On Facebook, Nobody Knows You’re A Dick

Jul 12, 2010

My wife spends at least as much time online as I do. But there’s a few things about digital tech that she just doesn’t quite grasp. She doesn’t get that computers are basically stupid. And that, if you set up an account on a site using a particular spelling of your name or an email account, the site doesn’t automatically recognize that it’s you when you try logging in under some other variation of your name or another email account.

My wife’s first name is Lilo. But she’s always used Lee. Last year sometime, when Facebook started getting very popular, she must have set up an account under the name Lee. Then, more recently – in a burst of formality – she must have set up a second account as Lilo.

Now, Facebook has no idea that Lee and Lilo are the same person. But, creditably, Facebook has asked Lilo if she’s related to Lee, or would like to become friends with Lee.

This got me thinking…

I have a name – Richard – that has a lot of nicknames. There’s Rich, Richie, Rick, Dick, Dicky…
And, y’know, I’ve never really been much of a social, chatty person anyway and, really, who needs friends when you can converse with different instantiations of yourself? The world is so screwed up I spend half my time talking to myself anyway so why not just go whole hog? Such an arrangement is much more manageable. And perhaps more satisfying.

Depending upon my mood I could be Richard Fink, Rich Fink, Richie Fink, Rick Fink, Ricky Fink, Dick Fink, or Dicky Fink. We (I?) can form groups based on common interests because, of course, each version of myself will have a different persona. Dick Fink is feisty and skeptical. Richie Fink is nice, a real pushover. Richard Fink a bit standoffish. My God, think of the promise this holds for those with multiple personality disorder. Why, you could keep multiple browsers open and converse with different versions of yourself all day!

I also have a middle name. Martin. This means my inner circle of me could grow substantially. I could get back in touch with Richard M (haven’t seen him since grade school but he’s still on my driver’s license), Richie M (never knew him well but still, I’d like to know how he’s doing), Rick M (never met him, but we’ve got a lot in common), and so on. And if I get into alternative spellings -heavens – there could be more of myselves than I probably want to know: Richie, Richy, Rick, Ricky, Rickie, Dicky, and Dickie.

Know Thyself

Here are all my new friends in no particular order:

Richard M Fink, Rich Fink, Rich M Fink, Rick Fink, Richie M Fink, Dicky Fink, Richie Fink, Dick M Fink, Rick M Fink, Ricky Fink, Dick Fink, Ricky M Fink, Rickie Fink, Rickie M Fink, Richy Fink, Richy M Fink, and Dicky M Fink.
As fine (and loyal!) a group of friends as one could find, I think.

And if that’s not enough, I can spell out fully the name “Martin”, and create some more of me to get to know.

Last, the penultimate question: On Facebook, who is it that I’m married to, really – Lilo or Lee?

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