I knew this would happen. Even before I ever had any kind of experience with social networking, this is exactly the kind of thing I worried about. There’s a really fine line between looking up old high school classmates and stalking someone from the comfort of your own manifesto-writing shack in the woods.
I thought I had taken very well thought-out precautions, like making up a fake email account to go with my fake name (seriously? You thought my parents actually named me Lorca? And I didn’t kill them in their sleep when I was in junior high school because the other kids were calling my Lorca the Orca?) And the secret agent steps weren’t even to be very mysterious or smugly peek in on ex-boyfriends who are now married to really fat women without them knowing I was laughing. I mostly crept around the shadows of Facebook because of the potential security threats from my job, or at least that’s what I told myself.
But it happened anyway. I’m being stalked by someone through Facebook, someone who keeps sending friend requests. I’m not even sure how this person knew I’m on Facebook, unless all of the mutual friends of mine called her up and told her. Now I get a daily friend request, which I’m too polite to flat-out turn down, but you would think that the fourteenth day in a row that your request went unanswered, you’d give up. Unless you’re completely obsessed, that is.
And trust me, this stalker is absolutely obsessed with me. It’s my mother.
I don’t know how she even found me on Facebook, unless the website somehow ratted me out to her. And I’m certainly not opposed to having my mother as a Facebook friend, but when I choose to update my status to, “Drunk again, I think I’m wearing my Snuggie upside down and backwards,” I’d rather my mom didn’t know about that.
Okay, that doesn’t happen that often. Right now I’d just rather she can’t find out I just killed all of my crops in Farmville due to extreme criminal neglect. I do own two of her grandchildren, after all, and I just don’t want to hear about it:
“Sweetie, how are things going?” “Great, why do you ask?” “Well, I just saw on Facebook that you haven’t looked in on your little farm game in quite some time so I just thought I would ask if you brushed the girls’ teeth today…” I know that’s how it’s going to go down.
And let’s be completely honest, there are parts of our lives that we just don’t share with everyone. If I friend her, did I just mutual friend her entire church choir? Are the old ladies in the soprano section now looking at my photo album from my trip to Las Vegas, which by the way I don’t even remember posting on Facebook but somehow I’m the lone straight person tagged in eighteen different pictures of a gay rights’ parade? Does the priest who gave me First Communion back in second grade really need to see that?
So, Mom, if you’re reading this, it’s nothing personal. I promise to bathe the crops in Farmville and water your grandchildren. Wait, I’ve got that backwards. You know what I meant. Updating my status to: “Please dear God don’t let my mom read this and call me about it.”