Last night, my aunt sent me a private message on Facebook. Y’all know how I love IMs. But my Aunt Kathy is one of my very favorite people, so I opened it. It was a cartoon, a political cartoon, favoring, you know, my side.
When she sent it, I was trying to herd the cats back in, so I just wrote her back with the thumbs up sign, put the phone back down and went about my day.
This morning, I went to stupid Facebook, because if I don’t look at it every hour or so during the day, I’ll have at least 20 notifications. FB is a full-time job, man. Anyway, I had ANOTHER IM from a reader, who somehow (and this creeps me out) saw that I’d clicked Like on that cartoon, when in fact I didn’t, I just clicked the thumbs up sign in a personal message with my aunt.
Apparently, that cartoon was somehow linked to a public page, and my thumbs up to my aunt became a thumbs up on the cartoon. And this person sent me several paragraphs that I frankly didn’t read very carefully, but the gist was how dare I.
Dudes. It has become acceptable to not only look at what someone’s doing online, but to admit it and then speak to them about it.
Can someone tell me how the hell anyone can see what I’m liking in general, not to mention in personal chats with family? Do some people have a feed or something that shows other people’s activities? I don’t. There used to be one on the side of my Facebook page, but that was back in 2008 or something. (Disclaimer: I just got on FB and looked around, and saw the “Ticker” thing at the top-right. It had been turned off.)
My point is, I was in a private conversation with my aunt, and I should be allowed that privacy, at least. I kind of blame Facebook for setting it up that way. But also, why is anyone concerning themselves with what I do on social media anyway? It was supposed to be where I unwind.
Marvin dated a woman briefly who found my blog (not blog), or maybe Marvin was foolish enough to inform her I had one, but she of course found it, as all women would do, and then had the nerve to tell Marvin to tell ME not to mention him anymore. They had been dating maybe two months.
It didn’t last.
At the time, Marvin and I’d been apart four years and I was living with another man. If he came up in my writing, it was because I was telling a story about 1997 or something. And even if I’d set up a whole sad Miss Havisham Ode to Marvin blog or something, she STILL would not have had the right to tell Marvin to tell me ANYTHING.
What I’m saying, my point, is having the internet is making it not only possible, but seemingly acceptable, to stalk. “It’s not stalking! It’s, well, it’s being interested!” That’s what we say, right?
If stalking is a dramatic word, we can at least safely use obsessing. It’s weird, and we’re all doing it. Stalking is the new black.
You think I haven’t stalked/obsessed/been interested? I did it plenty when I was first with Ned. He’d mention one of his 68 old girlfriends and I’d stampede to his Facebook to see if I could see them.
Ned had good taste in women. They were always pretty. WHICH DIDN’T HELP.
And what good did that do me? Oh, great, he used to date pretty women. Now he’s stuck with old Chubby Von WitchHurr, of the Bulbous Nose Von WitchHurrs. I mean, it did nothing positive for me, our relationship or even for the women in question, since now they had someone hovering just like a spider on their pages.
And this not blog invites a sort of intimacy that isn’t there. I mean, I sit at this computer morning after morning, for 10 years, typing into a void, and while of course I’ve gotten to know a few readers in real life (Chris and Lilly, for example), mostly I do not know you. But you feel like you know me, because you’ve read my every stupid thought for 10 years.
Which, you know, is kind of great, right? I love that people think I’m a friend even though we’ve never met. But it also fosters a…familiarity that sometimes makes me uncomfortable.
In the years I’ve been doing this, I’ve had women go on OKCupid to look at my profile, I’ve had women take pictures of Marvin at dinner with his parents and put them online, I’ve had people leave stuff on my front porch without me telling them my address, I’ve had people approach Ned to say, “I know you’re Ned.”
I’ve gotten long, impassioned notes from people about their personal woes, people I don’t know and have never met. I’ve gotten long, drunken hate messages. At least I hope they were drunk. And more than once I’ve gotten a “HI, JUNE!” as someone drives by my house.
There’s also, on Facebook–and say Facebook one more time–a page called (Face)Book of June, where people who read this godforsaken not blog gather to exchange memes and pictures and comment on things having to do with this place, or things I’ve talked about before, or each other’s woes, and so on. I didn’t invent the space–the woman who did left years ago. She got mad at me about something I said on my blog and I can’t even remember what, now, made her mad.
The point is, I thought that page was a safe place. I liked that page. I told secrets there sometimes. But then I saw those two not-fans-of-June threads online where people were talking about my writing, and me, and so on.
And believe it or not, I wasn’t stalking myself! When you’ve written about every day of your life for 10-plus years, this place serves as a great reference for when you did something. When was my last mammogram? When did I last go to that restaurant? When was it I painted the living room?
So I was Googling byebyepie + whatever it was I was trying to remember, and saw one page that wasn’t my blog address, and that is how I found the first nonJune one. The FuckPie one. The Throw the Book at June one.
I totally stalked myself to find the second one.
And that’s all well and good. Not everyone is gonna like me. I’ve even see people have the nerve to not like The Nester, whom I have met and who is the most genuinely sweet person, ever, so.
But what freaked me out was it was evident that one of the people who doesn’t like me was (maybe still is) on that Facebook page, and she was reading stuff I’d written there and reporting it back to that page. I’m too stupidly trusting. I thought everyone on that page liked my blog (not blog). And, mostly, me.
So, I don’t know why I’m telling you all of this except to say that what was supposed to be a pleasant diversion is ruined, and it’s, I’m sorry to say, furthering my position on why I don’t hang around many women, because we’re the ones who do this, and just yesterday I was all yay, us and today I’m all, booo, us. So.
I’ll talk to you tomorrow. I still love you and hope we can be friends. I hope we can come back stronger than ever. I hope with time and therapy, we…okay I’ll stop now.
Stalk ya later,