Friend is Now a Verb

Kate at Kate Said posted that she has been reluctant to join Facebook for a few reasons, one of them being online security. I have had those same apprehensions, and in fact was going to post about them the other day but that post morphed into a post about frugality instead. Sometimes these stream of consciousness posts do that – end up in a pretty different place then where I thought I was going when I started.

I just joined Facebook about a month ago and I’m really enjoying it.  I’ve reconnected with some great friends that I’d lost contact with, and caught up with a few with high school and other acquaintances.

Like Kate I have also have had security concerns, but use my full name there and feel pretty confident that it’s relatively possibly safe.  Even so, there are a few issues that still make me a little uneasy.

One thing that’s a bit freaky is that you get news feeds of what your friends are doing with THEIR friends (little snippets about who is now friends with whom, who posted what photo, who commented on someone else’s status, etc.) . Some of the notifications I get are about people I don’t know or  know and am not fond of, but I get the notification because they commented on a mutual friend’s photo or something.  Each time it happens it’s a tiny shock to my system.

That means they are getting similar notifications about ME.  Lovely.

Another source of discomfort cropped up the other night. I enjoy playing poker. The poker application that Facebook uses in the same one used by MySpace and other networks, so I can be playing at the same virtual table as just about anyone. That’s fine, except that there’s no way for me to change my username to something more anonymous. It shows my avatar and my real full name. In and of itself that doesn’t freak me out too much, as all it is is my name and a photo of my son.

What’s happening, though, is that being the smartass that I am I have somehow picked up some people who not only want me to be their “poker buddy” (a system whereby you can find other people on the tables and play together), but they also want me to “friend” (that word is now a verb, by the way) them on Facebook. I was nonplussed the first time, and just ignored it. But now I’ve gotten several more requests to be added as a Facebook friend, and after thinking about it I’ve decided to decline these requests. I tell them that I enjoy playing poker with them, but am only adding my in-real-life friends for security reasons. One person got her panties in a twist, but that’s just too bad. I’m all for having a poker buddy, but I don’t want some unknown person and their unknown friends and friends of friends to have access to my info. Thanks, but no thanks.

So, I’m limiting Facebook friends to people I know in real life, and a few message board friends that I’ve known for 5 years, many of whom I’ve met (and I look forward to meeting the rest).  Everyone else will just have to deal.

And if they’re going to deal, I’d love two Aces, please.  And a nice flop.

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