Saturday, October 31, 2009

Facebook experiment

As I've written before, my family of origin and my extended family seem to think I'm a baby-eating, immoral person totally incapable of having a normal, everyday conversation without bringing up the evils of religion and the horrible state GW Bush left our country in. They don't seem to realize that the only time I've brought these subjects up is when they, the family, interject the subjects into the conversation.

I will concede that perhaps when my uncle was hospitalized (see previous posts) that I should have respected the family and kept my mouth shut. Perhaps. The only thing I posted free from prompting was that the doctors and other staff should also get the credit for helping my uncle as much as they could. (He died, BTW.) My relatives acknowledged that I was right and so they prayed for the doctors/nurses too. Whatever. But one cousin asked more questions about my beliefs and it went downhill from there. It ended by her saying it was her duty to pray for me and that was the end of it.

So recently I tried to friend another cousin, who I thought I'd have no problem with, on FB and was surprised by her response. She said she will friend me if I promise not to discuss religion or politics. I was surprised by this response and replied to her that I wasn't sure why she was asking me to do this, then I replied again knowing that most of my friends are atheists so she was sure to read something that would hurt her fragile feelings and wrote that I felt being my friend wasn't a very good idea. I'm not sure if she got the email via FB because I blocked her from my page at that time.

The next day it bothered me so much that I felt there had to be a solution. After much thought I decided to make another FB page and label myself a Republican and a Christian and use my maiden name instead of the name most of my friends know me by. This is really just an experiment to see what kind of reaction I get from the family and also to stay in touch with the people who normally wouldn't give me the time of day.

I thought that I would feel creepy about this but I've managed to rationalize it in this way: I don't have much to do with this people but still want to maintain some contact with them. They have made it clear they don't want to know the real Tina so I'll give them a fictional character they'll feel good about having contact with. My cousin from the paragraphs above probably won't friend me since she is very, very fragile and she's got a very good reason for being so. She lost a young child in a tragic accident which I believe she witnessed and I'm sure she's hanging on the the belief she'll see him when she dies. Fragile indeed.