19 November 2007

Facebook Judges You, Too

I have mentioned previously my loving relationship with the networking website Facebook. I like knowing when people I haven't seen since Maplewood Elementary school get engaged, I like perusing pictures of trips to places I've never been and I like playing Scrabulous.

As somebody who joined Facebook in 2004, just a few days before graduating from the fabulous University Of Florida in Gainesville, I was content with just simple news. I welcomed the pictures. I celebrated when Facebook administration allowed me to be referred to as "Sara Beth" and not just plain "Sara" (I HATE being called just Sara.). I even installed a few applications, celebrating my Gators, my Scrabble problem, and the crazy music tastes I stole from my good friend Leah. But I generally don't like the applications, and I don't really feel the need to have a virtual fish tank on my otherwise neat and clean page.

Today, I received a request from an old friend, who is constantly inviting me to play with Ninjas and bake virtual cupcakes on my profile. I politely decline most of them, but this one is different. The text reads:

Elana D. sent an invitation using Hanukkah Lights:
I invite you to come and celebrate Hanukkah with me! Light the holiday candles using the Hanukkah Lights application!

Then come the options, the proverbial "Yes" or "No":

"Celebrate Hanukkah"

Facebook is telling me that if I say no to Hanukkah lights, then I am ignoring my obligation to celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah (Which, by the way, is that the tiny Jewish Maccabean army beat the huge Syrian army. Not that the oil lasted eight days.). It said similar things when I didn't add the Hebrew Date application (Is it wrong that I don't really care?), and the Hebrew Name application (I can just type that with the help of my cool, new keyboard stickers - pictures tk).

I have decided not to add Hanukkah lights onto my Facebook page. It's nothing personal, Elana D. I just feel like I am in Israel (or, really, wherever it is that I live/will live/have lived), and I will be celebrating Hanukkah in the traditional style -- offline. With each sufganiyah (Jelly donut -- or, in Israel, sometimes dulce-de-leche donut. What matters is that it's fried.), each candle lighting, and each gaze up at the windows in my neighborhoods, filled with Chanukkiyot (Hanukkah candelabras), I will be celebrating Hanukkah.

And let's be serious...I'm probably going to be posting pictures of Hanukkah celebrations on Facebook.

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