I’ve typically dismissed horror stories about social networking sites as so much Luddite paranoia, partly because, as a relatively unknown comedian and novice print humorist, it probably wouldn’t hurt my career to have someone stalking me. I need visibility. Hell, I’d give you my social security number if you told me you liked one of my shows.
But now, I understand the dark side. I get an email tonight from someone who apparently found me through classmates.com which led him to MySpace. I think I registered for MySpace two years ago, never went back because it seemed to skew a bit…adolescent for my tastes, and though I have joined Facebook, I still don’t check MySpace because I really only need one black hole of time-wasting in my life.
Here’s the thing. He was a high school classmate of mine, and I DON’T REMEMBER WHO HE IS. At all. His name did not ring even the tiniest of bells. Forget about being afraid of being tracked by some creepy, deranged, obsessed psycho–it is FAR more frightening to realize that someone who liked me well enough to get back in touch after thirty years has dropped entirely from my memory. I mean, what else have I forgotten? Because, if I’ve forgotten it, obviously I wouldn’t know I forgot it.
The worst part of this is that I replied to him and tried to (ever so light-heartedly) get him to jog my clearly age-enfeebled memory. Iwrote–“catch me up.” His email back to me was three long paragraphs about his life (and it sounds like we could really connect based on what he’s been doing) and that of another (apparently) mutual friend of ours whom I ALSO DO NOT REMEMBER.