And contrary to what you might think, I didn’t have to convince her to do it. In fact, it was her own volition!
It’s not a secret that Gail and I are quite different in many ways. She knows how to cook. I know how to eat. I love to play sports. She loves to play shopping. She has fashion sense. I’m still wearing clothes from grade 8.
And when it came to social networking, Gail didn’t want to have anything to do with it. “Why do you have to tell people what we’re doing?” she would ask. “They don’t care!”
“People do indeed care” would be my common answer. “And if they don’t, then they don’t have to be my friend or follow me.”
At public gatherings like a youth ministry event or teachers’ conference, people meeting Gail for the first time would say to her: “Oh, I know all about your family through Facebook.”
So that’s how it went for the last half-decade: I would write a blog or make a video, and Gail would be forced to read it or watch it. Sometimes, she would be proud. Other times she would be embarrassed. But no matter what, she would always support me.
Then, on October 30, the seed was planted.
We left the kids at Jason and Joanna’s place for their annual pumpkin carving evening and we did what we usually do when we’re alone…we went to a movie! After soliciting a bit of advice (on Facebook and Twitter no-less), we ended up watching The Social Network.
As an avid Facebook user I was fascinated by the story, whereas Gail was likely fascinated by Justin Timberlake. In any event, we both loved the show…albeit for different reasons. In all seriousness, Gail found the show extremely interesting.
Over the ensuing months, Gail would often ask me to look up a few of her friends on Facebook so she could see what they were up to. Whether it was news of a new place or pictures of a new child, it was a convenient way to see what people were up to.
Then just last week, one of her elementary school friends posted a picture of their grade 4 class from Immaculate Conception Academy in Manila. The photo owner took the time and energy to tag as many of the students as she could, defaulting to the spouse if someone didn’t have a Facebook account. Thus, the tall girl in the 2nd row with the long pig-tails is tagged as “Clayton Imoo.”
Sure enough, I started to get a few friend requests from Gail’s classmates who were hoping to reconnect with Gail after 25 years. While I certainly didn’t mind passing on the messages or letting Gail reply via my account (after all, I’ve subjected her to my blogs and videos for the past few years), Gail must have sensed that there was an easier way.
So on Sunday, February 27 she did the previously unthinkable: she asked me to set-up a Facebook account for her.
I announced the historic decision by updating my Facebook status to read: “Yes, it’s true. A certain lovely wife of mine…someone who has adamantly refused to set up a Facebook account…is willing to explore the world of social networking. Welcome Gail Limtong Imoo!!!
As expected, within 24 hours Gail had close to 3 dozen friends. In giving her a couple of short tutorials, I realized that Facebook can actually seem quite complicated. It may seem second-nature to experienced users, but between the different types of notifications, the different tabs, the different display options and the different privacy settings, it may certainly seem daunting to a Facebook rookie!
Gail looked at my friends’ list and incredulously asked me “Do you know EVERYONE on your list?”
I sheepishly answered “Most of them.”
“Then why do you…”
I cut her off as politely as I could, careful not to get sent to the bathroom for time-out. “Of course I know them…although a few of them I’ve only met once.”
As I post this blog, Gail is still not totally convinced of Facebook’s merits. It will be interesting to see how much she uses it over the next few weeks.
As for me…now that she is on Facebook…I’ll be thinking twice about posting certain things. :p