I haven't been on Facebook in over a week and it's killing me.
Well I mean, not literally. But figuratively I am very much one foot in the grave.
You see, during the period of time I was being harrassed online for being a woman with opinions (perilous stuff), I went to log in to Facebook as usual and received the following message:
I figured this would be easy enough to resolve. I didn't link it to the harassment. I clicked the link on my homepage, uploaded a copy of my driver's license and a brief explanation and waited.
Then Facebook responded with the following message:
You can guess what happened next.
I began the whole cycle all over again. It's a vicious one, and I've been stuck in it for days.
I've had my Facebook account for over a decade. I use it like so many others, to stay in touch with a group friends who live all over the globe.
But I also use my Facebook account for work.
It sucks on two massive levels.
On the friendship level it sucks because I'm an introvert. I'm bad on the phone. I'm bad at staying in touch. I'm bad at going to parties. I'm bad at face time. But I'm really good at written words. Thanks to Facebook I've been able to maintain relationships that I might have lost otherwise due to my social anxiety.
I have thousands of photographs on Facebook. I started up loading them in college, and none of them I have saved anywhere else because I am an idiot who never thought she might lose access to her account for pretending to be herself.
I don't scrapbook and I don't journal reliably. My Facebook is a record of my adult life. It's rife with memories good and bad. There's the former friend I blocked on Facebook. There's my dad teaching me how to read when I was little. There's my ex playing with his cat. There's me and my best friends in college trying our best to look cool. To suddenly be cut off from these memories is a figurative knife in my chest.
Then there's the whole work component.
In case you missed it, I'm writer. What's more, I make my living writing on the internet. If you want to get your stuff seen, you have to have access to social media. I use my Facebook to share links to my work, to network with other writers, to grow my readership and to let people know about events where my work is being featured.
Part of me is concerned that my account has been removed because I write about sex and I'll tell you that really disheartens me. Sex is something that connects us all, and I think I write about it in a funny, approachable, and not totally raunchy way.
Part of me is concerned that the same troll who implied that he was going to do me physical harm reported my account.
Whatever the reason behind this, it's a mistake, and it's one Facebook should fix. Instead, I'm caught in this surreal loop where I follow the right instructions, am told I have not and redirected to start the same process all over again. It's maddening beyond words. Aren't we supposed to be living in a tech savvy era? Then why can't this mistake, one easily solved, be rectified with a few clicks on my computer?
I'd also like to point that a little while back my best friend and roommate changed her photo to my profile picture and her name to my name and Facebook didn't do a damn thing. So try and tell me it's someone impersonating me again and NOT the work of a petty dude with too much time on his hands, I dare you.
It's hard not to take it personally. It's hard not to, actually, get a little depressed when I think about all of the friends I might never get a chance to connect with again.
If it doesn't get solved soon, I'll have to start a new account which frankly is a daunting task, and not one I'm looking forward to. A new account won't hold my old memories.
Thank god for Twitter, I guess.