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It Happened on Facebook

I started my Facebook account about a year ago, with very little interest.  I went in an odd time, checked things out and accepted every friend request that came along.  Then I realized that it was a great way to connect with fellow bloggers and  family too.  I am originally from Ireland and am now married to an Indian and living in India.  I started getting friend requests from relatives who had Facebook accounts,  found more relatives and it's like I'm back in their lives again, checking them out every day.  I know how to 'like' someone's 'status' now and how to share what's going on in my life.

Recently,  some cousins of mine,  Angie, along with her daughter Meghann,  from  the United States visited Ireland for the first time in decades.  The two of them connected with their roots and rebonded with family.  It wasn't possible for me to be there to welcome them as I'm all tied up in Lucknow with kids in school and all.  But I didn't miss any of the action thanks to the wonderful photos Meghann and Angie shared with us on Facebook, not to mention the regular updates on their activities.  We communicated by telephone too, but Facebook was the main medium of communication.

I enjoyed seeing photos of Meghan visiting our mutual cousins in rural Ireland.  I noticed  a comment from Chris, one of her friends, saying:

"You look like a local!"

Was he teasing her or complimenting her?  It was a little confusing.  So I commented to him as follows:

"Chris! Wassat supposed to mean? Irish people are human just like everybody else! Anyway, why shouldn't darling Meghann fit in? She has family there!"

Chris, to give him his due, was a complete sport about this.  He commented back to me as follows:

"Haha Marie, with all due respect, I was simply saying that she looks like she fits in over there in Ireland. I didn't mean anything by it. It looks like she is having a blast over there and she doesn't look like a tacky tourist.  Sorry for the confusion!"

So nice of him.  Confusion thus cleared, I commented back:

"Oh, I get it, Chris. That's great! Consider the confusion cleared up!"

Meghann took the teasing a little further.  She commented:

"Chris you have to be careful what you say to me... the  family has A LOT of people in it :) but thanks, I'd love to be a local!"

At this point, our cousin Caron in Ireland, a born peacemaker, added:

"I feel so sorry for Chris!  Hugs..."

Meghann added:

"Haha poor Chris! Good thing the confusion cleared up or else he'd have a clan of Irish people knocking on his door!"

Well, Meghan had every right to tease Chris, he was her friend.  But I was feeling a little guilty at this point.  I'd started the misunderstanding in confusion so if things got out of hand and someone got hurt, that would be my fault and I'd have some 'splainin' to do!  I decided to clear things up for once and for all.  I commented:

"Like I said, consider the confusion cleared up. Sorry but living in a totally different society from where I was born, I get the odd racist remark thrown at me. Recently, someone asked me what race will my kids be marrying into! Imagine! My reply? The human race! What else could I say?

Well, there were no more follow up comments so I guess all's well that ends well.

All the same, just twenty years ago, who knew that relatives and friends could participate in a three-way conversation between the United States, Ireland and India?  With teasing, misunderstandings and everything else that goes with it?  I couldn't have believed it myself.

Facebooks contribution to modern civilization should not be underestimated!

This post was inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop at the blog Mama’s Losin’ It.  I looked at the current week’s  prompts and got inspired by the  fifth prompt “It Happened on Facebook”. 

This post originally appeared on Write Away at WordPress on 15/7/2010

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