There are times when things get us down. There are times when nothing seems to go right and we think that no one cares. There are times when people just don't seem to "get it." There are times when we feel like the walls are crashing down. There are times when we just need a hug, or a pat on the back, or a word of encouragement, but we feel like there's no one around to give it. In any of these situations, we may feel like all those whom we do those things for seem to disappear when it is our turn to need them.
Many people today are into the social networking "craze" of today's technological world. As hard as it is to believe, I have a facebook account, and a smart phone (though I don't feel too smart using it) but I've mastered how to e mail from it, and I do use my computer to communicate (though I still support the U.S. Postal Service too.)
Why am I bringing up the social network and lines of communication? I guess it's to reassure people who may feel the strain of what was written in paragraph one that sometimes all you have to do is think out loud in an email, or on Facebook, or on Twitter (I'm NOT a tweeter, though) and all of a sudden you find out who really is in your corner and who's there to give that hug, that pat on the back, or those words of encouragement.
Sometimes I feel some people put too much information in a facebook status. Sometimes I feel that people open themselves up for someone finding out when a person is going to be away from home for extended periods of time. Sometimes I feel some things just shouldn't be shared in these new avenues of communication available to us today.
There are times, though when these means of communicating are very positive, maybe reconnecting with someone from your past, or helping one send information spanning long distances sharing the joy or photos of an engagement, marriage, birth, graduation, job opportunity, promotion or personal accomplishment. There are times when these means of communication allow us to communicate an illness or a death in the family personally, and expediently, to people from close and great distances. And there are times when these advancements in communication allow us to maybe let someone, somewhere, know that we are just a little bit (or a whole lot) down about something. No specifics are necessary, just a posting letting some people know we just need to symbolically feel a hand on our shoulder knowing that someone is there. And there are also times when we want to share the joy we feel with someone in our lives and want the whole world, or maybe just our little corner of it, know that we have someone special in our lives and need to say it.
This is what I've experienced often on Facebook after posting something that conveys that I'm a little down, frustrated, sad or even angry about something happening. I don't do it for sympathy. Trust me, I can feel sorry enough for myself. It's just a way to vent and feel that someone is listening. And as evident from the many who respond with maybe an encouraging word, Bible verse, or prayer, there are many friends who are there for me.
I've also experienced it in some of the "happy" postings I have put on Facebook. Recently, Sally and I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary. I wanted to share my feelings for the day and for my wife. I didn't post it so I could receive any attention from anyone, I just wanted to share my joy for the day and for my marriage, and though my goal was not to receive attention, I was overwhelmed by the number of people who either "liked" my posting, or responded to it, or both. It was as if all of these people showed up to celebrate with us, and I knew just how much my life has been blessed with great friends.
There are times when the world of technology frustrates the heck out of me and really lends credence to the adage, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." I am an old dog, and if you ask my wife, she'll attest to the fact that I don't respond well to change, so when the world of technology was first presented to me at my job, I probably (and justifiably) panicked. I was a slow learner and the Information Services (Technology) department of the Jamestown Public School District probably wanted to get an unlisted phone number rather than answer the record-setting number of phone calls from me trying to get through the learning phase (though as things kept changing, I don't think I ever got through it.)
Anyway, as hard as it is for some of us (in particular, me) to learn about the new age, there are aspects of it that I appreciate very much, specifically, that technology has reassured me that there are people who care and people who are there for me, even if they're not in the same room with me.
Thanks Facebook friends. You are truly special people.