Sign of the times

I’m not sure how to spin this, but I do know it’s weird. And absolutely typical of how we live now.

Last night around 11, Mark, Rachael & I were hanging out watching one of our guilty pleasures on the DVR. The phone rang; it was Daniel, calling from his dorm at the University of Chicago. (Naturally my first thought, which is a sign of my age, is that it must be something Serious and Important because he was calling so late. But those are old attitudes; we’re all routinely up at that hour on weekends, and Dan know this, of course.)

But as it turns out the subject of his call was time-sensitive: he had just changed his relationship status on Facebook, and he didn’t want us to find out from Facebook rather than from him that he was, as it says on FB, In A Relationship.

He is a considerate soul, and that’s one of the many things I love about him. But I cannot escape the sheer bizarreness of living in times when your parents can Facebook Stalk you from 1500 miles away. I mean, isn’t having a little privacy the main reason to go so far away to college?  Distance has become immaterial.

I am very pleased for Dan, and for his girlfriend Sarah who I don’t yet know: there is a reason why college is where geeks go to spawn. That’s where geeks have to go to find people of analogous levels of geekiness. I am proud of their ability to balance having the kind of relationship geeks crave with the demands of the educational path they’ve chosen. And I’m glad to know about it, because the idea of their happiness makes me happy.

But I also appreciate that there is a natural interval between being ready for your friends to know about the relationship and being ready to make the announcement to your parents. And Facebook has just closed that gap.

I don’t know how to spin this. But I do know it’s weird.

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