In the past I’ve talked at length about our misuses and abuses of social media. In one of my latest segments, I talked at length about the public shame game. While I still feel that social media is in many ways allowing us to put on a show of somewhat manufactured lives, there are other other moments that I witness something a bit different about what social media offers. I will share with a brief story.
Last week, I was scrolling through all of the pictures, status updates and announcements made by various acquaintances and friends on Facebook but one in particular caught my eye. It was a relationship announcement in which my friend’s new beau gave her a shout-out that landed on her page for all of us to see. The announcement was a collage of thoughtful words and visuals basically stating how filled with gratitude he was to stumble upon her. I read the update, looked through the pictures and of course had to leave a comment of congratulations.
Mind you, this was not a close friend nor a regular tea partner. Yet, that news, their smiling faces and what seemed to be their bliss was inspiring and it encouraged this post. For many moments after seeing that particular post, I saw something a little more redeeming about the possibility of social media. Perhaps in the middle of the chaos and the crazy of our lives, it is a way we can hand each other hope. For many of us, maybe it is our desire or want to pierce the distance through a screen and touch another human being through a picture we post that might illustrate a smiling face or intimate moment of enjoyment with our loved ones;
through a kind word of encouragement, a short story, or some other many intended to brighten some known or unknown reader’s day;
though a goofy video, a joke, or a myriad of other seemingly innocuous gestures conveyed in a status update;
or through other ways conveying our need to connect, share, and feel like we are not the only ones riding a particular train.
All of these things just might be the flame that each of us are seeking on the other end of the screen amidst any level of darkness we are facing in our current lives. While it is true that most may not have it in the ways we are seeing it, perhaps the amalgamation of words and faces is a way encouraging someone else to live that reality.