Technically, they are "relatives" but I'll let you be the judge.
Those who have read my profile know that I am half Indian. My dad came to the US from India 40 years ago for graduate school and never went back. Growing up, all I knew was that my dad hated his family. He calls them "those people." He has around 12 siblings (?) and I never knew their names or anything about them. It was pretty frustrating growing up, because I felt like half of me was a mystery.
Well, about a year ago, I was at work and I received a call from a woman who said she was my cousin. She had a thick Indian accent, so I could barely understand her, but I was thrilled. She told me she had googled my name on the internet and found my work number at the newspaper. We chatted for a little while and I discovered she was my age, but married. I couldn't believe that for the first time in my life, I was talking to a paternal relative. And I knew her name! She asked if she could add me on facebook, and I insisted she do so immediately.
Well, a couple hours later, not only had my cousin added me on facebook, but so had about 20 more cousins and a smattering of aunts and uncles. All of the sudden, I had an entire family on facebook! It felt so surreal.
When I excitedly told my dad, he was FURIOUS. He told me "those people" were very bad and I didn't know what I was getting myself into. He told me I had made a huge mistake. We got into a screaming fight.
The next day, it all started.
Every single status update I wrote, a relative would comment. But the only thing they would write is "I like dat!!" It didn't matter what my status was about. I would write "I had a bad day" and an uncle would write "I like dat!!" or I would write "I have a huge headache" and another uncle would write "I like dat!!" Soon, they began to make comments everywhere. Every time I became friends with someone, an uncle would write "I like dat!!" underneath. Every time someone wrote on my wall, one of my new Indian relatives would comment on that comment, "I like dat!!" My friends and coworkers immediately noticed and teased me relentlessly. It was confusing and embarrassing.
Then, my female cousin kept calling me at work. I let it go the first time, because she was a long-lost relative after all. But I had nicely told her she could no longer call me at work. But she kept calling. And calling. And soon other relatives from India were calling me at work, despite my pleas that they not use that number.
When I got laid off from the newspaper, this female cousin did the worst thing possible. She sent me a gigantic facebook message telling me how I could have done my job differently. She told me I clearly had not been doing my job correctly, otherwise I would not have been fired. She said I should have paid someone to tutor me in journalism because I obviously had no idea what I was doing. It was so incredibly hurtful. The fact she was even trying to tell me what I did wrong in my job was preposterous because she had never studied journalism or been to college! Devastated, I deleted her as a friend. She then tried to add me on facebook again and wrote me another message asking what she had done wrong. Umm...
Finally, her younger brother intervened. He found my twitter and started following me there and started sending me messages there. I have about ten from the past year where he says "Y r u ignoring us yahh???". He created a gmail account so he could chat me up every time it showed I was online. As soon as I would see him online, I would log off. He started writing facebook statuses that said "Every time I go on gmail she logs off!!" He started sending me e-mail after e-mail, even after I told him to leave me alone.
Meanwhile, I had created another facebook. I didn't want to delete my original facebook because I had too many photos and messages from the past six years I wanted to preserve. But it was nice to finally have a refuge from these overbearing relatives.
They noticed my absence on facebook and soon I was bombarded with messages like "wat u doin? Not on internet anymore????" which I just ignored. But to this day, they still post stuff on my wall or comment on my old photos. They post childhood photos of my dad and tag me so I'll be forced to look. And they keep calling my old office, not understanding my former editor when he tells them I no longer work there. They keep e-mailing me over and over again, asking about how rich I am and asking personal questions about my boyfriend and asking for my cell phone number. I ignore them or politely say no but they won't go away!
Recently, I finally broke down sobbing to my father about the whole mess. I had not told him the extent of it before, out of embarrassment. He felt bad but at the same time, told me I brought this upon myself. He said his entire family is crazy and he had warned me. If only I had listened...
Now I'm not quite sure what to do. If I delete them from facebook, I won't have any way of contacting them ever again. And they ARE my blood relatives, whether I like it or not. Plus, there are a handful of the Indian relatives who leave me alone on facebook. So, I don't want to be rude and only delete the ones who pester me but then keep the ones who don't. Or should I? I'm so confused.