Tuesday, October 21, 2008

my confessions/your secrets

This blog is seldom a place of confession. I don't feel it is wise to throw dirty laundry around the world wide web. When tempted to do so, I must remember that the web is, well, world wide. This means that any information from social security numbers (there is a 9 in mine) to grocery lists (I have a weakness for EL Fudge cookies) could fall into the wrong hands if posted freely. It seems that everyone is on this internet thing these days. Which leads to my confession.

My dad has a facebook page.

I don't know how this happened. I don't know why it happened. It came as a complete shock to me because, until last week, he hadn't checked his yahoo email account since 2004. That means he just got my Christmas list from four years ago. I got an ipod that year anyway.

His name is Dan. You should invite him to be your friend. It will freak him out.

My confession leads to greater sorrow for all. My dad's new discovery will probably trigger the beginning of the end of facebook. Every hip, white kid knows that once something goes mainstream, it will only last another six months or so. That's how fads work. Things are much better when they are unknown. Unless of course they are Dashboard Confessional. They suck either way.

Regardless, my ability to talk to my dad has now taken an unexpected turn. Father-son talks have reached a brand new level. Where was facebook in 1993? How simple could it have been for good ol' dad to give me the "birds and the bees" talk on my facebook wall? It would have been less awkward then the alternative... some James Dobson produced cartoon about Billy and Susie discovering where lil' sis came from. If only I could have logged on facebook as an 11 year old and gotten a wall post from my dad explaining, "it's called sex. don't do it." My status would have read, "Eric Epperson is enlightened."

As I mentioned to my friend Allen, who has an iphone but hates text messages, "it's about information without intimacy". Yet, is there such a thing as too much information if intimacy is not involved? Is it a required part of this whole thing? Where does the relationship fit in? Are we at risk when we eliminate the foundational part of the transfer of information?

This issue was brought to my attention last night. You see, Torrie and I have started going to a small group through our church. They are great people. We have loved getting to know these other couples. Some of them even read the blog. With that in mind, I won't use names or get too specific.

I guess what amazes me is how quickly people really do open up. Once someone feels comfortable and trust is established, people will tell you just about anything... "I can't stand my parents"... "I don't understand my wife"... "I only have one nipple"... These of course, are only examples. As far as I know, everyone in my small group gets along with their parents and spouse. Everyone appears to have a full set of nipples. We haven't gotten that far yet.

Maybe they are so quick to open up, on facebook or in home group, because people are hungry for someone to listen to them. This is why we join support groups, small groups, facebook groups, and write blogs. We want to know that the thoughts in our head actually make sense and that they can be expressed without rejection. Everyone wants someone to know their secrets.

So the next time you want to talk, the best thing I can do is listen.

Your wall or mine?


Jacob Epperson said...

Dad figured out facebook chat. I found this out as I was checking my email before a quick nap before we went to the city. He said, 'What's up?' From that point, we had a five minute conversation about where his inbox is, what it is, why it is what it is, how to look at it, and what to do once you figure all of that out. Expect a message from pop in your inbox soon!
(I'm going to get a bunch of Japanese people to ask to be his friend. That will be an interesting day at the house.)

Anonymous said...

Well done, brother. You're my favorite blogger.