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Danger In The Fishbowl

Photo courtesy of Photobucket.

This hasn't been one of my better weeks. Each day has had a theme unto itself. Yesterday was Run Around In Circles In Vain & Have No One (who matters) Give a Damn Day. Monday was Intense Self Doubt Day. And Tuesday was Get Attacked on Facebook Day.

In the back of my mind I knew the last one had to be possible. But of course, I never thought it would involve me.

Someone I barely knew (other than "hi" and "bye") in college "friended" me on Facebook when I first signed up way back when. I was leery as most were most who were new to it and didn't understand it. But we connected on writing and all was fine. As Facebook is primarily a device to help me market this blog, I ignore most of the chatter on the site unless it involves the wife or some of our closest real friends and family that actually do exist. As time has progressed, this one person's chatter has become alarming noticeable, but again, it's the computer, I don't even know where she lives. It doesn't affect me, right?


A fraternity brother called me on Tuesday in a panic to inform my name showed up in a barely decipherable Facebook note and I was being slammed for a few things: commenting on a photo of myself, breaking someone's arm, owing money, living in the past, and being the originator of black culture, among other things. I also have until June 7th of this year to respond to all this otherwise a class action suit will be filed against me.


Clearly this person is going though a crisis/episode of some sort which I don't care to detail here. And I hope the person gets the necessary help to move forward with their lives. After wrapping my mind around it, I made the decision to remove myself from the situation, not respond and go on with my life. Especially since the comments pertaining to me were merely a blip in a series of notes that were written all day long over the course of a day. However someone else I went to college with was hit with potentially career-ending accusations.

So here we are, all of us sitting on the Net, not knowing each other from a can of paint (as New Yorkers say) or a hill of beans (as everyone else says), all interconnected by keystrokes --- connected and vulnerable in a way we would never allow in real life --- unless you're the type of person who is okay with having strangers at your dinner table with you. It's not my cup of tea, personally.

We all have our own separate lives, wishes, wants, families, etc. To have that so easily infringed upon is frightening. And here's a newsflash: the more activity you have on Facebook, the more you get indexed by Google. So now not only are you on front street on Facebook you're also showing up in Google searches.

If not for long, I've now had a dance with the other side of social networking and, right now (hopefully not for long) it's left a very bitter taste in my mouth. I've begun to shave down my Friends list. I'm deciding who I really know and do I want these people accessing me, my friends, my photos and my life? It's like donating clothing you either haven't worn or haven't worn in the last year: It's liberating.

Be careful who your friends are.

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