I guess I have always had a love hate relationship with Facebook and the rest of social media. I love people and I love connecting on a deep level. I often felt like, although people from all over the world could find each other, true connections and relationships were being lost. There is the availability of a huge ‘friends’ base, but (I felt) fewer truly intimate and meaningful relationships.
Something happened yesterday when I opened my Facebook messages that I thought just reinforced my general aversion for the platform.
Surprisingly, after some introspection, that is no longer the case.
01:30am yesterday—I opened my email titled Facebook—New message from…
I was super excited as this particular friend was not easy to get a hold of on a good day, and even worse since she broke her cell phone. We could spend weeks or even months exchanging phone messages, emails, and now Facebook messages before we finally found a precious window where we could get together. After work, I would have the next 2 days off, so I was excited by the potential that time with my dearest friend might be short in coming. Instead…
The message simply showed her small profile picture. My eyes paused on the picture for a moment even before scanning the short message. I remembered taking that photo at her wedding years ago. I liked it. She was happy and bright.
Next to the stamp sized image was her name, and right below was a single word,
One word…messaged to me on Facebook.
I didn’t actually have a thought or reaction at first. My eyes were fixed and my mind blank. It wasn’t long before my alarm went off notifying me that it is time to leave for work. (For someone like me—lets just say that I’m often times easily distracted—several notifying alarms can be helpful…01:20am get up for work, 01:30am if you haven’t got up yet you don’t have time for a shower, 1:45am stop what you’re doing and go downstairs and make your lunch, 02:00 leave for work, 02:06 you’re late, leave immediately.)
During the next 18 hours of drive time and work I spent a lot of the time between depressed and really angry.
“Seriously!?!” I thought. “One of the greatest people I have ever known, one of my closest and dearest friends…Seriously!?! You tell me via Facebook!?!”
I struggled through the day with continuous unanswered phone calls and un-responded-to emails and Facebook messages. At the end of the day I fell into bed exhausted with feelings of grief, shame, compassion, defeat, anger, and sadness. Most of all I had a deep feeling of isolation and loss. Partially, that this incredible and amazing person will be lost to this world, but more selfishly, that she seems already lost to me.
I tossed and turned and had a thousand terrible dreams last night. But I woke up with only this feeling…a feeling of the deepest gratitude.
My friend is deep, and authentic, and real, and funny, and insightful, and kind, and unique, and talented. My friend is a writer. An extraordinary and amazing writer. I woke up this morning with a great debt and gratitude…to Facebook.
Facebook who gave my dearest friend a voice when she had no words.
Our relationships and our lives are only limited by our own perceptions. We often look only through the filter of what we think and believe. In life you see exactly what you ‘expect’ to see. If you are looking for “why your life sucks?” you will absolutely find answers to that question. Contrary, If we can find ways to look at things from a different perspective or contemplate the possibility of alternate paradigms and ideas then we can grow and find new ways to connect…new ways to be…and more interesting and fulfilling ways to live.