Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ginger or Mary Ann? No. I Go *Way* Back. The Question is: Betty or Veronica?

Because a Media Studies colleague is on Facebook, using it as a powerful teaching and research tool, I decided to go on Facebook, too.

For a long time my colleague was my only Facebook friend, and he would drop by occasionally to look at the bare ruined choirs of my Faceback page. Apparently, I was an object of derision because no one had "written on my wall." So that I wouldn't be an object of derision, he wrote on my wall.

Michael, i am writing something here on your wall because word on the street suggests bare walls are a no-no.

This was very kind, indeed. So I wrote on his wall to show I was hep.

"Duh!" I wrote. "Or is it spelled 'Dhu'?"

My colleague has many many Facebook friends, his list growing all the time, some of whom have turned out to be current or former journalism students here at USF, so now, seeing my name on his wall, they have hunted me down to become my official Facebook friends, too.

"Hey, Dr. Robertson," they say.

And then I'm sure they laugh and laugh and laugh.

Still, it's nice to be said "Hey" to. I begin to understand how this thing works if you are a young person. I have a sudden desire to say Golly and to suggest we pile in the old jalopy and go for shakes at Arnold's or Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe.

So then I take my wife on a tour of Facebook, the two of us chillin' with me and my peeps, capisce?

(Oh, brave new world that has such people in't, a'ight?)

It's not a jalopy and it's not a shake, but it is me sharing my hard day's work with my helpmate. ("You call this work? You call this research??" she says. But that's a topic for another post.)

We look at various Facebook pictures, not a few of which feature young people holding beer bottles while in the company of members of the opposite sex in bathing suits.

My wife wonders if I am going to put up something age appropriate, a picture of me holding a martini glass while in the background there my wife stands wearing a nice Hillary Clinton pants suit.

I say sure. I do like a nice martini.

I show her some of the Facebook pictures of my students. Thank God they all look like nice smiling sweet kids and not zombies or crack whores.

Okay, I say, Do you think I should write on their walls, you know, just a nice old geezer tottering by to say "Hey"?

She thinks for a good long while. And she gets serious. She says what with all this Mark Foley business, do you really want to be on Facebook saying anything of any nature to children?

Which they are, she says. They are children.

And I say, Mark Foley is apparently a homosexual pedophile, and I am a heterosexual monogamist happily married to a woman in my own demographic. I don't prey on my students; I don't flirt with my students. I don't think I'm likely to say something that could be misconstrued.

Am I?

And she said do you really want to take a chance just so you will feel somewhat less of a fossil, an antique, though on your best days, I concede, a living treasure?

And I think: What if she's right?

Should I read the writing on the wall?

1 comment:

....J.Michael Robertson said...
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