“Hi, Ken.” Those two shocking words greeted me when I opened my Facebook page recently.
What do you mean, “Hi Ken,” my startled self asked? With no human being within hearing range there was no possibility of an answer. Where do you see anyone named Ken? There is not now nor has there ever been a Ken around here. I am Ronnie. Facebook has always been so warm and welcoming when I opened my page and saw the friendly, familiar, funky greeting, “Hi, Ronnie.”
What has changed? Could it possibly be that I am now known as Ken: no longer Ronnie ? How could this happen? Who did it? Can this be a case of Russian meddling?
Has my real identity been changed by Facebook? Is this a case of identity theft? Should I contact the FBI or CIA for clarification and help?
Who else will start calling me “Ken?” Maybe I’d better check with the bank and find out whether I can still pay bills and write checks. Or maybe Ken would like to pay my bills and write checks to cover my expenses. That’s the least he can do for stealing my identity.
If I am not real I wonder if Ken is.
To be thorough I really should check my drivers’ license to be sure I can still legally drive. My name is only my opinion and not reality. I am beginning to have more respect for Franz Kafka, who in his book, “The Trial,” introduces a man who loses his identity without the help of Facebook. The frightening truth is that Kafka’s hero never finds the truth.
Find out the origin of this mistake, you say? Great advice. Except for one minor problem.
Facebook provides no tech support, offers no complaint department, lists no telephone numbers.
They don’t even have an email address that they’re willing to share. I am evidently who they say I am, not who I say I am. There is no one to question their records and nowhere that I can turn for help. Facebook can take away my name and assign it to anyone they choose.
Pretty clever of them to change me into Ken.
A man can easily be called Ronnie and still be recognized as a man. I am a woman with the same name, which can present difficulties. The man who introduced my husband and me was a guy named Ronnie, and nobody ever tried to erase his name. So why are they doing this to me?
Why do I have a Facebook page in the first place? How did I get involved with this sleazy, identity changing organization? It all started when well meaning friends told me that becoming a Facebook member was the best way to stay in touch with my grandchildren and learn what they’re up to. Only members can access the pages of other members, so I’d have to become a Facebook member to be privy to this treasure trove of information.
Reading grandchildren’s Facebook pages reveals some interesting information. You learn the teams they cheer for, the shows they watch, the classes they flop or soar in. You learn who their classmates and friends are. Although they may not tell you these facts, Facebook is their confidante and diary, and reveals this information. It’s a way to become part of their growing up.
Because of the information Facebook provides I have subjects to broach with them, topics to discuss and sensitive situations to understand. Obtaining this knowledge in this way also gives me the unflattering, unofficial title of “snoop.”
But is this worth losing my identity for?
Back at my computer Facebook is goading me on by sending me encouraging messages such as, “Become friends with Ken’s friends.” But if I am supposed to be Ken, his friends are already my friends.
What should I do if a message for me is sent to Ken? What if a message meant for Ken comes to me? Should I answer questions or be rude and ignore them? And what will he do with the messages meant for me? The complexities of this problem seem to grow by the minute.
I am at a loss: don’t know what to do.
Tossing out the computer is an incredibly appealing idea. Forgetting I ever heard of technological advances for home use is even more appealing.
But do I really want to return to snail mail?
Do I want to relearn and practice my cursive writing skills? The only use I now have for cursive writing is signing checks!
The answer to my dilemma strikes me in a miraculous instant! “Eureka,” the imaginary mad scientist cartoon in my mind shouts. “I’ve got it!” I will hit the “delete” button, get rid of Ken and my Facebook page, and start all over again with my true identity.
Will you “friend” me? And please “like” me on Facebook.