“Human Stupidity, that’s why Hackers always win.”

― Med Amine Khelifi

FRIENDS — REAL FRIENDS, not FB friends: I don’t want you to think that I’ve finally gone over the edge to full dementia. I know some of you know exactly how old I am. Keep it to yourself.

I also don’t want my “friends” to think that I’ve become a total conspiracy nut, but I think I’ve been hacked. By whom? I have no idea.

I’ve studied everything I can about the theories on hacking with this result:

Hillary’s people are blaming the hacking of their top secret and highly explosive files on what they call “foreign actors.” Actors? Is that it? I was an actor, I know a lot of actors, none foreign, but most are dead, and the others are in various nursing homes across the nation, and are barely capable of making it to the bathroom, let alone hacking.

Worse, neither Hillary nor Donald seem to be interested in what’s happening to my Facebook page. Yes, I have one.

As you know, there are only about eight people my age on Facebook, and they all want me to start acting my age and get started with packing for Florida. But this is about hacking, not packing.

Here it is. I have mysteriously started acquiring a raft of new Facebook friends. To begin with, I had more than enough FB friends already. Doris in Vancouver keeps me abreast of Canadian swimming pool prices, Jane is always there when I need to know how to spell “Aleppo,” and countless others are on board to remind me of their birthdays and anniversaries and show me their countless pictures of their grandchildren, and vacation snapshots, not to be confused with Snapchats.

But now, all of a sudden, I discovered a flock of new friends, none of whom I recognize. This is troubling for a man my age.

There’s Jack who seems to be a dentist somewhere in Temple City. It doesn’t say which Temple City, and it seems that there are many. There’s Jock in Hallowell who complains all the time about Trump. I welcome fellow “Never Trumpers,” but I don’t remember friending a Jock.

Here’s one that could be a problem of international dimensions. Mateo Pisciotta at the Universita degli Studi di Milano is on here. I don’t remember ever being in Milano, and certainly not at the university.

Linda in the Canadian province of Alberta seems thrilled to accept my friendship request, and Mahout Bernatize is also happy to be my friend, and says that if I’m ever in Missoula, Montana, I should join his bar method class. Is that an app?

Natalie Diaz wants to know if I speak Spanish; and Jason J., who seems vaguely familiar, changed his profile picture this week and wants to know if it makes him look fat. No Jason, you don’t look fat, and who are you again?

If I weren’t already occupied with making deadlines and studying about Aleppo (in case someone asks me where it is), my daughter anxiously texted me last week (I mean she “messaged” me; that’s different from texting) that I needed to update my iPhone 6s at once.

It seems that all this time, I’ve been on iOS 9.0 and that I should be on the new iOS 10.

OK, now we’re getting somewhere. This could be the problem; all of this could be linked to the old, out of style iOS 9.

I’m going to look into that just as soon as I complete my tutorial with my U.S. Cellular friend D.J., who is teaching me how to update all the new features that come with iOS 10, like messaging, Snapchat, Instagram, podcasts, and something called “Wallet.”

OMG, I have been hacked. Someone or something just changed my Siri voice to a British accent.

Breaking news: My youngest just texted me that I have been pressing the button “confirm” instead of “delete request.” Did I do that? She’s right — I need to stop going on FB after midnight.

Did I just press Twitter instead of Pandora? Hello? Hello? Is anyone out there?

Twit me right back, or message or Snapchat me if you’re getting this.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.


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