The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

June 8, 2013

Trapped in Facebook purgatory

Michele M. Bender
For The Tribune-Democrat

— How do I escape Facebook?

Lots of stuff frustrates me. I snarl if a cheery recorded lady tells me my call is important and she’s delighted that I’m willing to wait for the next available representative.

Of course, I’ll hold. Nothing beats spending 10 minutes of my life (that I’ll never get back) listening to Barry Manilow singing “Copacabana.”

But since I stumbled into Facebook purgatory, I’m so confused I don’t know whether to scratch my watch or wind my fanny!

Friends have encouraged me to try FB. I never saw the point.

Let me explain how I got “hoovered” into this quagmire to begin with. A leading brand of “steamfresh microwave vegetables” promised that if I liked them on FB, they’d shower me with discount coupons.

I had qualms. Weekly, Judge Judy handles cases where two former BFFs argue and then use FB to slander each other: “He cheated!” … “She stole my tax refund” … “I got a disease.” The sky’s the limit with these folks. They stop only when they can’t think of anything else rotten enough to say.

I signed up and jumped through the obligatory hoops: name, screen name, server, age, hometown, occupation – none of that seemed too invasive. Password selection irritated me. FB never liked what I chose. I preferred four characters; they demanded at least six.

I hate passwords. When my garage door security gizmo broke, the repairman said, “You gotta pick four numbers.”

“What year did you graduate, hon?” I asked. His answer remained my security code for the next six years.

FB and I finally agreed on a pw (just for that evening, mind you), and I started my mission. I hunted for the “steamfresh” website relentlessly for a half hour, then gave up. But since I was logged on, I decided to explore.

I discovered that people keep “timelines” to memorialize every moment of their days. They apparently believe the whole Web world cares what they ate for breakfast, what they wore to work, what they purchased at the hardware and when the scab fell off the boo-boo on their elbow!

My friend Dawn frequents FB, enjoys it and finds it user-friendly. So do many other folks.

As for me, I’m on my third password (and you can bet it’s something unfit for a family newspaper) because they insist whatever I enter is incorrect. (I’m blond, but not senile!)

I’m deluged with “wannabe friends” daily … everybody from a college student in Nashville to a surfer from Pismo Beach. My pal Bill thinks it’s a youthful fad to accumulate a zillion contacts, and I’m sure that’s part of it. That, plus people are vulnerable; they need a stage to dramatize.

But I want out!

UN-friend me, DE-face me, DIS-like me, DIS-miss me, UN-invite me. Just go away!

However, if you have a few extra “steamfresh” coupons, E me at MsGeezerette.

Michele Mikesic Bender is a Johnstown resident and a member of The Tribune-Democrat’s Readership Advisory Com­mittee.