Love thy neighbour but read the small print
I have been revelling in the novelty of my internet connection at home, and have spent far too much time tinkering with things I would normally have ignored when there was no time to do anything apart from dealing with hotel bookings and just posting the blog entries at the Djenne internet cafe.
And some things are much better left ignored anyway to my mind, such as social network stuff like MY Space, Facebook or something called N5 (or something like that.) It reminds me of collecting pictures of filmstars and exchanging them with my girlfriends when I was about ten.
A couple of days ago I received an email from Monsignor Georges Fonghoro, Bishop of Mopti, asking me if I wanted to be his friend. Somewhat taken aback by this- I thought we already were friends- I was about to email him directly and tell him so, which is what I should have done. Instead, for some reason I looked again and it seemed from the statistics which were supplied at the same time that Monsignor Fonghoro only had one friend. This was of course rather alarming. I felt that the only Christian thing to do would be to come to his rescue. So I sent off the form, which I believed would assure His Grace that I was indeed his friend, and that he had at least 2 friends.
However, being something of a troglodyte when it comes to new and happening things on the internet, I did not quite understand that in sending off my friendly assurance to His Grace I had also sent off, with the flick of my wrist, emails to everyone I had ever emailed more or less, asking them in my turn if they wanted to 'become my friend'. That included a couple of ex-boyfriends I had vaguely dated about three years ago, and with whom I certainly wanted nothing further to do.
Immediately I had sent off my email, I got another one back from His Grace, (automatically generated) which showed that he had sent off his request to 666 people, and that he now had two friends instead of one...