Ocean City Today

Facebook follies

The Public Eye
By Stewart Dobson | Mar 22, 2018



printed 03/23/2018


After devoting a fair amount of time to waffling, equivocating and arguing with myself, I decided earlier this week there was no point in writing about the Facebook fiasco, since I don’t know much about it.

Admittedly, that’s never stopped me before, as I have expounded on a variety of subjects about which I know nothing (see Nutrition, Oct. 15, 2015; Computer Chips in Your Head, April 13, 2017; Mars, multiple entries).

But I really don’t know anything about Facebook, because I’ve never had a personal Facebook page.

“Ooooh. You don’t do Facebook?” scores of people have said to me with a tone that suggests they now consider me to be about as socially aware as plankton.

“Wow,” they continue. “How do your friends and family keep up with what you’re doing?”

“Mostly, they just keep an eye on the police report,” I tell them.

That usually ends any further attempt at conversation or any need for me to remind them of the existence of the telephone, actual visits or even person-to-person email, the one digital form of communication I recommend, even though it might be subject to subpoena.

My standard objection to the use of social media to spread news of myself — “Hey, everyone, want to see my hives from eating bad shrimp?” — is that I have never been sure who might be looking.

You put the wrong thing out there and the next thing you know is you have a message from Zimbabwe that says, “You need an ocean of calamine lotion. By the way, I have $20 million in the bank left to me by my third cousin and I must have your help to transfer it. Also, bulldogs for sale.”

I’m not doing it, despite the scoffing, the knowing looks and the assorted tut-tuts that suggest I am a pointlessly paranoid singled-celled plant.

Yeah, well, I am happy to report that I was not one of the 50 million people or so whose Facebook information was serially reaped by Cambridge Analytica.

All of which proves that even single-celled plants know there’s no such thing as pointless paranoia when you’re adrift in the ocean, whether that would be the digital or marine version.

Not that I know anything about it, of course.

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