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Somebody by the name of Gene Hawkridge sent me an invitation to join LinkedIn, which he himself is on.  At first, I thought it may have been some kind of spam, so I hit the reply button and politely told him I didn't remember ever "meeting" him.  Later, the name began sounding more familiar, and after an Inbox search, I did find he was a WA LP member and had contacted me in a mass e-mail a while back.  So, taking it as a possibly friendly personal gesture, I decided I'd go ahead and accepted the LinkedIn invitation and fill out the membership forum.  Well, the form was full of questions that applied to people with college degrees and high-level professions, so I decided to skip it, since I didn't even know how to answer the questions, and if I'd tried, it just made me seem pathetically under-achieving.

To be polite, just so he didn't think I'd be snubbing him, I thought I'd e-contact him and explain.  I realized just replying via the LinkedIn invitation may not work----my message might not be relayed to him by that route.  So I tried to find his original e-mail.  Well, that was via the WA LP.  I tried their "contact us" button.  That lead to some form to fill out with a bunch of questions that didn't seem to apply, but no e-mail address.

I saw that he'd made a post to Yahoo's LP Radicals Discuss, and through that forum, I thought I'd be able to find him and send him a private e-mail.  Though my Inbox indicated he'd posted on the forum, when I looked for the post to lead me to the private e-mail button, it said "not found".  I did find that he goes my another name, a Latin one, Geno "Something", and I remember he'd friended me on Facebook.  So I went to Facebook and clicked on Friends.  That only gave me a long, long list of "Friend Requests" and "People You May Know", but not my actual "Friends List".  I looked and looked, and could not find it.  So that lead ground to another dead end.

(While I was looking for Gene, I saw that somebody was trying to contact me about mimeography.  I tried clicking on her name, but the screen was all washed-out and disabled, so I couldn't respond.  I tried over and over again.  It just wouldn't work.)

I did a Google search and did find him on at least half-a-dozen "profile pages", but all my attempts to find some way of contacting him were in vain.

This is just one of many, many times, most undocumented, I've tried to "get in touch" with people on the Net, and was bizarrely lead round and round and round in circles.  Which is why it still seems so disturbingly Orwellian that the Net, and above all, FACEBOOK!, is claimed to "connect everybody" so QUICKLY and EASILY!  I feel LESS connected in many ways than I did back in the old snail mail days.  The technology that supposedly makes it so "easy" to "stay in touch" apparently can, and IS, used to through up barriers.

Yes, yes, I know.  It's just my own incompetence.  But that's why I prefer the Papernet and worry about it's decline.  I'm just too stupid for the Internet I guess.

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Comment by James N. Dawson on August 23, 2011 at 12:29pm
By the way, the person who contacted me about mimeography was Anastasia While, June 17 (no year that I saw).  Most or all of my other Facebook messages are directed to my Yahoo Inbox.  I searched and this one wasn't.  Anastasia, if you see this, send me your snail mail address, and I'll send you some DIY printing zines.

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