Failed attempt to join the 21st century

No images for this post because I’m too fed up.

Well, after a long time not getting around to joining Facebook I finally decided it was time to do it, partly because I realised that I was missing out on so much sharing of images and information in the textile world. So I spent more time than I care to admit setting it all up, opening my account, setting up an Artists page, linking to other pages, sending friend requests, looking at videos of cute cats etc. I submitted a couple of pictures of my work to ‘Textile Arts’ on Facebook and received 400 Likes in 24 hours and many lovely comments. People started linking from my Facebook page to my website. ‘Great’ I thought. ‘I’ve cracked social media. Piece of cake’. But then it all went horribly wrong. Through the post I’d put on the Textile Artist page I received friend requests from people I didn’t know. I didn’t want to offend anyone by declining, so I sent them messages inviting them to ‘follow’ my Artists page instead. Therein lies the problem. By sending the same cut-and-paste messages to people not on my friends list in quick succession, I triggered a security alert on my account and found myself locked out and my page closed down.

I received a computerised message which I interpret as saying that they don’t think that I am me. OMG, then I suddenly realised what the problem is. Very few people know that I was christened Stephanie Jane, because since before I can remember I have always and only been called Jane. It just never occurred to me that opening a Facebook page as ‘Jane’ might be seen as fraud, because Jane is who I am! I identify so little with ‘Stephanie’ that I’ve sat in waiting rooms wondering why the Stephanie who is being called isn’t responding. I’ve always been so careful at work to make sure that things like professional registration and DBS checks are all coordinated with my legal documents and to link the name I’m known by and my legal identity. I’ve always signed things like Court reports as ‘S Jane’. But I just didn’t think of it for Facebook. I received an automated message asking me to submit identification – but everything on their list is in the name of Stephanie, not Jane. How on earth do I prove that I am Jane??? As far as I’m concerned, Stephanie is the one I don’t identify with and she’s the one who can produce all the apple-pie documents. In the end I’ve submitted a copy of my C&G Medal for Excellence as ‘S Jane Robinson’, a C&G Medal for Excellence from Bucks CC as ‘Jane Robinson’, and a newspaper feature of me receiving the medal as ‘Jane Robinson’. This was the only way I could think of to link both Stephanie Robinson and Jane Robinson with a photo of yours truly that is publicly identified as Jane and can be compared to that other Stephanie woman in the passport. I really don’t know if that will do it.

If not, having just invited all my friends and family to be ‘friends’ and put myself about on the Textile Arts page with 10,000 or so textile people, anyone who tries to follow links to me will find that I’ve been deleted, leaving me looking and feeling very stupid. If it makes me feel like they have deleted me along with the Facebook page, then that probably illustrates why I held out for so long against joining it. Apologies to anyone who tries to contact me through Facebook only to find I’ve disappeared off the face of the earth. Please believe me that I do still exist, in real life, as a real person (who answers to Jane and not Stephanie) . I am still available for phone calls, emails, getting together in person, having real conversations  and ‘doing stuff’. How quaint! How last-century!

Now for some alcohol. Herrumph. So the Luddites were right all along.

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