No facebook for me, thanks.
Last week I heard that there are over eight hundred million people on facebook. That’s pretty amazing. I’ve enjoyed my facebook experiences... Keeping up with what my friends and relatives are up to... Finding out what Washington Post articles my friends are reading that might be interesting to me... Reconnecting with friends from high school and college... Reconnecting with some people I worked with in Yellowstone National Park one summer... Reconnecting with some cousins I haven’t seen in decades... You get the idea. We use the term “small world” sometimes when we realize that there are not six degrees of separation. Facebook has made that small world even smaller.
Some months ago there were some sweet women at a round table at the deli who were having a great time - talking and laughing over their caesar salads and cups of tortilla soup. I recognized one of the women and her daughter as being regular customers so I went over to say hello. They explained that they were laughing about facebook. The mom was having lunch with her sisters and her daughter had joined them. They all shared this: None of the moms had a facebook account, but each of them sometimes made one of her daughters log on so they could check in on the rest of the family and see what everyone was up to. They were laughing at themselves and the situation. I got it.
We have friends - contemporaries - who don’t have facebook accounts. Some are couples. The wives are on facebook. The husbands are not. But do not be misled. The husbands get all of the facebook four-one-one from the wives. He’s right there looking over her shoulder, unless he’s already logged on using her email address and password. I have pestered a few of our non-facebook friends, trying to get them on board. They just laugh and shrug it off.
“And that’s why I don’t buy new shoes anymore.”
Those words were spoken my dear sweet wonderful Aunt Mary. We were at some family get-together several years ago, and I think Aunt Mary was probably joking. Someone had pointed out that Aunt Mary did not trust modern technology. By “not trusting” I mean she thought that the government might be watching you through your microwave oven or your DVD player. Whichever cousin was telling me this also said that Aunt Mary also thought that “they” were putting those microfibers in all the new clothes and shoes that you buy with tracking devices in them so “they” know where you are and what you’re doing.
It comes as no surprise then that Aunt Mary refuses to have a facebook account. As far as I know, she still has an AOL account that she is able to access with her dial-up modem. I said DIAL-UP MODEM, people. Ironically, I get more random spam virus-ridden email from her than anybody. But just last week she called my mom and asked for her user info (password, etc.) for facebook so that she could log on as my mom and look at what the rest of the family’s doing. “I want to see the pictures of Ali’s new baby.”
Aunt Mary is not crazy. And by “not crazy” I mean no crazier than any of my other relatives. When my cousins and I were all kids, Aunt Mary was like a second mom to me. I spent the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college with Aunt Mary and Uncle Hershel and their kids in Dallas. I love Aunt Mary to pieces in many ways for innumerable reasons. But I want her to have a facebook account so I can keep up with her better. Or maybe I could just buy her a new outfit and keep up with her by using those GPS tracking device microfiber things.