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So a couple years back, I mentioned in a column that due to one of my many personality defects, I had been accepting every single Facebook friend request -- including those from people I'd never met before. At the time, I was kind of tickled; it seemed like a real validation of all the time I'd sunk into this online asshattery. And, posted as it was on one of the Internet's leading comedy and animal husbandry tip websites, that column reached a fairly large audience, and over the next year or so, my friends list quickly bloomed. The loneliness and isolation which had filled my life started to ebb, and I found myself functioning better in society. "I am using the bus," I would say proudly, using the bus. "Yes you are," the bus driver would respond with a smile. And so it went. Until one dark night last year, when I defriended them all. I went through that friends list with a scythe, casting out anyone who I hadn't worked with, or gotten drunk with, or fantasized about getting drunk with. I was ruthless, just totally not caring what effect this might have on my suddenly Bucholz-less non-friends. So if there was a wave of really bad poetry sweeping the Internet last spring, I guess you have me to blame. I had reasons for this, although I didn't get in to any of them at the time. I guess I was worried about sounding like one of those paranoid delusional privacy freaks, ranting about corporations with aluminum foil wrapped around my cock.

Instead, I wanted to sound like this.

But recently one of my spurned fans hunted me down, and while holding me by my throat over the edge of a cliff, a dark wind howling around us, demanded to know why I'd done something so ruthless. Here's what I told her.

Reason #6: I'm Not Very Good At Social Networking

You know that guy who's constantly posting funny things on his wall or leaving pithy remarks on his friend's pictures or just generally interacting with humanity? That guy's not me. I can be witty enough when I have to; many days, I have wit literally spewing out of my mouth. But I rarely feel the urge to share quips and asides on random topics, and when I do, it's typically only with my closest friends, people who know me well enough to know when my pro-eugenics ranting is meant in jest.

This guy's sowing his seed with a kind of sashaying motion, which will be the mandatory technique in the new Bucholz World Order.

In fact, most of the time I don't have anything to say at all, and feel no reason to force it. If it was needed - here I'm imagining a phone call from the president - I could come up with something funny to say about your new haircut ("It looks like your mom's mustache") but that kind of thing takes a few seconds of my time. And even when I do have the time, those little voices in my head usually talk me out of sharing my gems. "Ha ha ha ha ha! That's so funny Chris!" they say. "But let's just keep that between you and us. What if THEY use the words against you?"

Reason #5: No Customer Support

So one day I tried the daring and unholy stunt of logging in to Facebook while in a different city. Concerned that I was perhaps one of those leet hackers that the media are always on about, Facebook decided to lock me out of my own profile. The only way to unlock it was for me to identify tagged pictures of my friends. Which was problematic, because aside from the fact that I didn't know any of these people, half of the pictures on Facebook are blurry, show the backs of people's heads, or are tagged incorrectly. (I can personally attest to uploading a dozen different pictures of dogs taking shits, and tagging them with the names of people who have wronged me.) Basing an ID-verification algorithm on this kind of data is madness. It's like solving a sandwich crime while wearing a bobsled. No part of it makes any sense. This led me in to the turd-labyrinth that is the Facebook support system. Circular links, a minimum of useful advice, and nowhere was there any way to contact Facebook and straighten things out. The "Contacts" page contained a link to a different "Contacts" page, which aside from the title, contained no information on how to actually contact anyone, instead gently suggesting that I could find the answer to my problem in their ever-so-helpful online support tool. Eventually, I did come across a form that claimed it would submit a query to Facebook Support, although I might as well have tied my question to a rock and crammed it up my ass sideways, for all the good it did me.

It didn't work is what I'm saying.

This was a really, really unsettling feeling, having all this information about me online, widely visible, often compromising, with no control over it. The problem was eventually resolved when I simply flew back home, which as a solution, has a nice poetic feel to it, even if it might not always be economically viable. I very nearly quit Facebook entirely at this point, and if I hadn't needed to warn people about the PLOT TO YOLK US ALL, I might have. And then we'd already be dead.
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Reason #4: Facebook's Casual Attitude to Privacy

If you've been using Facebook for a bit, you'll have noticed their habit of accidentally changing your settings. This actually happened just last week, where (at least my) notification settings suddenly reactivated, sending me emails every time anything happened. "Who dares wish me a happy birthday!?" I bellowed, smiting my keyboard in twain. And that was just notification settings; something similar happened a couple years ago to photo-privacy settings. As I recall (that's the level of research I'm doing here), some change in the privacy framework made photos visible to everyone - not just friends, or friends of friends, but every damned person in the world. A cat walking across a keyboard could stumble across old pictures of me in university doing beer fondues and turbo fisting. There was no warning from Facebook that this happened; I found out about it on a blog. I of course immediately changed my settings, and then nearly as immediately began looking at pictures of my many enemies, before they could change their settings. There are tons of stories like this. Have you ever logged in to Facebook from a mobile phone? I did once. My phone number got posted to my profile, publicly visible to a lot more people than I intended, which was none. Then Facebook changed the way you deny friend requests. When you look at a friend request, there's a pair of buttons clicked "Accept" and "Not Now." When you click "Not Now" the friend request disappears. Convenient right? I thought so: it's what I'd been doing with all my new fan requests, who though I was no longer accepting, were drawn to me because of the truth I was born to speak. Except they could now see my wall, where I kept both my darkest secrets, and my thoughts on current events and things I'd just eaten.

Reason #3: I'm A Little Worried About You People

I need To be cleaR here: every one of the fans who friended me on Facebook seemed like a normal and Upstanding person. THere were no wierdos or stalkers or anything like that, and I was even pleased to see that many of you were quite well groomed. Kudos. But that said, I still didn't exactly know any of you, did I? I'd set up a deep nest of limited profiles to keep my fans out of my most private secrets (THEY MUST BE TOLD, BUT NO-ONE, STRANGELY, MUST EVER KNOW), but with the regularity of Facebook's privacy "whoospies" who's to say how long these defenses would stay intact? Would one of my fans get full access to my profile, and invite themselves to an event I was attending, dressed up as one of my articles?

This is the one I'm thinking of.

Even more worrisome were the fans who posted coded messages on my wall. Filled with fAwning complimentS and dire warningS of a world without joy, these prophets - whose Coded messages were only visible tO me, the infant of destiny - told me to be Careful, and watch my bacK around the book of Faces.

Never gonna get tired of this joke, so don't even bother complaining.

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Reason #2: The Government Is Interested in My Brain

Although the government has not admitted to using Facebook to gain access to our brains, if it was true, why would they? By permitting countless strangers to become my friends, I was increasing the odds that shadowy government agents, Grays, or the people behind National Public Radio would embed themselves in my trusted inner circle and learn all of my secrets about the TRUTH. What truth could I, a man with the Internet and too much free time, have discovered? The truest part of it.

This is the opposite of what I've got.

Reason #1: The Big Truth Behind Facebook

Due to ongoing wars in the middle east, systemic financial risk, high-sodium diets, Price is Right win frequencies, and interest in Jennifer Aniston's new haircut, the One World Government (OWG) urgently desires to subdue us further, via a greatly expanded military capability. And following the expensive and high profile failed mind control experiment code name: JERSEY SHORE, the OWG needs to do this as economically as possible. The OWG, which has obviously been monitoring us with fried chicken dishes for centuries, determined that the best way to subdue us SHEEPLE cheaply was by building super soldiers, genetically perfect in every way. To do this, they need suitable genetic candidates. Correctly reasoning that the most popular people are also the most genetically superior, they created the Facebook to determine who the most popular people on Earth were. Beginning later this summer, these people will be collected, taken to special military training facilities, and forced through a coarse mesh screen, so that their genetic material can be harvested.

Like this, but instead of a cute frog standing nearby, there's a thousand vultures blotting out the sun.

Because my brain is severely damaged, enabling me to write comedy when most people would simply just give up, I was able to both decipher this plan, AND wire a shotgun to blow the knees off anyone foolhardy enough to deliver mail to my house. And now I bring this message to you, here, the safest place I know. The OWG can not read Cracked, because it makes them physically uncomfortable, like a horrible, high pitched wailing in their ears, the sound of hilarious freedom bleaching their souls. Now that you know the Truth, please send me a video of you saluting the one true flag, the earth's moon, so that I know you're loyal. Anyone who does not send me such a video MUST immediately click the Facebook Like button just below this sentence, for unexplainable reasons.

For more on Facebooking (and other sites), check out 6 Things Social Networking Sites Need to Stop Doing. And get some more from Bucholz in The 25 Most Baffling Toys From Around the World.

Update From the Year 2012: Bucholz has gotten less terrified of human contact! Make him reconsider that by Liking His Facebook page or Following Him On Twitter!

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