I live in a village. Sounds good doesn’t it? Well yes and no. I moved in here and I am not one of the five families that populate the graveyard. They inter-married and I am not one of the clan. So when I go out, on my stick, with my dogs, I can guarantee the conversations – weather, health, weather, someone who died before I was born, weather, someone I don’t know who is married to someone I didn’t realise was related to a person in the village but lives in Vesoul, weather… you get my drift?
So on line, on FB I have friends all over the world. Some places I have been, some places I will never go and some places might visit some time. There are people with whom I share interests – bikes, horses, books, etc. Others are totally opposite – and I love them, different faiths, religions, folks from whom I can learn loads and share heaps.
We do animal pikkies, course we do. What we don’t do is unpleasant. Respect is important – behaving as if we were in the same room is vital. I wouldn’t listen to your opinions and start ranting, I just couldn’t; it would be rude. My mother would up-smack my head if I did that. (I owe that phrase to some of my American mates!)
I get on FB and know that my pals from America, Australia, Europe, are all sat there in my living room waiting to chat. We may have a good time, we might be having a bad time – but like a family, we run to each other. I bring you my woes and my joys. I rejoice or give my big shoulder to cry on; like any family we fall out and come back together. Like a family we have limits – those limits that make vendetta that last three generations (I’ve seen this in my own village).
I have my opinions, you have yours. We can disagree. We can agree that we don’t see things the same way BUT we don’t take our bat home, we don’t call each other nasty names, we don’t overstep those marks.
Unlike a blood family, we don’t have to see each other. There are no weddings, baptisms or funerals – we can (and probably SHOULD) hit the unfriend or block button when people go over that line. Do what you would at a family gathering – walk away. Go talk to someone else and forget it, it’s not the end of the bloody world. So your cousin Ailsa doesn’t like fox-hunting? Big wonk. She is still a nice person who does some good in the world.