Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Real Me

I saw this little video which I think is brilliant and it made me think  about my facebook usage. 

A friend said 'You must get the prize for the most status updates' like it was a bad thing. I've had my times where I want everyone to use fb like me and got cross when they didn't and defriended them in a fit of annoyance figuring that if they only use it once a week/month/year then they don't understand the medium and therefore wouldn't care. I forgot about the lurkers. People who are there, but afraid of posting anything about themselves in case Google runs away with it and plasters them all over the internet (why care? I'd be flattered). Pictures of their babies smiling could be vulnerable (why is this a problem unless they are starkers and shown in some icky context). In case their privacy is invaded and someone steals their identity (good luck with MY overdraft). These are people who also believe and repost all kinds of urban legends as truth. I like to check these out on before I get outraged and then paranoid. It always pays to do a bit of research and then make up your own mind... or story (this is what writers do as a job).

I, on the other hand, am probably very naive and trusting. Actually I'm not at all- I know a scam when I see one and you will never find me in email conversation about money and goods with anyone from Nigeria. Oddly enough, the only time I've been scammed was recently with a mannequin supplier in Auckland. But let's not get into that- only to say, if you order online, it pays to email or call the company first to see if they actually exist.

So back to my facebooking. 

I signed up only because I needed photos of a girl band to do an illustration for them and their best pics were on a private page. I was very reluctant- I had my blog, that was enough, and before that, email and before that faxes and before that, the phone and well, I have never known a life without communication. But needs must and my kids showed me how and after a week of throwing my hands in the air at all the notifications that came through my email (just turn them off Mum, that's the first thing you do!) I got jiggy with it (as Will Smith would say).

Over the past 3 years I have learned how to filter out ads, unwanted Farmville invites, moaning minnies I can't be bothered reading about and revel in the online community that makes me laugh, think and get into action. I have my privacy controls set tight. I choose who I accept as fb friends and share my world with (always people I actually have met in real life) and I direct all other parties interested in my art but not my cat, to my public page.  

I absolutely know that the FBI or any govt agency who wants to, can access my profile. I think this is a good thing- it means that if I get murdered and Benedict Cumberpatch is too busy, then the appropriate authorities will be able to look for clues in my last status updates (there will be a LOT of reading, they might need a team of six on it). And it charms me to think that if my status updates suddenly stopped, people will wonder  if I'm o.k- much like the little old lady who hasn't been out to her letterbox in days. And they might start asking each other if anyone has seen me- and get in touch with my family who can tell them the what's so. I grew up with them all saying 'Shut up Fi!', it became the family joke.

I guess the day Fifi is quiet, is the day you all come and weep with them at my funeral service. And I hope there will be lots of you - I want the biggest send off so I can feel the love as I soar off into another realm.

I hope they have wifi there.

PS. If you are concerned about your online identity- then get it verified with RealMe