Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The great hackeroo

Ellen Degeneres, said recently about her 1000th show, “It’s kinda overwhelming. We started in 2003, and that was a whole different world. For one, there was no Facebook. So if you had to poke someone, you had to do it the old-fashioned way.”

It got me wondering about my Facebook dependence and the ‘friends’ I had acquired through it. I do find it useful, at least right now, to chronicle my infant’s movements, post photos and status messages (literally). I realise documentation is important, as sometimes you can totally lose track of time and then wonder where the baby days have gone (I have no evidence of mine except three photos). And then one day, you realise he has an account too, and has sent you a friend request (it has happened to my friends).

Of course, to make me feel like a non-junkie, I routinely go through the exercise of deleting
 a) Those who I don’t really know (and funnily enough, there are several of those)
b) Those who have nothing to say to me, for then, I wonder if they are just being voyeuristic about my life
 c) Those who I have a strict work-relationship with, for I wonder what they are doing popping up in my leisure zone.

Otherwise, I am no cyber vulture, and I still send hand-written notes to people once in a while, so may be I am just in the wrong era (there are several other reasons why I feel thus, but we will go into that some other time). But what totally flabbergasted me was a recent text message I received from a random (who, incidentally had made it to my ‘friends’ list by some quirk of fate). The message read:

“A really mean and vicious hacker got into my Facebook account and deleted it. He (I don’t know why women always get the benefit of doubt) has deleted my personal email accounts also. So when you see my name is not on your friends list, you know why. I can’t make any new accounts until the Mumbai police cyber crime cell doesn’t arrest him. Please inform any common friends on my Facebook disappearence. I am feeling really, really sad and violated and I request you to avoid such a thing happening to your loved ones.”

A few days later, I got this one:

“While the hacker hasn’t been nabbed yet, I got my Facebook back!

It gets better. Another contact was allegedly ‘reported’ for having too many Facebook IDs, and her account was closed. She was shattered, to say the least, and went about several attempts to get her account (and her social life) back. She actually made desperate calls to California (yes!) to get it reactivated, and they finally complied. “Imagine, all my friends, my pets, my albums are there. What will I do?,” she cried.

Poke! Poke!

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