Point of View: Recent Activity

    Well, I’ve gone and done it — joined Facebook — though I have an eerie feeling it won’t end well.
    Mary made me do it. She wanted me to play Scrabble with her. That way we can argue in the traditional fashion if we’re seated next to each other as to whether a word is misspelled or not, or even if it’s a word. You can cheat on the Facebook version by plugging things in and getting a “valid” or “invalid” answer posthaste. And then you make your play. It used to be more fun when the give-and-take (“Yes it is!” “No, it isn’t! Whoever heard of a ‘za.’ What’s a za. . .?!”) was settled by a visit to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary in our living room, the Final Arbiter.
    In order to get together Facebook-wise, I had to confirm that I had in fact volunteered to join on my e-mail at the office. When I opened it the day after she’d signed me up, I found that Facebook had already chosen some possible “friends” I might want — none being Mary!
    I thought that was indeed strange until we discovered, while investigating the matter further, that there are 856 Mary Graveses known to Facebook at this moment in time, and there a whole lot of John Graveses, too.
    So today, having been told that Mary Graves wants to be my friend, and having clicked when asked if I’d like to see her profile, I was nonplused yet again to learn I had somehow befriended a Mary Graves who has urged that I let grace flow freely from my heart, a Mary Graves who has proferred a “verse of the day,” and a Mary Graves who has “just earned a score of 57,700 points.” Still no sign of my wife!
    Under “recent activity” it says “Mary is now friends with John Graves and 2 other people.” But, as I said before, given the fact that there are 855 other Mary Graveses on Facebook, and God knows how many John Graveses, I am not reassured.
    The thing is I don’t want to be friends with anyone but Mary (well, maybe my children). I fear that this is spinning totally out of control, as I knew in my heart it would (which is why I’ve been resisting for so long), and that before you know it I will be linked in with half the people on the planet and feeling I should converse with them.
    This, of course, is the deepest fear of a professed compassionate secular humanist.
    Under “recent activity” the “Facebook Team” also says — oh God — “Mary is now friends with Victory and Dominion Church and 10 other people,” and “Mary is now friends with Grateful Of Plantersville and 10 other people,” and “Mary Graves went to Lee Williams & QC’s (!).”
    I’m shutting it down. I’m shutting it down.