Social networking has downsides

I recently went to visit my brother in New York over a long weekend. It was a good opportunity to remind myself why London is still the best place to live (apart from the countryside). For my brother it was a journey of discovery and one which has been met with taxi drivers politely asking, “Where do you want to go arrrsseeehoole?” to dirty streets and astronomical rents. You think London is expensive? Try living in a little cardboard box and then imagine it being so hot your shoes melt to the floor. Then imagine flat mates coming in all ours with their girlfriends…. and paper thin walls…. and you are charged $1,600 for the privilege. Give me London squalor any day.

Anyway after I arrived I had a few spare minutes so decided to check my email to find I had a new Facebook friend request. So after looking at all my very important work email I took a look at the friend request to discover I didn’t recognise the chap looking to add me until I saw the message “Hey Piers, I was wondering if you could be my friend – I was the guy who checked your passport at Amsterdam airport”. So apart from a guy from Amsterdam looking to add me as his friend on Facebook *shudder* who I never spoke to or remember meeting he also felt it was ok to take my personal details from my passport and search online for them. Obviously if it was a good looking girl this post might have been a bit different, but the fact remains that in the old days this sort of contact would have been much more difficult to organise.

So while it is good to be social and out on the big world wide web there still needs to be some level of social conduct. And while anyone wanting to contact me can happily add a comment to this website or email my company I don’t expect them to add me to Facebook without first meeting me.


  • Nick Loman says:

    Scary. I’d probably notify the airport and let them know about this kind of thing, to be honest. It suggests at least some employees need retraining. Unless you went for a drink with this guy of course 😉

  • Robin Balen says:

    That’s horrific.

    I agree with Nick — file a complaint!


  • admin says:

    No didn’t quite feel like going for a drink… Yeah probably right, the problem is those zany Dutch officials will probably be all “hey, but here in Amshsterdam it is normal to not only have a passport handler but also a lover…”

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