Please, Facebook, Don't Be Creepy
According to Facebook, despite the hoards of friends and acquaintances I’m already trying to keep track of via status updates, I need even more. A lot more. Which is why this social networking site “suggests” new friends for me. I sort of feel like I’m in kindergarten again, when the teacher hustled me up to another little girl on the playground and told us to “play together nicely.”
Facebook, with all its obscure algorithm-driven wisdom, thinks that I should give a shout out to my last significant other. Apparently, he also needs some friends (won’t argue with that). Can I help him find them? Hell to the no.
There’s always that one ex that makes you take several mental steps back in rapid succession. This one is himself, the man who lured me into domestic duty, borrowed money he never repaid, maxed out my credit card, and considered my free time an opt-in chance for gratis taxi service. He did not drive.
Whenever I see his profile photo peering at me from my home page, I feel like giving myself yet another little kick in the most tender part of my shin. Why thank you, Facebook, for reminding me that I can, in fact, be a poor judge of character after all. Thank you every day.
There’s another guy Facebook consistently suggests I befriend. He’s the ex-husband of a former college roommate. The only thing I knew about him was his rather unique name, which is the only reason I knew who he was. Given that I haven’t emailed my former college friend in ten years, I’m scratching my head at Facebook’s leap of logic. Talk about strange intuition.
This two- and three-degree-of-separation thing is creeping me out.
I’ve scoured the Internet for possible reasons for this phenomenon. If you have a similar burning curiosity, you can do this yourself. Simply Google “Facebook + privacy + “this pisses me off,” and you’ll find a host of hypotheses. One is that Facebook takes the email account you use and ferrets out the email addresses of your friends who may or may not be on Facebook; then it “connects” you that person's hairdresser, mother-in-law and teenaged children. Another hypothesis–which is rather silly–is that the people who keep showing up in your “Suggestions” box are those who have searched for or viewed your profile most frequently.
Yet another presupposes that the Facebook Powers That Be can read your mind. (Okay, so I made that up.)
Facebook, as like other social networking sites I’ve tried and declined, has the ability to give you warm fuzzies when you reconnect with your first grade best friend, but apparently an infinite capacity for creepiness. The only thing I want to help my last ex-S.O. “find” is Facebook’s virtual purgatory, but clicking on that little “X” doesn’t seem to work so well.
What random strange semi-stranger did Facebook suggest you “friend” today? Or send a message to? Please, tell me your story!