Technology and me.

*Waving … Hello to everyone who reads this.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been stuck with the ‘The Irish Way’ and wondering where to go with it.
‘The Irish Way’ is just coming up to it’s one year anniversary (June 23rd) and I am overwhelmed with the response. I am not egotistical enough to assume that it’s me people have responded to, it’s not, people have responded to the words ‘The Irish Way’ and have grabbed the concept of it, I am so grateful for that. If I have presented it in a way that other people can relate to, then I can take a little credit for that, or can I?
If how I present ‘The Irish Way’ is what has reached over 350,000 weekly readers, can I really take credit for it? At the end of the day I am relating to others in the same way my Grandparents related to me … I am passing on an Irish Way of doing something, so I can’t really take any credit for it ~ the only thing I can take credit for is sticking to what I believed was the right way to interact with people in this whole new medium of internet connection. I believe in honesty and integrity, I believe that being kind, to those who deserve it, is the best way to communicate, especially with the written word. I am not attracted to internet spaces where ranting and bullying has been encouraged by the angry who need a platform to work out their own personal issues.

We are living through the Technology Age, and I’ve wondered how to approach it. Can I add something of value to it and I’ve come to a place where I think I can, but only by referring to an older way of relating to others. ‘Don’t mind what they say, watch what they do’ is a mantra that my Grandfather spouted and I ignored until I remembered it and began to apply it. It’s a mantra that’s kept me secure for years now, patience and allowing others to be heard, not jumping to ill informed conclusions but waiting to hear what the other is trying to say. It’s an age old way of communication that is very valuable in today’s world of wording. It’s even more valuable in Ireland as it’s the way we are, fighting against it only causes us hurt. Disregarding it as ‘old fashioned’ has led to nothing, because it exists as a core value in Irish society. Denying it’s existence does not remove it. Working against the grain of who we are leaves us rough and unrefined and Irish people are anything but rough and unrefined.
Just look at our arts and our scenery and you’ll see the beauty of what lives in Irish people.

Having spoken with Joe (photographer) and Felicity (writer) and thousands of others, I see them understanding, this grá is in them too and it has become the common ground on which we have formed very real friendships … and I am reminded that this too is The Irish Way.
We reach out to others – we find like minded people, we share what we love and invite you to love it too. It’s how we connect, it’s how we are.
Ireland, like a lot of other countries, is suffering a huge financial crisis, the breakdown of our church has left a massive gap in the day to day way we ‘gather’ and exchange topics of interest. Our emigration has increased and our dissatisfaction with our Governments decisions has manifested itself in outrage and death threats to certain individuals.
I too am angry, but I’m not as angry as I was because I’ve spent the last year listening to others and I’ve seen first hand the efforts people are going to, to get themselves away from the constant, negative, drip fed media mould of our newspapers.
I often get the sense that some ‘think tank’ has applied individual psychoanalysis theory to a group dynamic – just another botched attempt to ‘feed people thoughts’ – but here, in this cyber community, I see the realness of people. From your personal messages, you’re feedback and your comments I am no longer in doubt as to the heartfelt desire that people have, to connect with the place of their heritage, whether they now live in Ireland, Germany, Australia, America, England …  Sure, I have that myself and I live here, I want to know more about the stock I come from, we all do .. .and that itself reminds me of an old Irish way of doing something … do you remember years ago when you’d tell your parents about someone and straight away they’d ask, ‘Who’s their Mother?’ and then the connection would be made before you were allowed to tell your story?

After the ‘Celtic Tiger’ has roared and instilled the fear and mistrust of each other into us.
After the Irish government and the Vatican have argued about it’s embassy placement, and left people bereft in their spiritual searching, after our hunger for a better way of life has left so many in financial crisis and a feeling of desperation has oozed it’s way into the lives of too many … our death by suicide is frighteningly high, our drug dependencies are rising while our willingness to hope is decreasing … I can tell you that people are still reaching out to each other, we are mending ourselves, we are weaving old and new again and are allowing a healing process to work it’s magic and a lot of us are using the internet to do it.

Technology and me … Technology has crept into my life and the internet has opened doors that would otherwise have always been closed to me. I have a teeny-tiny window that I can see through but it’s only by approaching it ‘the Irish way’ that I’ve been allowed to see all the great things that are happening. Which reminded me of another old Irish saying
‘A skilled craftsman does not mourn his old tools, he keeps them beside his new ones’

30 thoughts on “Technology and me.

  1. Fiona, your new blog is INCREDIBLE! You write with such feeling in your words! Modern technology has brought this world together, from one end to the other, and, personally, it brought about a miracle in MY life ten years ago. I was able to connect with my biological family, after searching for almost two years! Had there not been the Internet, I would probably still be searching. Once the connection was made, my whole world changed, and my roots were revealed after 63 years of wondering! I call my laptop computer “The Miracle Machine”. I have visited my family in Ireland on three occasions since then (Co. Longford), and, one thing leading to another, have made many new Irish friends, using the new technology available to me. The Irish Way, yourself and Joe, is one of the more interesting and entertaining Irish websites which I have visited. Whether your ways be those of the past, or, possibly, mixed in with those of today, you keep me closely attached to “home”! Keep doing exactly what you and Joe are doing right now, and don’t let the “technology geeks” talk you in to anything new! God bless you and Joe!!!

    • Ellen, thank you so much for that feedback. I really do appreciate it. It’s the feedback that I learn from. The way we all connect and reach out to each other is truly inspiring and has encouraged me no end.
      Thank you for your words and for telling me little of your story … I’m thinking it’s a story that has a lot of chapters to it 🙂

      • Yes, it does, Fiona, but there wouldn’t be enough room here to tell it all! It’s been an awesome journey over the years, and the journey continues! 🙂

    • Thanks Michael – sure you do it yourself. When you invited us up to the museum and showed us around and introduced us to people … it’s all about the Irish way of doing things.

  2. I follow yor site from the US not just because of my Irish heritage andthe desire to learn more about it but because of your adherence to the Irish Way. (thank you for putting name to an attitude I live with) Yes, there are many things to be angry about today but we are not going to fix them with rage. The beginning really is to listen to others who need to have their say.

  3. What I find amazing is that where ever you live, we all seem connected! Your site & blog have become a thread that gives us each a place to come, put up our feet & listen to the stories. I have always wondered about my roots & the pull towards Ireland. The Internet has made the world a smaller place and brought me a step closer to a land I may never visit, but feel I know so much more about now. Thank you for all the work your doing here, it really is appreciated!

    • Kathleen Murphy – I know I say thank you for the feedback to most people so I hope it doesn’t get repetitious when you read it again – I am sincerely grateful that you took the time to write down and articulate what it means to have this connection … and I don’t just mean the facebook page, I mean ‘the connection’, that deep rooted understanding and recognition of a way of communicating and sharing. I call it The Irish Way for a want of a better expression – it’s a lot more than a facebook page. It’s a way of being.

  4. Very well said, Fiona, and thank you. It sometimes seems the world has gone mad, lost a sense of relationship with anyone other than self and is rudderless. Via the Internet and other tech systems, we are able to seek and find real people (you are, right?! 😉 ),expand our views and visions, share thoughts/ideas and learn/teach from and with each other. I love The Irish Way and the new blog site, and look forward to each day’s postings at the end of my day; blessings to each of you, thanks for being there…er, here!

    • Yes April, and thank you … I read a piece recently in ‘The MailonLine’ “Facebook and Twitter fuel narcissism in different ways: Younger people tweet to boast while middle-aged regularly update their status” – it had the potential to be a good article but it failed to highlight what it means to be narcissistic and ended up sort of labeling everyone who uses social media as somewhat egotistical maniacs, which I found to be kind of funny that the author of the editorial would write such an article having accumulated their information via social media!

      I’ll add the link here and you can read it for yourself, let me know what you think if you have the time.

      Read more:
      Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

      • I think it must have been a VERY slow news day, lol! My six year old grandchild could likely have offered the same thoughts, based solely on experience, of which there’s obviously been little at this point. Perhaps those with narcissic tendencies are prone to be more vocal and frequent in their postings, but we know the difference between those folks and those with something to offer such as The Irish Way!

  5. I love this blog and your FB page….it reminds me of my roots and brings bittersweet memories of my brief visit to the western counties of Ireland. This keeps me grounded and looking forward to more. Blessings and peace to you all!

  6. Fiona,
    Joe and you have a gift- the ability to express words or photos in such a way that they reach the Hearts and Souls of many Irish around the world. Thank you for sharing these gifts with all of us. I learn something every day about Irish History from your FB page and Joe’s photos make it real. Terry

    • Thanks Terry … I’m here trying to navigate my way around wordpress – another new tool to use in this social media world. It’s great isn’t it?
      All of us linking in and finding each other with the use of words and technology.

      I feel a bit like my Grandfather whenever the phone used to ring, he’d sit there for a minute and wonder at it all, that someone somewhere wanted to talk with him and he hadn’t a clue who it was going to be. He used to get excited at the constant surprise of it.
      The first thing we’d have to shout at him was “Grandad, it’s me Fiona” He’d say nothing until he heard who it was first – then he’d launch into telling you how amazing it was to ‘hear your voice’ – we’ve gone from that to interacting with strangers and finding a common ground on which we can connect from.
      It’s all amazing.

      • I’m new to your facebook page (only days since I found you!) but I find something so soul satisfying in the images and comments you choose to share. – I feel like I have come home in many ways. My family emigrated in 1958, when I was on my way to being 4 yrs old, and I have never been back. But come Sept 2014 I will finally return home and discover my own homeland for myself. Technology has allowed me to get to “know” a myriad of cousins and second cousins etc, plus allowed me to become friends with many Irish, Scottish and English people who share my values and sense of humour. I hope to meet at least some of them “in the flesh” during my trip.
        By the way – your story of your grandfather and the telephone reminded me of my dad, who was a wonderful accordion player, whenever he’d call friends in Ireland. He’d speak slower than normal and yell into the phone and the conversations almost always started with “It’s me, John Walsh – Melody Walsh. I’m calling you all the way from Canada!” Haven’t thought of that in years … thanks for that memory!
        And keep doing what you are doing – I like feeling like I’m coming home! 🙂

      • Sheelagh, you must be so excited at the prospect of visiting the place you’ve heard so much about?
        I am delighted that you are getting the opportunity to come home, that’s a great mixture of close cultures you’ve got there and I’ve no doubt that you are going to enjoy your homecoming.

        You’re Dad played the accordion? – I think it was mandatory in some houses! I know there were three in our house, as well as a fiddle, guitars, saxophone, an up-right piano, clarinet, two bodhrán’s and one set of drums, a few tin whistles and a singing dog! There were times when they all got played together. My Grandfather was a great man for music – in fact most households were, there’s nearly always someone who can play some sort of instrument.

  7. I love ‘The Irish Way’! I always look forward to your posts and pictures 🙂 Being of Irish decent and never having been to Ireland, ‘The Irish Way’ gives me a feeling a familiarity.
    I will be in Ireland next September and now have a wealth of places that I will be visiting (as well as a few grave yards to visit my past) thanks to you!
    I hope you keep this going, its such an amazing thing you do


    • Nice one Elaine and thanks for that.
      I’m delighted to hear that you’re visiting … have you been able to do some research yourself?
      September is a lovely time, just when the summer is closing and the Autumn is waiting. Some of the woodlands take on a golden glow and the country side is just awash with colours. Fantastic time to visit Ireland. (but don’t mind me, I think every season holds it’s one beauty) 🙂

  8. Your page has brought Ireland closer to me in different ways. Thru pictures, words, music, you’ve helped me maintain a connection to my historical past. Having a better understanding of where and from who I come is something that I believe is lacking in the brave new world of America the generic. I thank you for your efforts, they are bearing fruit in my mind and heart.

  9. There is the potential for good and/or evil in all things. This includes living breathing things such as humans and technological things that seem to have developed their own form of living and breathing. I believe you and “The Irish Way” are one of the good things… with maybe a little divilment thrown in.:)

    • Thanks Trish …The ‘bit of divelment’ can help us through even the most traumatic of times. I’ve noticed myself that while it is not unique to Irish culture we do use humour, a lot, to help us navigate our way through some of the most horrific circumstances as well as day to day life.

  10. The Church and England have done nothing but take your money and control your choices; they are concerned only with themselves. Education is the way out. You must take control of your lives through education. The “poor, uneducated, and easily led” have allowed powerful economic interests to flourish both in Ireland and the United States.

    • Thank you David. While it is easier to ‘blame’ and become ‘victim’ we are left now with choices of what to do. History has taught us what doesn’t work, we need to pay attention to make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes.

  11. Fiona,
    I have often lamented that the technology we have today had resulted in a lack of real communication, that we no longer talk to one another. But your page has turned that thought around. Properly used, it allows us to reach out and communicate all over the world. There still exists the smoke and noise so often prevalent in many discussions, but when I take the time to look for real conversations, they are there and worth the time. American I am by birth, but Irish as well by the grace of heritage and God! Thanks for all you do to open a window onto the way my great-grandparents did things.

  12. Just found your blog via Save Our Heartland – and every day I ‘g’wan outside and have a look’ and everyday I see an ever-changing landscape and everyday I am thankful for living within this magical landscape – now threatened by Giants!

    • Thanks for popping in and taking the time to comment, I do appreciate it and if you look at November’s post you’ll see an attempt at ‘trying to make sense of the nonsense’ … only written a few months ago, but I’ve learned so much since then, thousands of us have, and now we’re all reaching out and finding each other. I’ve never seen the likes of it in my lifetime.

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