Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Defending the FB

Much has been said recently about the privacy concerns for Facebook users.  Worries over identity theft, scams, and invasion of privacy.  Horror stories of stalkers, hateful creeps and just people that you really didn't want to talk with again.  I mean, with all the technology today, it's difficult to keep a single move concealed.

Even as recently as last night, in my "Live Feed" where all the updates from my friends are published, I surprisingly saw on one of my friend's updates "John Doe likes The Man with The Biggest Dick in the World."  Well, that's very nice of you to share, John, I thought.  But my curiosity got the best of me, So I "clicked" on it, and was brought to, not a typical Facebook group page like I expected, but to an entirely different separate webpage outside of Facebook.  On this page was a picture of a man sitting on a chair against a bright red background.  He was dressed in tight leather, which was clinging so closely to reveal his claim to fame.  His face was obscured.  You could "click" on the picture, but the first thing I thought was "virus."
A little later in the evening, I saw one of the co-workers of The Man come up with the same "like" in her live feed.  Might be a bit more embarrassing for a young lady than an old Queer like me.  Had this happened to me instead of my friend or The Man's co-worker, I would have probably laughed myself stupid.  (It still was kinda funny when it happened to my friend).

Now, this is a very bad beginning for my essay.  Because I'm going to tell you how Facebook has enriched my life.  Simple things.  I can see that my sister had a great day out at the lake with her family, when she posts new pictures on Facebook.  And she's 250 miles away.  I can "Like" an everyday observation from a friend who is on assignment at a university in north Africa.  And he can, in turn, comment on my relishing watermelon on these days when the temperature is rising.  I can be knocked for a loop at the discovery of an old friend that I haven't seen in person or even talked with in 20 years, who may have been removed from my life by distance, conflicting priorities, divorce ... well, just life.  And wonderful memories come back.

Sometimes, it's fun when you have a twisted sense of humor.  And especially with a confidant that shares this. The brunette and I are constantly "de-friending" one another.  That's simply done by either of us removing the other from their friends list.  When the other discovers it, we send a new friend request.  So it shows up in any of our friends' "Live Feed"s as "The Queer and The Brunette are now friends."  I'm sure some of the friends we have in common think "what the hell?" seeing this message pop up every couple of weeks.

I've even used Facebook to settle an old hurt.   One of my high school classmates called me "Queer" at a party back when we were teens.  She was right.  But nobody was supposed to know!  She saw me for what I was.  It got pretty ugly with my friends defending me.  We left.
I kept that inside for years.  Anytime this woman's name was mentioned, I would snarl.  And then one day last year, my sister said, "You know that picture of you and me that I posted yesterday on Facebook?  Jane Doe
said he thought that you look great."
"Jane Doe!"  I was shocked.  "Are you friends with her?  Don't you remember that party..."
"T.Q." she sighed.  "That was thirty years ago.  Don't you think she's forgotten that...?  Maybe you should, too."
I didn't say anything.  But I was thinking alot.
I kept my eyes open.  And then one day, Jane Doe commented on a post from one of our childhood friends.  I commented something along the lines of "I agree with Jane!"
Jane responded something like "Thanks, T.Q., I'm right about 50% of the time."
I sent her a friend request.  She accepted.
We now comment regularly on each other's lives, trivialities, and achievements.  I provide words of support when her husband is about to head out on the road for work.  She comments on the nice flowers I get from the perfect man I have.

Privacy?  I've got nothing to hide.  Facebook?  This stuff is worth it's weight in gold.

(Lock photo by Walknboston;  Pot of Gold photo by Jonas B)