Facebook is an excellent tool for being found by enterprising high school reunion organizers, losing another chunk of privacy, being on the cutting front of new meme trends, and losing great blocks of time. It also gives us the perfect platform to for all our deepest most innermost narcissistic urges. Once accepted, we let loose the guns of witty awesomeness and our captivating Instagrams of sandwiches uneaten. And it’s filled with adorable kittens! Yes, Facebook truly is the payoff for living in the 2000’s without flying cars.
We post about our happiness, sadness, hunger, vacations, ugly breakups, there is no limit to what has been shared. People lack boundaries in cyberspace. We seek affirmation, even as we’re bragging. That “like” feature is our online life and social death. But what if I threw a tragedy and no one Liked it?
It’s wonderful to post something good and receive the passive support of upwards of 20 people. I post on Facebook that I’ve got a job interview. Within an hour, a significant number of friends have wished me luck. I feel good. I’m likable. I got this, says so, right there. Look, here’s a funny kitten picture! But it takes on new dimensions when there’s bad news to share.
My family is currently in the midst of an ongoing crisis that will only result in repurcussive devastation that will change nearly every aspect of our lives. My very capable, very active mother-in-law has been diagnosed with brain cancer and has less than a year to live. The only weapons with which I have to fight this invasive terror is through positive energy. I’m not deluded as to the inadequacy of my meager weapon, but through the magic of social media, I’ve been able garner a large force of positive energy. I am comforted by the outpouring of keyboard strokes by people I’ve maybe never even met outside of a Zynga game.
When confronted by something this horrible, this unthinkable and this terrifying, social media does not flinch. It shows it’s true usefulness and asks only that you respond in kind. And frequently it comes with kitten therapy.