I’m not even going to try to cutely ease into this one.
JoHn* is on Instagram.
Like, for me.
For a few years now, and yes I mean a few years, JoHn has been saying that – maybe – he ought to consider making a Facebook account.
That was it.
That was what he knew, social media-wise I mean. He did call ‘tweeting’ ‘chirping’ once or twice, but anything beyond Facebook seemed to exceed his comprehension.
One night Mac showed him Snapchat and tried to explain the point and it nearly paralyzed him.
So, for years (again, years) I have shared the fun, funny, and/or poignant family-related and otherwise interesting stuff I see on Facebook with the Nearly Perfect One from my own account.
But the other day, in the car, I was innocently chauffeuring Jack and Mac to the airport for their return to Seattle, and JoHn had tagged along for the ride.
I heard Mac ask JoHn for his phone and then there was some quiet conversation and suddenly JoHn shouted, “Hon, I’m on INSTA!”
Yes. He said ‘insta’.
It kicked into high gear when we pulled out of the airport.
JoHn announced, “I have a request from Mac! She wants to follow me!”
I just stared straight ahead.
“Oh look! She used Marshal as my profile pic!”
After a while. No. After STALKING anyone and everyone he thought might have ‘an insta’, he put his phone away and we talked about other things and then we were home.
Which was when, as I sat down in the living room, he announced that he was taking a shower and wondered if I could keep an eye on his insta feed while he was up there.
“Hey, could you keep an eye on my insta feed while I take a shower?”
And I answered something like, “Oh, no problem”, which translated – in my mind – to “I’m going to totally delete you from Instagram as soon as you are upstairs and can’t see me anymore”.
But I didn’t.
The guy was just so excited.
The next morning I came down and he was sitting in our regular coffee spot. I poured myself some coffee and wandered in.
“I just followed the Hubble Space Telescope!” he announced, with much vim and vigor (mostly vigor).
I made ‘good for you’ eyes over the rim of my coffee cup.
“You can do that! It has its own insta, you know.”
“Also, there are about 23,000 Nat Geo accounts you can follow.”
“Look,” he pointed to the screen on his phone. “Penguins!”
Oh my Gawd.
When she signed him up for his own ‘insta’ account, Mac told him he didn’t have to post in order to follow people. This was exciting to JoHn because he doesn’t take photos, but would like to keep up with what the kids were doing.
All of which sounded so altruistic on Mac’s part; How nice that she was helping her Dad stay in touch with the fam.
In the 3.5 seconds it took her to hook him up on ‘insta’, she knew she gained another follower for her own account. And, add to that, she got to torture me in the process.
It was like an offspring’s embarrassment of riches (and I think she knew it).
So, he was all set. No need to post anything, lots of energy around following the family, NASA, and National Geographic.
That was Sunday.
Today he came dancing down the stairs and said, “You know, I have so many people asking to follow me that I think I need” – I’m not kidding here – “content.”
My husband, on ‘insta’, needs to create content.
Then he said he might need my help.
To create his content.
So I said the first thing that came to mind, as kind of a deflection.
“You know what would be just fabulous, and would probably take you viral? You know how the kids love nothing more than your dad selfies…”
He was jubilant!
“OMG!” (he said it. Not ‘Oh My God’ – he said, “OMG!”)
And then he said something that struck fear into the deepest recesses of my heart and soul.
Just two words.
Two words that will not change my life for the better.
Oh, dear Lord.
Thanks for readin’.
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*The other night, my friend – who has been reading for a year or so now – asked me why the ‘h’ in JoHn’s name was always capitalized. I explained that it goes way back to the near-beginning of the blog when we all saw an episode of ‘Family Guy’ in which Stewie and Brian argue over Stewie’s pronunciation of ‘Cool Whip’. Stewie pronounces the ‘h’ in wHip and it bothers Brian. The ensuing hilarity in our family resulted in me pronouncing the ‘h’ in wHeird, and eventually ended up with JoHn having to re-learn the case (upper and lower) management for his name.