Editor’s Page – September 2023

There are a lot of lonely people out there in the world. And no place is it more evident to me than on Facebook. Now, forget all the new algorithms and changes they have made that are so unpopular. I’m speaking specifically of the friend requests.

Many of the friend requests, especially from the military, should be looked upon with suspicion. There are ways hackers will clone a real identity and try to set up a friendship and get information out of you to hack into your private accounts. You think you are talking to that 5-star general? Or that sgt. major who really fills out her uniform? Well, you aren’t. Check out these requests. If they only have photos of themselves, or generic photos, nothing about their background, no photos of friends or loved ones….delete the request. For fun one day I looked up that 5-star general who was very high profile and, although his background said he was single, I’m sure that was news to his wife, Karen and their five kids listed on Wikipedia. Delete.

Now hackers are trying a new way to get their foot in the door. On my timeline, when inquiring about the welfare of an individual, I got this:

*I always enjoy❤💛 what you share here on Facebook but we are not friends yet, I have tried several times to send you a friend request but it doesn’t go through. I will be so happy if you can just click on my profile and send me a friend request, but if you find this message embarrassing, please excuse my manner, thank you💛💛

And the same day I got this:

* “Hi, your profile hit home with me and I like that you seem relaxed and very open. Life is to enjoy, laugh, communicate and have a connection with someone special who has a zest for life and all things in it. I like to be humor in life. It’s my feeling that people need adventure, laughter, and passion…Let’s talk and see where life takes us to be continued.”

Same post: * “I hope you don’t get this the wrong way because a lot of people don’t extend a friendly 🥰🥰🥰hand to strangers. Forgive 🙏🙏me if I just invaded your privacy. But I hope you understand that I’m just trying to be a friend☘️🌺. I try sending you a friend request but wasn’t able to. please Kindly add me as your Facebook friend for better communication if you wouldn’t mind🙏. Thanks💕.”

* “I would love to have a private conversation with you beautiful one if you don’t mind?”

These are just examples of one day. I didn’t give examples of the greasier ones that started out “hello gorgeous I’ve been waiting for you my whole life…”

These are posted in the comments section where it is very clear that they have not even read the post. It leaves me with a bad taste my mouth. I even reported it to Facebook, and they wrote back and said that it didn’t violate their “community standards,” and that I have options available to deal with this on my own. I can hide their comment, I can block these people. Or just ignore them. But how did they get on my timeline in the first place? It is allegedly  for my friends and family only. I find this intrusive. And apparently so do others, as there are memes showing up addressing this. But is there anyone who is physically alive and responding to these complaints, or is it just algorithms or AI?

The long and the short of it is that you cannot tell if who you are writing to is real. Or if the one responding to you is real. I often take social media with the proverbial grain of salt. I love to keep up with my family and my grandkids. Those are the people I know are real. I like to keep up with groups so I know what my community is concerned about. But I’d really like those unwanted interruptions to get off my live feed. The modern-day equivalent of the party line.

For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com

Victoria Schmidt
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