing? Media Twitterers Can’t Stop Typing,” Allesandra Stanley comments, “The Internet has revolutionized society by giving anyone an instant and unfiltered outlet for self-expression. But it has also turned journalism into a year-round, ever-updated ‘Dear Friends and Family’ Christmas newsletter.”
NO WONDER NEWSPAPERS ARE DYING
They can’t update what someone’s doing and thinking second by second, like all us addicts with our insatiable hunger for knowing as much as we possibly can at every possible instant. After all, the Twitter home page is headed, “Find People. Follow them.”
Jimmy Fallon, replacement for Late Night’s Conan O’Brien, has been building his audience on the Internet, through Facebook and Twitter, where 100,000+ fans are following him. I don’t know about you, by I don’t like the idea of walking down the street with 100,000 people looking over my shoulder. I guess others crave that kind of attention, or need it for their careers.
TWEET, TWEET, TWEET, TWEET, TWITTER!
“I get up in the morning,” says Peter Riegert as Sam Posner in “Crossing Delancey.” “I like to hear the birds go tweet, tweet. And then my day begins.”
“With Twitter,” says the Twitter website, “you can stay hyper–connected to your friends and always know what they’re doing. Or, you can stop following them any time. You can even set quiet times on Twitter so you’re not interrupted.” And they continue: “Twitter puts you in control and becomes a modern antidote to information overload.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Boldfacing by Twitter; italics and exclamation points the author’s –Ed. ]
OK, it’s not enough to be connected; now we have to be hyper-connected. And by the way, thanks loads, Twitter, for granting me control of my own goddamn life and communication habits. Reminds me of an old TV ad for Time Magazine, informing us that Time “lets you care.” Thanks a fuckin’ bunch. Do I also have your permission to live?
FOLLOW ZazuKatz ON TWITTER!
I just signed up my cat, Zazu Katz, for Twitter to see what happens. I am told in my welcoming email that Using Twitter is going to change the way [your cat] think[s] about staying in touch with friends and family. I’m skeptical, but we’ll see.
ZazuKatz’s first tweet: “Sleeping on top of the back of the couch, as usual. I lifted my head momentarily when a car went by. Now I’m asleep again.” (5 seconds ago). ZazuKatz’s first update: “Just lifted my head again.” (2 seconds ago). ZazuKatz’s second update: “Just lowered it again.” (1 second ago).
Wow, this IS revolutionary! Anyone on the “public timeline” now has a perfect snapshot of the afternoon of my cat! She signs out for the night with “aaaaaaaaaaaaaah…nice long stretch. Think I’ll take a pee and crack a kaboodle or two. Then…sleep! sssssssssssssssssnnnnooooozzzzzzzzze”
The next day, I am surprised to find that an admirer and blogger I’ve never met is following me (Zazu), along with a friend in Portland. ZazuKatz updates: “I’m sleeping and dreaming that two people are following me. Then I wake up and shake it off, circle around a time or two, fall back asleep.” Shortly thereafter, the blogger stops following me (my cat), to be replaced by an SF friend who also drops out, leaving a single remaining Portland follower, either to humor me or because I told her I joined both Facebook and Twitter to write this column.
I guess private detectives will have to focus their sights on the four remaining humans (or cats) who aren’t hyper-connected. And now ZazuKatz is defunct on Twitter. I think she proved her illustration of the inanity of thinking you can monitor everything everyone does at any given moment, even though MulliganCat has 43 followers! I have not deactivated my account, however; I changed my name to JonesAlexandra (the reverse already being taken). If you want to see my first tweet, you’ll just have to follow me. By the way, I’m staying on Facebook. It’s fun and informative, another web resource.
A HUMAN TOUCH
I just got an old-fashioned email from a friend I’d hadn’t heard from, who was diagnosed with a potentially fatal, but in her case treatable, disease, and I immediately called her to have a human-to-human chat. Sometimes, guys and gals, you gotta forsake that electronic bullshit and relate to the real people behind it all. And to those real people, whatever kind of friend I consider you to be, certainly I wish you all galaxy doves winging through the bright skies of your hearts!
The author’s Profile Pic (not really)
Won’t you please, won’t you please, call me on the phone and talk to me. If you’re a friend of mine, you have or should be able to track down my number somehow, yes?
copyright Alexandra Jones 2009