Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Facebook vs. Goldfish

Little Babe finally went to sleep after copyediting his Power Point presentation for Talmud class and synchronizing songs by the Beatles and Green Day with the images.

HOBB returned home after heroically walking Alfie and Nala the Pomeranians in the driving rain. Once he removed his soaking coat and toweled down the miserable pooches, he commenced cleaning the fishtank.

And I, after editing press releases, answering emails and doing my several-times-daily sweep of a dozen or so news sites and blogs, finally turned to Facebook.

Where I read a posting by a friend that made me laugh out loud.

Prompting HOBB to ask what was so funny.

Which prompted me, in turn, to inform him that if he wished to know, he should resubscribe to Facebook.

I was kidding, of course. My husband gave up the Facebook habit after an uneasy year as a subscriber. Too much exposure, he said. Too many old roomates eager to reconnect; too many former students wishing to stay in touch, too many stalkers...or simply people he had no interest in communicating with.

I never argued him out of his decision. Frankly, he's not the Facebook type.

But HOBB took my flippant comment seriously. Watching me avidly click on links to videos and punch in pithy responses, hearing me cackle and talk back to my screen, he informed me that the key choices in life can often be framed as Facebook versus goldfish. I must have looked perplexed, because he rushed to explain:

While he was tending his tank, adding chemicals to the water, scrubbing the sides of glass, moving the gravel around, I was communing with my computer. While he was nurturing another species, I was networking for the sake of...networking.

He didn't begrudge technology or the march of time or our newfangled era of cyber-dependency. But he did choose to be a dissenter every now and then.

To be on Facebook is human, he said.

But to care for goldfish is divine.

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