For more than 11 years, my wife and I have shared a home, a bedroom and countless happy moments traveling around the world together. My daughter, who was at our wedding, knows us as married. We were married by a minister, so we presume God knows we’re husband and wife. The state of California has even issued us a marriage license. And goodness knows, my wife’s parents and my parents both thought we were married too. But despite the overwhelming evidence that I am, in fact, a happily married man, I just learned no one is married until Facebook says so.
It did come as somewhat of a surprise, I must tell you. There I was, updating my Facebook profile, and for relationship status, naturally, I selected “married.” I dutifully typed in my wife’s name, “Therese Iknoian” and hit “Save,” whereupon Facebook alerted me that it would have to consult my wife to confirm she actually wanted to acknowledge me as her spouse — never mind she was right by the computer when I did it.
So, I waited, and in short order, Therese informed me she’d just received the following notice from Facebook: “You have a request from Michael Hodgson to add him as your spouse.”
Fortunately for me and my ego, the confirmation required little pondering on her part and she accepted my marriage proposal.
To which Facebook replied: “You are now in a relationship with Michael Hodgson.”
Whew! Imagine if Facebook had decided I was not a worthy spouse or if we needed some more time to think about whether or not we were truly “committed” to each other.
“We’re sorry, but we think you both need some separate time to really decide if you are committed to your relationship before we can confirm it. Please click here to activate the counseling application and request relationship approval in six months — and thank you for using Facebook.”
Of course, I suppose then I could have just gone out and bought a wife. Heck, you can buy friends on Facebook, so how hard could it be to pay someone to be your Facebook spouse?
Naturally, both Therese and I were quite relieved to learn that Facebook had confirmed our relationship. We’d hate to think we’d been living in Facebook sin all these years.
But it got me thinking…if my merely saying I was married wasn’t good enough for Facebook, what’s next for Facebook requiring approval? Employment? Dating? Promotions?
I may think I have done all the things in my biography, but now I’m wondering, since Facebook never actually confirmed most of accomplishments for me. Did I really graduate from college with a degree, because Facebook never confirmed that for me either. In fact, now that I think about it, my birth hasn’t even been Facebook-approved.
Am I real? Or will the pixels of my life fade without a Facebook endorsement? I could go on, but I really do need to take a break…now if Facebook will just give me that hall pass to the bathroom, I’ll be on my way.