To Facebook or Not To Facebook

…or, Does this selfie make my ego look fat? 😛

By next month I will have been on Twitter for four years. Four years of absurd puns and double entendres, interrupted by the occasional political rant. It’s so easy to get caught up in righteous indignation that sometimes I forget why I joined twitter in the first place. — For the record, I joined twitter so I could send suggestive tweets to Craig Ferguson‘s Late Late Show. To my knowledge, he’s never read any of my tweets on air. 😦

Since 2010, I’ve joined Tumblr, I tried Blogspot (which I’ve neglected for almost two years), and somehow managed to acquire two G+ accounts. Though I only use one of them.

I chose twitter because it fit well with my personality. Facebook presents itself as this ever-growing community of “friends”. Twitter makes no such claims. On Twitter, people follow one another. No commitment is required. — unless you find yourself immersed in a hilarious hashtag game. ( anyone?) I’ve established some interesting connections on twitter. I’ve even gone so far as to exchange my real contact information with a few of them. But those connections are very casual and fluid. Something about Facebook scares me. For one thing, I’m a bit shy around people that I don’t know. Then there’s the difficulty I have reaching out to people. I find it nearly impossible to make the first move. It’s a wonder I’m in a relationship. — Now there’s a good story I’ll save for another time.– Just because the interactions happen online, rather than in person, doesn’t make them any easier.

So, Facebook.

I DO have a Facebook account. I created it last year after my Acer tablet crashed. My tablet was a year past warranty so contacting Acer through their website was impossible. After trolling through some of the android forums, I learned that this was a common issue with Acer’s Iconia A500. Several forum posters claimed to have had good results after contacting Acer through Facebook. So I created a Facebook account, Acer fixed my tablet, and I’ve been ignoring Facebook ever since.

But why?

Well, the short answer is privacy. I’ve tried very hard to maintain a certain degree of online anonymity. The last thing I want is to have all that disappear because of some piece of wayward information that gets leaked. Sure, if you dig far enough you will discover that my true identity is Bruce Wayne and then I will have to kill you. But, for the most part, I’m very happy being an anonymous entity.

Then there’s Facebook’s intrusiveness. We’ve all read the stories. People’s accounts have been hacked. Private information was collected and sold. Everything you post, tag, or like, every single mouse click, is tracked and sold to marketing companies. This happens on every site you visit but, for some reason, Facebook gets all the press.

Maybe it’s because of ALL THOSE DAMNED PERSONAL QUESTIONS!

God help you if you intentionally leave some information blank! Facebook does not like blank fields. They take it as a personal failure if you don;t answer some of their questions. I’m still being pestered with “You haven’t finished filling out your profile information!”, “Where did you go to high school?”, and “HEY! You forgot to tell us your blood type!”, notifications every time I log on. Okay. That last one was fake but Jeeze! Give it a rest! Maybe I don’t want to give you my mother’s maiden name. :\

There’s also the issue of time. I barely have enough time to keep up with WordPress. When I created ADignorantium.Wordpress, I promised myself that I would try to publish at least one post a week. If I can’t even do that, what makes me think I’m going to keep up with Facebook?

So here I am.

I changed my Facebook header to match my WordPress and Twitter headers. One must be consistent. Maybe that will encourage me to play around with Facebook. Who knows? Maybe I’ll like it.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, and G+, subscribe to my YouTube channel, pin me on Pintre...wait! I don’t have a Pintrest account! And oh, yeah… if you friend me on Facebook it might take me a little while to get back to you. 😛

Ode to South Philly

My nice, quiet, elderly, next door neighbor moved out. Her son removed the last of her belongings on the last weekend of March. Her health was such that a warmer climate was necessary. I don’t blame her. If I could afford it, I’d be right behind her.

My landlord had tenants lined up to take her place. Within hours of my neighbor’s son’s departure, a family of fourteen had formed a fire brigade, and was shuffling boxes into the house. Among them was a ten year old boy with enough energy to power a small city for at least a year.

South Philly houses are built virtually on top of one another. They were originally built as housing for factory and ship yard workers. Through the years, scores of immigrants have raised families in these tiny abodes. Families whose existence is witnessed by the many Churches, Synagogues, and Buddhist Temples that seem to be established, like Starbucks, on nearly every corner.

Such close approximation forces interaction and sometimes collision. Forget about privacy. Forget about a quiet, romantic evening watching the stars. (There’s too much ambient light to observe the heavens). You can, of course, journey over to Fairmount Park, Penn’s Landing, or the myriad public squares and local parks.

There’s no such thing as a “Back Yard” in South Philly. Instead you’ll find small, paved-over plots which overlook your neighbors’ small paved-over plots, and a parade of feral cats searching for food and the occasional romantic liaison.

For a change of pace, there’s the front stoop.

Sitting on your front steps, or “Stoop“, is a tradition in most urban areas. South Philly is no different. Where else can you find out the who, what, where, and postulate on the why? Friends are made, marriages arranged, and business conducted on many a front stoop. It’s also the place where you’re most likely to overhear your neighbor’s latest quarrel.

And now, to add to the entertainment, I have the noise of a ten year old ball of energy screaming with excitement as he runs through the empty house next door.

Such is life in a South Philly row home. 🙂