Monday, July 26, 2010

Finding the good in internet social networking

I've been blogging now for a little over 3 years, and have been on Facebook less than that. Experiences are teaching me and refining my use of both, and hopefully in a better way. These means of sharing info can do great harm. But I don't want to talk about that. I want to illustrate one way they do great good.

Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised when a "long lost cousin" popped up on one of my daughters' FB pages. Actually she is a cousin once removed (I think that's the correct lingo). She's really my dad's cousin, but she's younger than me by 8 years.

Anyway, I haven't seen or had any contact with her since Gail and I visited my great-uncle and great-aunt in 1978 where we all lived in close proximity on the West Coast. Gail and I only lived there for about 15 months, so when we moved to the center of the US, we lost touch with them.

Do to various family dynamics this cousin and her sister really didn't know any of their other Lawrenson family than the little contact they had with our family in the 70's and early 80's. They grew up and moved themselves, starting their own families.

Over the years I've asked Dad about them. But years ago he lost touch and just knew they had moved to another state. Both of her parents died back in the 90's.

Then yesterday there is this reply to a photo of my family, "I'm crying right now! You are family! I have pictures of us in CA with my parents...and sister...! How are you? Please, please contact me!"

After a couple of messages and replies we talked on the phone for about 30 minutes.

Later she posted this: "Today I am blessed beyond belief. I have made contact with treasured family from my beloved Dad's side! The Lawrenson legacy continues! Rick, I love you, Cousin!"

But how exciting was all that? The irony is that she and her sister live in a city that Gail and I visited on our Road Trip earlier in the year. If we had only known!

As I get older I have found that re-connecting with dormant relationships of friends and family is important to me. As one of my long lost friends noted, there is some redeeming value in these newfangled means of communication. I'm glad that I'm not too old to appreciate that.

Like anything else in this world, the internet can be used for good or bad. I'm going to focus on making my part good.

Just don't ask me to become a farmer or whatever.


Unknown said...

I know my mom has found some REALLY long lost cousins through facebook, and that's been really exciting. THOSE are the reasons I love facebook... not so much the "So-and-so found a pig, would you like it."

Rick Lawrenson said...

That's interesting, Lizzy, because one of my long lost cousins just found us via FB, too.