Sunday, 28 October 2007

Scourge of the Internet

The first boyfriend I ever had got married the other week.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not being overcome by feelings of sorrow or jealousy or a case of 'oh if only it were me's - he got married wearing a black shirt and a pink silk tie, with a pink silk handkerchief in his breast pocket - I am not sorry that I passed on that particular relationship.

What I am miffed about here is the fact that I know about it at all.
Because he found me and 'friended' me on facebook just in time to post a whole bunch of awful pictures of people I don't know doing the macarena as he and his elvis hair-do cut a cake with his new wife.
I know I am partially to blame, I could have just clicked the 'ignore' button and wandered away but there's something about all these damn sites that wakes the secret masochist/stalker in all of us.
We all want to know what happened to people we used to know, depending on the reason we don't know them any more we may be dancing up and down with our fingers crossed to find out that they're doing really badly, but I think overall we're better off not knowing.

Now anyone you have ever met who can remember your name can search for you and try to reintroduce themselves into your lives, you can do the same and the next thing you know you may be carefully sifting through their online profiles on a regular basis. Healthy!

The safest option would be to just opt out of whole deal but it's so addictive!
Even if you really did just join because it was the easiest way to keep up with people you'd met travelling yadda yadda yadda odds are you will either turn into twitchy-internet-stalker-person or you will be buried under an avalanche of special applications.

Add the 'werewolf' application, add the 'vampire' application, add the 'vampire vs werewolves vs robot monkey ninja pirates' application, join an interest group which hosts support conversations for people with issues about the schizophrenic nature of being both a vampire and a werewolf involved in a factional battle...

The simple and easy fun is suddenly getting more and more complicated and more and more of a hassle and I'm getting paranoid about what other forgotten shreds of my past are going to come searching for me.
Luckily I have a terrible memory and have been saved from the occasional drunken urge to do a broad spectrum search by the fact I sometimes think a person's name started with an R when it actually started with a T and so on and so forth.

The underlying problem is that we all want to know what is going on with other people but we don't necessarily want them to know what's going on with us. And whilst hearing a snippet of gossip from someone who knows someone who knows someone might kick off an interesting conversation, trawling the interwub all by yourself in the glow of your monitor just kicks off a whole raft of problems you really don't need.

One day I may manage to kick the facebook habit but until then I think I'll just go and draw some big curly villain mustaches on all the wedding photos with MS Paint.*

*Oh I know I sound all bitter but that's because we parted spectacularly in a fit of teenage passion and now a good eight years later he's come giggling up via the electronic medium and made me think about him again! I had other plans for those memory sectors of my brain dammit!

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