Rant of the Day: Is Facebook really just a weapon that could be used against you?
Today’s rant has nothing to do with fanfiction or even Harry Potter (gasp!), but a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, thanks to my sister, who’s a (very) young, single mother, whom we’ll just call “Allison.” So lately Allison has been having issues with her child’s father, whom we’ll call “Douchebag.”
I would like to begin by explaining that while Allison is by no means the epitome of maturity and rational decision-making (she’s a baby with a baby, what do you expect?), Douchebag is a 23-year-old loser living from couch-to-couch, doesn’t own shit—not even a car—yet he somehow manages to get to the mall (right across from Allison’s apartment, FYI) to buy himself new clothing, to go to the gym, & to show up at Allison’s work with a gaggle of underage girls; yet he somehow can’t manage to find a means to get to Allison’s apartment to see his own daughter—and the few occasions that he HAS seen her, Allison had had to physically pick his sorry ass up. Now, the most ridiculous part is that Douchebag claims that Allison is keeping him from seeing his daughter when Allison refuses to pick him up, and when she responds by pointing out that he can somehow manage to find a ride to the mall, the gym, & Buffalo Wild Wings, his response is always the same: “Bitch.” (Apparently his vocabulary is very limited.) I'd also like to add that he has a criminal record & has become physically violent toward her.
Anyway, so some more drama ensued; Allison said he wasn’t to bring girls around the baby since she doesn’t bring guys around, & his response was to threaten to take the baby, claiming that she’s a bad mother because she “leaves the baby every night to go party.” While it’s true that Allison does go out on occasion, she’s also working seven days a week to support herself & her daughter, with no financial support whatsoever from Douchebag (the one time he helped her, he expected sex in return), but now because her friends “tagged” her on Facebook as being at a club last week, Douchebag is apparently claiming that she’s an unfit mother & is going for full custody (although, I’m finding that hard to believe, since that would actually require some EFFORT on his part).
My response when Allison told me about all this? Either stop going out until after the custody hearing, or delete your fucking Facebook account. But does she listen to me? Of course not. If she listened to anyone she wouldn’t have ended up with a baby to begin with: I warned her about what boys her age are after (& apparently boys in the bodies of supposedly grown men), & I told her that partying leads to fucking, fucking leads to pregnancy, & pregnancy leads to baby, but she just had to learn the hard way—and now she’s a young girl trying to live the life of an adult because she got knocked up by a random pathetic excuse for a man.
Don’t get me wrong—I certainly don’t think the internet or Facebook is evil (or men, for that matter, since I snagged me a great one who happens to be an EXCELLENT father). I think it can be a great way to keep up with friends, but people should also be aware that Facebook & other social networking sites can be used to spy on you or to portray you in a negative light by people who would seek to use it against you. Take Allison for example: After her friends tagged her as being at the club, she ran out of diapers (again, there’s an example of her poor judgment, but that’s beside the point), & when she wanted our dad to buy her some more, his response: “You went out last night while knowing you were out of diapers, so ask your baby’s father.”
My sister’s poor decision-making aside, I think people need to be a bit more wary about Facebook & other social websites, & to watch what they post online & who their “friends” are—unless you’re okay with having a “window” into your life that allows others to spy on you, make judgments, & use it as a tool against you. (Also, I’ve heard of employers checking out their potential employees’ profiles, & I’m not even going to get into the potential of being targeted by a predator with truly evil intentions.)