Farmer Meets Facebook

 In Seriously?

This week marked a momentous moment in our household. Whether it was driven by desire to see what his children were up to on social networks or just a good old fashioned New Year’s Resolution, I know not- –but my husband finally got himself a Facebook account.

He held out for a long time, he did. Dairy Farmers are not traditionally known for being technologically advanced, but even in this subgroup my husband was making a name for himself as a Caveman. Seriously, they even have an online dating site for farmers now. I think it would be fair to say that he was in the sub group beneath this sub group, sharing technophobic membership with a man named Virgil on the East Road …and the Amish.

You must understand that this is a man who viewed the Crest Spin Brush with suspicion for quite some time. He still has a collection of albums. He did succumb to the cell phone a while back, but things are rough for him in this area as he can never remember to take it out of the tractor. He loses his phone 3-4 times a year. It has fallen into the manure pit, been dropped in the barn yard, been crushed under the feet of a bovine. It causes quite a problem in our family because he keeps using all of our updates.

But his technophobia was becoming my problem. I was so annoyed by having to look up the weather for him four times a day, I had to take action. I was able to tempt him to try the Ipad by luring him to the Weather App.  I’ve regretted it ever since.  Some mornings I find him, his eyebrows creased in concentration (or frustration) poking his meaty finger at my Ipad. It usually comes down to some expletives before I intervene.

“I keep poking it and it won’t work,” he tells me. And I explain to him again that the force of the poke is not the determining factor. I tried to bring him on board with this century by sharing my Ipad but it’s just not working out. He never charges it up. And since he has been using it, it is absolutely filthy. Last week I opened it up and found food debris on the screen.

“What is this?” I asked. “Is this cheese?”

He gave me a sheepish look and slunk away, still gnawing on some nine year old cheddar.

Anyway, you can imagine my shock when I checked my phone and found I had a friend request from him. Of course I didn’t accept; I was sure his identity had been stolen. But alas, not so. Our daughter had hooked him up.

The next day, while he was poking at my Ipad, I noted that he had ten friend requests. I thought he’d be pleased, but he was a little flustered. And more than a little suspicious. I tried to show him how to “accept.” (You know, by just touching the accept button…)

“Whoa, whoa,” he said. “Hold on. Who is that? I don’t know that guy.”

I tried to explain he was a casual acquaintance, but my husband was not sure he should enter this individual in the tight knit group of his social world. After all, there were already eight people in his inner circle.

“You know, they’re not real friends, right? Like you don’t have to go bowling with them or anything. They’re just Facebook friends. There’s no real commitment here.”

“I don’t know. I’m going to have to think about it,” he said, rubbing his chin in concern. It was a big decision.

As were all the friendship requests. He just didn’t want to get himself into something he couldn’t commit to, he explained. Explaining to him the delicate nature of offending random people who friend you was about as successful as getting him to give up his 8 track collection. His eye was drawn to one request, however. By the profile pic, it was clearly a fellow dairy farmer.

“Who is that? Do you know him?” I asked.

“No, but that is great tractor,” he replied.

And with one decisive poke, Bob made a new friend.

Baby steps, I tell myself. Baby steps.


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Showing 2 comments
  • Marjie

    Your husband sounds so sweet. I remember feeling the same way when I first joined Facebook. I was very hesitant about accepting friend requests if I didn’t really know the person well. Now – I welcome friend requests and I’m always looking to connect with new and old friends. I actually feel bad for friends that refuse to join Facebook. I do not think they realize what they are missing. Sadly, I am losing touch with these friends. Thanks to Facebook – you and I have reconnected and I just love that. Thanks for being my friend. I hope some day we can see each other again. marjie

  • Chris Marti

    Jennifer, I loved this. Sounds so much like Bob. I could picture him doing all this as I was reading along. Wish him well for me.

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