My 84-year-old dad, with whom I am very close, has severe tinnitus. It’s lately become so bad that he’s stopped using phones. He just gets so frustrated and annoyed that he can’t hear.

Since Dad also refuses to use email the last couple years, and I’m now moving very far away from him, which will limit in-person visits, I called my stepmom and asked if she had ideas about how to stay in touch with him, besides old-fashioned letter writing (which he doesn’t do). She thought maybe she could get him to use Skype or similar, under protest, but since I’m The Favorite he might do it to talk to me.

When relating this conversation over encrypted chat to Web Dom (who has just moved 10 miles from my Dad, lucky girl), she mentioned that my crazy sister (the California crazy sister, not the New York crazy sister) wanted to send Dad a Facebook Portal for Christmas, but Dad nixed that idea because he hates everything FB stands for, doesn’t want to make an account, and, shut it down with, “Enough of that happy horseshit, I WILL NEVER USE THAT DAMN SPY DEVICE!”

That all sounds just like Dad. The shocking part came in the next sentence out of Web Dom’s fingertips: Well, the rest of the family uses it.

Me: What do you mean by “rest of the family?”

Web Dom: Your favorite Aunt, your favorite brother, your crazy sisters….

The list went on and on.

Me: Back up. My favorite GOVERNMENT-SPYING-IS-ILLEGAL-AND-COPS-SHOULDN’T-HAVE-DRONES brother is using FB Portal?

Apparently so. Indeed, not only that, but he apparently also has another Alexa digital assistant device in his home.


So, who needs to perform illegal searches and wiretaps nowadays? We are voluntarily giving access to random hackable- and subpoenable-entities to view everything in our homes, know every contact we make, know how long and to whom we speak, hear all our conversations, know every item we purchase.

I find this absolutely chilling.

So, this week’s question. Do you, would you, have a Facebook Portal in your home and/or office?

You probably know my answer.