I have been thinking, looking at my friends, acquaintances and relatives on Facebook, that it would be a fascinating experience to have them all in one room for a day. And when I said fascinating, what I really meant was cataclysmic.
Let's imagine, just hypothetically, that I died. Or re-married. Or whatever else people do that requires most of their friends to attend in one big bunch for a few hours. Of course, if we are practical and realistic about it, nothing, neither my death or marriage or an alien invasion would ever gather all my Facebook friends in one room, face to face.
And thank goodness for that.
It would be, let's be honest, a total and utter disaster.
Organizing a seating plan would be an impossible task.
I would have to seat the Jews away from the Palestinians.
I would have to make sure my friend who had a rather unpleasant experience involving her partner and a Russian girl in the past is not sat at the same table with any reasonably attractive Russian girls. Generalizing, I know, but hey…Just to be on the safe side.
The Liberals would hate to be anywhere near the Conservatives, so maybe stick them somewhere in the opposite corner of the room.
The atheists would probably be safer somewhere outside altogether.
And, of course, let's not forget all the Armenian people, journalists and social activists of some sort, whom I met via blogging, who probably would need to be hidden away from some of my old school friends who keep posting aggressive hatred messages these days.
You see how complicated it would get?
But then…Despite being so different from each other, to the point of me not being able to ever imagine them meeting in real life, all these people are part of my life. Whether from the exotic Soviet past, or from the suburban life in the UK, or a mixed cultural pot of Doha, they are all characters in my story, they all have a right to be in my Facebook friends list. How is that even possible? Does it mean that I lack, you know, principles? Or am I too superficial?
Or does it mean that everyone on my list is actually someone that, for whatever reason, deserved to be there? All these people must have played a role, important or trivial, in my past or current life…they must have made me laugh, or think, or learn something. Made me love them or fancy them, or want to be their friend. Each and one of them, however different from each other (and me, for that matter) must have been cool or interesting enough to be accepted and added to that Friends category.
Now, this is the end of the post, and the moment when some sort of a point should, in theory, be made. But I have not really got a point. I just thought it would be amazing if a social platform like Facebook would somehow have the power to magically affect real life. To help all of us become more tolerant, more accepting, less judgemental. So that I could, hypothetically, imagine inviting all of my Facebook friends into one big room together. Because, remember? If you love me, you've got to love my dog. Who was, by the way, a Rottweiler. A breed most often hated for no other reason but sheer ignorance. But, as I said to anyone who wanted to visit my home and was not sure about him…You just have to trust me when I say he is good. And, he is part of who I am.
And so are my Facebook friends.