Newbie Paranoia Blows Up in my Face(book)

Man, this month is kicking off roughly. I’ve locked myself out of my own Facebook account, gained 7 lbs., gotten backed up at work & have a trip to Detroit coming up, never mind that winter is at my door & I’m not ready for it (garden, chicken coop, winter closet, they all need work). I can’t seem to get organized. I’m trying to take it day by day.

The Facebook thing is by far the most annoying. As a very green & paranoid newbie, I opened an account a while ago, to see what all the fuss was about. FB required my name, which I gave, but then decided giving my birthday was unwise. I didn’t trust FB to protect my identity from theft, so I gave a random date… & didn’t record it anywhere… never thinking I might need to know it someday… you see where this is going, don’t you? Still, all was well for over a year. Until my trip to NC last month. When I tried to access my account from an “unrecognized source” (my sister’s laptop). Causing a roadblock of security hurdles, to protect my account. Asking me to prove I’m me, by re-entering my birthday. Um… my birthday? Crap. When I click “Use a different verification method” I get no other choices, cuz I gave no other profile information. So, that’s the end of that little experiment, huh?

Not sure what to do next, since there appear to be no actual people at Facebook. No live tech support at all, only FAQs that don’t match my problem, auto-replies that are not applicable. I can’t even deactivate my own account, cuz you have to be able to log-in to do that. They did have an auto-answer link for “Deactivating the Account of a Deceased Person.” I confess, reporting myself dead has some appeal, just to see what happens… but it also seems like bad karma?

If I do start over with a new FB account, I’ll consider using my Henniemavis name, since my real name is used by my locked-out self (& many other Heidi’s, I might add). Heather & others have asked where “Henniemavis” came from, so here’s the story:

Back when I was signing up for a Yahoo email account, I was having more newbie trouble. If you’ve ever signed up for any free online account, you know that getting your actual name isn’t always easy or original, cuz most likely, it’s “already taken.” I didn’t want to use numbers after my name, so I tried multiple variations of my name, to no avail. At the time, I was reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer (great book, btw), so on a lark, I plucked a character name from it, Hannie Mavis. No joke. In the book she’s nothing special, but her name is unusual. So I typed it in, with a twist reflecting my own fondness for chickens: Henniemavis. Surprise, it was available for use!

Bite my lip, Henniemavis has worked for me ever since: Flickr, gmail, Twitter, Vimeo, WordPress, any time I try something new, henniemavis@whatever.whatever has been available. I hope that keeps up, as I think about getting back on Facebook as Hennie Mavis. Now all she needs is a memorable birthdate…


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13 Responses to “Newbie Paranoia Blows Up in my Face(book)”

  1. Aya Says:

    I had the same thing happened to me with some Israeli blog site – I signed up ages ago to comment on some friend’s blog, then didn’t use it for a while, not they can’t find my username or password, but I still get e-mails from them, and since I had to open a new account, I get double of everything.

    The most stupid thing of all is that of course there’s no way to delete the original account without a username or a password…

    The good thing about your new facebook account is that though you might use a different user name, if you put in your real name in the real name section people that only know you by your off line name can still find you.

    • henniemavis Says:

      It is a pain, agreed. But I understand why FB can’t let just anyone “delete my account.” They have to be sure it’s really me wanting in or out, not someone who’s got something against me & is trying to cause trouble. Banks are the same way. I suppose everyone has to be cautious these days. Still, it’s annoying that I shot myself in the foot by accident & there’s no way to get help.

  2. HJJC Says:

    Okay, well I sent you an email and so hopefully if your info gets to where it needs to be on Thursday, then perhaps you will be up and running on FB by the weekend! I am rooting for ya!

    • henniemavis Says:

      Really? If your “connections” get me back into my own FB account, you are going to be the hero of the decade, yes you are! Starting over is not all that appealing to me, honestly. Reporting myself dead had some potential, tho ;-)

  3. heatherlorin Says:

    It’s so hard to keep track of all the online accounts these days. I’d keep the information in one of those “password keepers” or a notebook but I’m too paranoid to have all that information in one place. So, I just forget and play the guessing game. Good luck!

  4. Margaret Says:

    Well, that explains your absence…hope to see you back around the ‘book. Do you have my email address in case you don’t rejoin?

    • henniemavis Says:

      I don’t… send it to me at I’m hoping to be reinstated as myself soon, but as you know, I wasn’t super active on FB anyway, so if I drop it, well… oops. I’m mostly down cuz without FB, I cannot read/see what non-blogging friends like you are doing! That’s a bummer.

  5. peggy fussell Says:

    I should have guessed you were a Barbara Kingsolver fan… so am I!!! Have you read The Lacuma yet? Good lord I love that book. I think I could just keep reading it in a loop for years.

    • henniemavis Says:

      No, but I’m Googling on the side right now… ah, B. Kingsolver’s new novel, The Lacuna. Well, thank God winter days get dark early & cold outdoors. The perfect time for reading in bed & being swallowed thru sea caves into the belly of the earth :-)

  6. mike Says:

    I’m supposed to be all into computer security, identity theft prevention, whatever.
    The best case of paranoia was a guy that wrote (writes?) down all of his online registrations and the demographic information that he provided.
    Except, he modeled his answers around his fictional life as a unicorn.
    Wow, imagine if he lost his little cheatsheet…

  7. Pearl Says:

    I’ve done that too, not with FB. a couple blogs and email accounts that I could never hack back into again so had to abandon.

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