Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a debater at heart. I love the challenge of a verbal and intellectual sparring match, especially when I think there is even the slightest chance of winning the argument.
It might seem obvious to anyone who has been married for any length of time, but when I get into debates with my bride (pictured top-left on the main page) I rarely win. It’s not that I throw in the towel with my sweetheart just to maintain marital harmony. No, you can count on the fact that I give her a good tussle whenever we disagree over an issue.
The reason I so rarely win when I debate my wife is that I am so seldom right.
(At this juncture I can hear the voices of a thousand females shouting, “HALLELUJAH! A man who knows when to admit he’s wrong!”)
The reasons I married Leah were fairly simple:
- There are few other women out there who could tolerate my ridiculously over-developed sense of ego
- There are few other women out there who would tolerate my ridiculously over-the-top penchant to debate
- There were no other women out there who did tolerate
The debate the other night involved “facebook.” (Would somebody please tell me why they insist on lower-casing the name? As someone who has been in the advertising business for a decade-and-a-half I still don’t get it. But I digress.)
Speaking honestly, Facebook (there I go rebelling against the whole lower-case thing) creeps out my wife. I know I won’t do her position full justice, but I think I can capture the gist of her argument.
Facebook, though ostensibly a public forum, is a method of communication that is still all about the individual. And we’re not talking about deep communication. We’re talking about the superficial, silly stuff that didn’t exist when people thought long and hard before penning a letter to a long-lost friend. We’re talking about all those insipid “games” and “polls” and “causes,” some of which may have legitimacy but most of which are merely frivolous. We’re talking about mundacity like, “25 things nobody knows about me”, that masquerade as revealing when all they are is usually superfluous.
Did you know, for example, that I had been arrested in my youth?
Now that’s not something you’re going to find on FaceBook. (Double capitals! YES!)
No, on Facebook (back to single caps again) we don’t get that deep. We stay “pithy,” with short quips and minimalist clippings of the largely boring malarky of life. It’s things like, “wishing I had another cup of coffee to get me through the day.” Or how about, “Join the ‘What I hate about facebook’s new front page'” insurrection. (As if I honestly cared a whit about what facebook’s (no caps this time) front page looked like.)
My wife’s point took me by surprise, so of course I battled her for more than 40 minutes until we both got bored with it and went to bed.
The next day I reflected on her point and realized just how right she was.
Let me set up the scene. Without some background, the point I’m about to raise might come off sounding like petty jealousy or paranoia. With some background – and some uncharacteristic depth, at least where anything about FaceBook is concerned – I think you’ll see just what it is about faceBook that can get creepy and just a little bit scary.
When I married my wife I remember making a lot of promises at the altar. There were the usual, “love, honor, & cherish” phrases. Tucked within those vows, though, were deeper promises and commitments. To respect. To communicate. To elevate her above myself. To never forget the importance of dialog in a marriage relationship.