The Face of the Other

So there I was idly reinforcing my insecurity complex by Googling my own name when my eye is snagged by one of the search results: “Ben Jeapes is on Facebook”.

To which Ben Jeapes’s immediate reaction was “no he flaming well isn’t, for reasons chronicled elsewhere but revolving around having a life.” Then I looked a bit closer and I thought, oh, so that’s him.

For there are in fact two of us, as I discovered a couple of years ago. There’s little danger of our being confused as Junior is, so far as I can gather, a pupil at Gravesend Grammar School. And he seems to be quite good at sport, which is why his name gets onto the school website and hence Google in the first place. I wish him well in life; I only ask that if he goes into writing, please could he use a different name. Unless he becomes wildly successful and attracts millions of devoted fans who will buy anything with that name on the cover, in which case please use the name you have with my blessing.

And now I know what he looks like, and if I had a good memory I could name his friends. This all happened yesterday. Recreating the search conditions today fails to get the Facebook link back. Did Facebook release it into the public domain by accident? I’ve tried going to Facebook with the intention of searching, but they expect me to sign up even to do that much. So take my word for it, he seems a sound, outstanding fella as befits anyone with such an illustrious name.

On a COMPLETELY different topic – except that it relates to online privacy, which isn’t completely tangential to the subject at hand – see this page from the ACLU for proof (if it were needed) that you can have too much information.