Facing up to Facebook

Dear Auntie, _ I'm addicted to Facebook, spending days online desperate to add more 'friends' to my profile and consumed with the need to spill the most intimate details about my life. What should I do? _ Lost in Cyberspace
October 2007

Dear Lost in Cyberspace,

Auntie has always caught the whiff of the zeitgeist, toyed with it and moved on before the party starts - Stalkbook is no exception. Marshall McLuhan said 'Publication is a self-invasion of privacy' - it's our ultimate freedom, so why give it away? When your house gets burgled because you announced in detail your upcoming holiday, don't be surprised if the insurance company thinks you're an idiot - Auntie thinks the same.

You need a reality check when you suffer anxiety because you've fewer

Facebook 'friends' than that loser Chloe from primary school, and compete in the friendship race on the basis that if they are alive and on the same planet then they all count the same. For the record, 'friend' doesn't mean the trainer at the gym you once went to five years ago.

Auntie quickly tired of corresponding with people she spent a lifetime avoiding (and Andrew in Facebook's London network, Auntie is not a 'naughty schoolgirl', you sleazy perve). There's a reason when the 'friend' you haven't thought about in years writes 'Let's meet up soon' why it's best it doesn't happen. And hell, what's this 'meeting up' business anyway - why bother when Facebook is open 24/7 and you can avoid the buses. Your life is not qualitatively improved by hourly updates on Matt from Birmingham's shoe fetish; and just because Kath in Liverpool likes curries too it doesn't mean she's your soulmate. Take a deep breath and kill your page. We have a world to win, barricades to storm, dancing to be done, pubs to crawl and people to snog. It's better than a virtual 'poke' any day.






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