The recent Time article associated with their ‘man of the year’ issue has an article on the place of Facebook in our culture, and what place it might achieve. That article gave words to some of my misgivings about such sites. I do not want to be critical of these sites for I am diffident about telling other people what they should do. I do want to try to describe some of my feelings about such functions.
I have some friends in moderately powerful positions who I would neither like to include nor exclude in a social site. I would not like to include them because others would be tempted to use me as a channel for pleas or insults. I would find either uncomfortable. I would also feel uncomfortable being seen to ‘trade on other’s names’.
I have a few circles of friends—a few friends in each circle. There is, of course, some overlap but these need mostly to be kept separate. There are complex relations between myself and these circles most of which I do not understand—I interact with them instinctively or on reflex. This may not be good but it is the way thing are. I have neither the skills nor time to make it otherwise.
I am also affected by stories from world war II in Belgium when the Nazis entered and seized phone records to track down Jews and other potential ‘trouble makers’; I have a visceral fear of organized friendship records.
These are the fears that I can voice that cause me to be a cyber-recluse. I suspect their are others as well.