Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dear Facebook: You Don't Know Me at All #SOL4

*During March I am participating in the Slice of Life blogging challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. Today is Slice #4! and is inspired by and used w/ permission by my friend Cherylann Schmidt who is defending her dissertation today.

Dear Facebook:

You don't know me. I'm glad you don't know me. You are a poser, pretending to know my desires, thinking you understand my needs, my values, my political leanings. How do I know you don't know me? If you knew me you would not post spam on my wall; nor would you attempt to entice me to purchase products and services I don't want or need. 

As evidence that you don't know me, I offer my friend Cherylann's letter to you from Monday: 

Dear Facebook, I used to get upset that you dared post advertisements for redundant education opportunities on my wall. I used to find your insistence that I purchase a set of Bose headphones from Amazon after I bought mine from Fred Meyer. I used to cringe when you suggested I buy the weight loss method Oprah and Dr. Oz, that pseudo-physician du jour, proclaim as the miracle cure to my midlife, mid-drift crisis. 

I used to wander how you could not get me after our lengthy acquaintance. Now I'm glad you don't. I like that my life is not the proverbial open book to you, that much of my privacy remains, well, private, that I can count on you to continue thinking you know me when "you don't know me at all. As David Klass says, "You don't know the first thing about me," and with a little luck, you never will.

Anonymously yours,

G

P.S. You don't know Cherylanne either. If you did, rather than suggesting she go back to school, you would congratulate her on her amazing achievement. You would tell her that her friends are impressed and proud of her accomplishment. 

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Side Note: I sometimes use David Klass's "You Don't Know Me" passage as an introductory speech assignment and have used it as a way for students to write about a character in a book from the character's point of view. Here's the text: 

“You don't know me at all.
You don't know the first thing about me. You don't know where I'm writing this from. You don't know what I look like. You have no power over me.
What do you think I look like? Skinny? Freckles? Wire-rimmed glasses over brown eyes? No, I don't think so. Better look again. Deeper. It's like a kaleidoscope, isn't it? One minute I'm short, the next minute tall, one minute I'm geeky, one minute studly, my shape constantly changes, and the only thing that stays constant is my brown eyes. Watching you. ” 


I use the passage as a copy change and think I saw this specific idea in one of Kelly Gallagher's books or during a NCTE presentation. 

5 comments:

  1. Great attitude! Fortunately, my adds tend to be in Japanese so I completely ignore them. I don't even notice them. But I suspect I would be annoyed if I could read them. I love how you've twisted those invasive ads to see that they really don't know us. I particularly like your P.S. Congrats to your friend!

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    1. Thanks. Can't say that I've always had a good attitude about the ads. When advertising invades my life, I tend to boycott the manufacturers who are most intrusive.

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  2. There is so much truth in this line - "If you did, rather than suggesting she go back to school, you would congratulate her on her amazing achievement." I have the same strong annoyance with Facebook, littering my page with advertisements for the very things I've bought or searched. However, as I tell my sons, it is a reminder that there are no secrets!

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    1. Indeed. We should be able to browse the virtual racks w/out Facebook stalking us.

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  3. Oooh. I love that passage you included. I also really like the tone that you used when writing this. Cool idea to write a letter...Maybe I'll try that for one of my remaining 26 slices!

    - Andrew (Colorado, USA)

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