Mr. Cope's Cave: And We're Worried About the NSA? 

Are you ready to work on that problem you're having with Facebook yet?

Oooooooooooooooooooh I guess. It's either that, or mow the lawn. And at the moment, I can't decide which sounds worse.

How about we start by you telling me what the problem is?

OK, sure. See, I've always hated mowing the lawn. I think it started when I was a kid and my dad...

No, that's not what I meant, Mr. Cope. The problem you're having with Facebook... that's why I came.

Ooooh, yeah. Facebook. That rotten bastard.

A lot of people love Facebook. It let's them advertise their small businesses, express their opinions and their creativity, keep in touch with old friends...

Yeah, that's where it started. Right there... what you said.

You mean, keep in touch with old friends?

Yeah. But I didn't want to keep in touch with old friends, or even get in touch with old friends. All I wanted to do was find out what they were up to, know what I mean?

Why wouldn't you want to get in touch with old friends?

Because not all my old friends were friends. Most of them are just people I knew once and have been curious about since, see? I don't need some rotten bastard Facebook to help me keep up with old friends that I want to keep up with. All I wanted out of Facebook was to be able to look up these people and, like, find out where they were living, or if they were still alive, even. I sure as hell didn't want to get into any, like, "Hey Bill, tell me what you've been doing for the last 50 years." Or "Hey Bill, tell me all about your trip to the proctologist." Nope, all I wanted was to be able to peek into their Facebook booth without them knowing I was there. Get it?

But Facebook doesn't work like that, Mr. Cope.

Well crap, Junior! I know that now! But I didn't know it then, did I?

You didn't know it when?

When I did what the rotten bastard told me to do and logged in. That's when.

You'd never subscribed to Facebook before?

Why would I do that?

You know?... to be on Facebook.

But I don't wanna be on Facebook. You think I don't expose myself enough to the public already? You think I want a bunch of strangers eavesdropping on everything I'm doing? You think I want any old weirdo snooping around my Facebook booth?

Like you were intending to do to other people, you mean?

Uh... sorta.

Well why don't you just unsubscribe from Facebook? Deactivate your page. Do you know how to do that?

No. But even if I did, I couldn't. Not now.

Why not.

Because from the second I logged into that rotten bastard, I started getting notifications that all these different people want to be my friend. People I'm related to, people I barely know, people I've never heard of... people, people, people. What am I supposed to do? Just tell them all to go f*** themselves? I can't do that.

Uh, Mr. Cope, I don't think you understand anything about how Facebook works.

I don't want to know how Facebook works. I just want to get out of it without hurting those people's feelings. That's all.

But those people probably didn't actually send you those notifications. They probably didn't even know their names were being sent to you, see. It was Facebook doing that, not them.

What? You're saying that Facebook told me old Joe Blow wants to be my friend, and old Joe Blow doesn't know anything about it?

Yes. That's what I'm saying.

Well, how the hell does Facebook know who I know?

They've got their ways, Mr. Cope. They've got their ways.

Tell me, Beaver... are you on Facebook?

Of course. Everyone is. Even my mom's on Facebook.

And you don't think this is all sort of creepy?

What's creepy about it, Mr. Cope? It's just the way Facebook works. All they want to do is get as many people on as possible.

And why do you suppose they want to do that ?

Uh, it's all for advertising, I guess. The more people in one place, the more advertising they can sell. And besides, it's not just Facebook. All social media counts on getting more and more people into it. Don't you know that? 

I guess I knew it. I just hadn't thought about it much until now.

And you don't like it.

No. I don't like it.

But you're not sure why, are you?

Um, no. I sure I don't like it, but I can't give you a reason. Other than it's creepy.

Maybe it's you that's creepy, Mr. Cope. Maybe you're so hostile to all this social media because you've always been an outsider sort. Like, a loner. Just a creepy guy peeking through society's blinds, but never quite belonging.

Yeah, that could be. That could be. But you know what? I think I'd rather be creepy on my own than be just another face in a creepy crowd.

Well, you're succeeding with that, I'd have to say.

Why, thank you, Sparky. Now, can you get me unhooked from his rotten bastard?
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