The views expressed in this article are purely fictional. Any resemblance to relatives either living or dead is purely coincidental.
Everyone gets excited when they get a friend request on Facebook. Maybe the mysterious guy next door added you or the incredible hot classmate finally found you on Facebook. But the minute you see it's family, you immediately wish you’d become incognito.
Your dilemma is understandable but you have no option but to accept or you will have to bear the brunt at the next family gathering. No amount of privacy options or help buttons can ever prepare you for the storm you are going to be taken in by. Here’s a peak into the kind of relatives you may find online:
The Concerned Mom
Moms are always concerned. Initially on Facebook they may not understand the concept of writing on anyone’s Facebook wall and assuming it’s a private message they might write something private on your wall.
So while at work you may get some interesting posts like, “Beta, you forgot your Tiffin at home today, what will you have for lunch now?” or “Doing the laundry now, is there anything you’d like me to wash for you?”
All moms love and care, so don’t misinterpret this warm feeling they show online as an embarrassment, consider it more as public expression of affection.
The Sharing Dad
Dad, a symbol of wisdom and strength, is a master of sharing. He will share various inspirational quotes, encouraging stories and perhaps even a heartening status message. Whether you connect with it or not, you are obliged by blood to like it and agree with it.
At times when the shared quote or message is addressed to you with a tag, please make sure that you are the first one to like it or else you will never hear the end of it.
The "in-love" Sibling
Be it your younger brother or sister, but when they are in love the world knows of it. There are hearts in their status updates, there are pictures with their girlfriends/boyfriends posted, there are “cuddling” selfie’s and the pandemonium never stops. Instagram is their favorite app.
Not only will you have to like these pictures but even comment saying “Awww, so cute” and stuff like that. If at all it doesn't work out and their Facebook status has been changed back to single, you will still have to comment and pacify online more than offline.
The Game addicted Uncle
Facebook has an unlimited supply of games and there may be this one uncle who isn't allowed to play poker at home, so his favourite pastime is now Texas Hold’em Poker. As a hobby he might even take up Farmville and Candy Crush.
It’s you who will be caught in this trap. You will receive invitations publicly, “Beta, be my neighbor”, “Beta, Send over a box of tomatoes”, “Can you unlock this level for me?” If you muster up enough courage and ignore these requests, well then, may God be with you at the family reunion.
The Quirky Aunt
Such aunts just refuse to believe that age has caught up with them. They use abbreviations making up the meanings in their own heads not knowing what they actually stand for.
To cite an example, if you put up a status update such as, “Met with a minor accident today, no scratches except for on the car….” The reply you can expect from this aunt is “LOL, from Aunty Kiran” because for her it stands for Lots Of Love and not Laugh Out Loud!
The international Brother in Law
Your brother in law has it easy on Facebook, owing to his constant business trips abroad he has the best excuse for not liking, commenting or sharing on Facebook. The proof of his extensive travels lies in his constant check ins at Airports, hotels, business centres etc.
So at family gathering when asked why he didn’t accept the Farmville request, his answer is simple, “I was out of the country on business!” He will also be the one with the maximum number of badges on Foursquare and no amount of envy on your part can take that away from him.
The "Serial" sister in law
Now that every serial and sitcom has a Facebook page every viewer of the show wants to interact with the page online. And that’s where your sister in law comes in. If she missed her programme due to a cricket match or a due science project, her Facebook timeline is going to be full of questions and conversations regarding what had happened on the programme as well as what should have happened!
Once in a while there will also be a discussion on what will happen to a certain character in the future and whether he should marry this girl or not. The best you can do in such situations is just scroll down!
The teenage cousin
With a mix of hormones running through the system this cousin of yours has a whole audience to impress. So even if his activity on Facebook may be restricted to an hour or two on Facebook because of his parents, those couple of hours are enough to flood your timeline about latest gadgets, music, movies, PS3 games, football etc. The kid may be annoying in person but is smart on the web. A perfect prodigy of the current generation!
The Under-aged Nephew/Niece
You find your niece/nephew tagged in family photos posted online and then the light bulb blinks, how is it that we just celebrated his/her 4th birthday just two months back and yet they have an account on Facebook? The answer is pretty simple- the excited parents (whom you happen to be related to) have jumped the gun and already created remarkably active Facebook accounts for their children!
Posting pictures of the fancy dress competition or sharing what they have for tiffin, these parents have made their children active Facebook users already!
The Unknown Relative
Once in a blue moon, you may get a friend request from someone with the same surname, and that gets you thinking, "who the hell is this person?" When you try to find out what the relation is the answer you get is even more quizzical, “Hi, I’m your grandfather’s brother’s daughter’s son…..Remember me?” Such reply is the exact definition of being stuck in between two equally awkward situations!
The Anonymous Pet
Apart from all the hullabaloo of the family, you will also be friends with your dog and cat on Facebook. They will post barks on your wall, tell you what they feel like eating and may even send a picture of themselves to you on Facebook. Don’t worry you don’t own a smart dog, it’s just your mom or dad trying to be funny and have an extra neighbor on Farmville!