Saturday, 3 April 2010

On Facebook, they are not easily found

There not to be seen
I was chatting to my sister this afternoon and was informed that many of my siblings and cousins were on Facebook; that ultimate global connector to a life you once lived and allowed to drift away with the encumbrance of other events and issues.
Having the smarts to ask, I wondered if everyone was there with their common names, somehow we had certain names as children but those names seem to have changed from the nicknames to fully spelt out names in some instances and in others the spelling was just not the commonly accepted arrangement of letters.
As it happened none of the names were exactly what I would call low hanging fruit, easy to pluck with a basic search – I tried every permutation except for the probably obvious and they were still lost in the Facebook quagmire.
CSI Facebook
In the end, it took the search for a cousin with a deduction about a possible birth-date and a scan of the Facebook Wall to find the first connection and from there I was exposed to new realities of people I once knew quite well.
There is this common view of meeting long lost relatives where one surmises having passed by a close relation and having treated that person as a common stranger.
With uncommon identities on Facebook that risk was almost too self-evident if one were to be utterly, utterly cross to the point of using rather unfriendly expression with a stranger who just happens to be your close relation because the interaction does not reveal what should be the obvious.
English, but not as I know it
I have asked myself if I was ready for Facebook [1] but even more I wonder if I am even readier for an expression of English that would give me headaches – writing in SMS-speak and it basically leaves a purist and “oldie” as I completely flummoxed.
I once had my mother help convert the text message of a sibling to something I could digest, this time, because mum is not yet on Facebook, I would either have to learn or be left behind in the wake of communication that is far above my head.
What my conservative mien would call sloppy is entirely acceptable to another generation of writers but I really do pray that this is not what ends up on formal communication as in examinations or reports.
This is really no more facing the book, the book is being thrown in your face and he who has eyes had better begin to read and write – as for me, let’s just say this is the prequel to Die Hard VI.
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