I’m ditching Facebook friends and foes

facebookI do not believe in Facebook. I know this sounds heretical, especially since I am a journalist and I live in America, pioneer of gizmos and wireless communications, but I can’t stand the thing.

My husband, who is a tech-fiend, put me on it – and so, to all those people who have emailed me wanting to be my “friend,” please don’t take my lack of response the wrong way. I love you all (well, most of you) but just contact me the regular way. I have no desire to see bad pictures of you or know who your friends are and spend hours examining their stated movie preferences.

Call me old-fashioned but I just think there has to be a line between cyberspace and reality. For me, Facebook is that line. Furthermore, it can cause hours of unnecessary emotional trauma.

Last weekend, I was summoned to an urgent “summit” dinner. My dinner partner was a girlfriend my age; blonde, beautiful and successful. She has two small children, and is getting divorced from a much older, powerful man. If that weren’t enough to put her over the edge, Facebook just had.

She had just looked at the “Friends” page on a potential beau’s Facebook account – he was giving a speech on the West Coast, and unavailable to be called. He had, in the last hour, acquired a new “friend”, a foxy young woman, breasts hanging out of a low-cut black T-shirt, posing in his apartment.

My friend sat down in front of me, showed me the picture, texted him “Is this your girlfriend?” and we drowned our sorrows. By 11pm, after we’d exchanged much Bridget Jones-esque analysis (“Could it be innocent?” or “Was my text too aggressive?”), he suddenly texted back: “WAS my girlfriend … once upon a time.”

So up we went to the bar above the restaurant. More drinks were ordered, this time in celebration.

I woke up the next day wondering if I’d been hit on the head with a hammer. The children were quick to take advantage. Could they watch TV? Of course. Could they eat French fries? Yes. Could they snack on chocolate cookies between meals? Yes.

Damn Facebook, I thought each time I gave in. Worse was to come. The next day I rang a friend for help with an article I’m researching. Scarcely had I uttered what I wanted when I got my reply.

“Have you tried Facebook?” Urgh! V

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