Taking a leaf out of Facebook

It seems I mistakenly started to take part in the online social world today. I now have some ‘friends’ apparently, when I someone sent a message round to a group of people I know telling them to all add me as their ‘friend’. I detest using more passwords than necessary, so spent a hour hacking around with the OpenID 2.0 implementation on my blog until I discovered that Facebook’s implementation is for the moment intentionally broken (for those of you looking to implement a service provider, by the way, the highly stable Drupal code has been split off as a separate application, SimpleID, and is by far the best standalone piece of kit around). In the end, I gave up and linked my Facebook account to my Google account, letting me reset my Facebook password to an absurdly long secure one and delete it.

In any case, I found myself by accident wasting a good half hour browsing through my new friends’ ‘walls’, a space a little like a small blog, but not as funny and (usually) not containing any Latin. I almost felt a little guilty, leafing through secret and hidden facts and opinions.

It was a little enlightening though. It turns out that a friend who bumped her nose on my door yesterday thought it worth sharing with the world, a friend who is a Christian does not think it worth sharing, and five people I do not know ‘tagged’ five other people I do not know in photographs. Clearly I am missing out on the big stories.

More seriously, there is a surprising amount of the genuinely worthwhile mixed in with the junk. In particular, there is a whole world of political comment that has not reached the FT nor college group, and iit seems that some people have become genuinely concerned about the election. I am a little shocked by the amount of unbalanced and overly-critical comment, as well as some of the attitudes people I know have been displaying. I am fairly confident that I avoided suggesting to anyone which way to vote (especially as I only reluctantly decided a few days ago), but some friends [no quotation marks] have been going very much further and genuinely getting mixed up in the nasty party advocacy side of politics. So much of the comment on Facebook is negative, even from people whom I have never known complain before, that I am distinctly uncomfortable about whether I may have offended my friends by joking too much about Christian voting without realising how big the issue is for some.

To be clear, as my irony is not always transparent, I will be so bold as to tell people to change their lives, reject the world, flesh and devil, repattern their affections after Christ, and commit their minds and being to his care; but, without any biblical support, I would not be able to suggest to anybody which party they ought to vote for, let alone agree that any group is ‘the Christian party’. As I have been doing for the past weeks though, I am amply prepared to discuss any policy or theology of church and politics with no expectation that anyone agree with the decision I ended up making.

In any case, it is too late to vote and my decision at least, without any party loyalty, is going to be re-assessed next vote.

The exit polls are just in (I beat the news to it! Update: article now on BBC news), and the prediction is that the Conservatives will lead, seventeen short of a majority, and Labour and Lib Dem together ten short of a majority. What on earth will happen?