Sunday, October 25, 2009
These days, I am extremely hip with technology times. I rely on computers for my job, my husband is a web developer for an ad agency and electronics and computers are everywhere throughout our house. My kids can both play computer games, and have been able to since a very young age.
I wouldn't say I jumped on the social media bandwagon immediately with everyone else, but I definitely joined in pretty quickly as each application/interface became increasingly popular. I joined Xanga and then faded in and out of Myspace, followed by Facebook and currently using Twitter. The Facebook account is still around and logged into pretty often, although it seems to have lost its intrigue as of late. I would say my current addiction is Twitter, although I am far from being good at it or getting all of the lingo/rules/etc. But it's fun nonetheless. When I'm sitting in my shoulder-height cubicle at work, I can set my iPhone right on my desktop in front of me, scroll through my Twitterific app and enjoy a chuckle or two, without any coworker being any wiser.
But here's the thing. Back in the day before computers, or even before all of this social media, I knew a lot less of the outside world. There was always the news on tv to learn about the world around me, but beyond that 1 story of a person in trouble or victims of the fire in the next town over, I was pretty sheltered from all of the grief humankind deals with all of the time.
Now it seems, through random blogs and Twitter, I have learned about so much despair in the world. Most of the blogs I originally sought out had to do with children, mommies, how to raise your family, etc. Originally, I had 5-10 sites I read daily. But all it takes is 1 person referencing one of their friend's blogs, who then brings up their friend, and that friend knows of someone else worth mentioning, etc. Before you know it, you are linked to so many more people than you ever thought you could be.
In my 34 years of life, I have personally known 3 people who have miscarried and 1 person who had a stillborn son at 8 months of pregnancy. Other personal sadness has included losing 1 grandpa, 1 grandma, a close friend who was shot and killed in his early 20s, and a few other minor accidents. Each one of those people holds a special place in my heart. But I am quickly learning that so many people in this world have dealt with so much grief in their lives, and I have learned this all through the connection online.
Sooo many husbands and wives have lost children; during pregnancy, immediately following pregnancy, shortly into toddler years. From birth complications, from heart problems, from cancer, from being born prematurely, from things I cannot pronounce let alone understand. So many husbands and wives have lost their spouses, left to raise their young child all alone. Madly in love and ready to start a family together one minute, left shattered to pick-up the pieces the next minute.
Common sense tells every one of us that these situations go on every day, to people in all countries, poor or rich. But it wasn't until the internet that I was able to connect with these people. To read about their life every day. To get an update on how they feel today, on Day 167 without their daughter. To understand the inside of their hearts and emotions.
And to be honest, it makes my heart so heavy. I want to reach out to every one of them, and let them know I care, and I read, and I want it to get better for them. I'm just one of a million out here who feels this way, who reads there site, but it doesn't change their pain. It doesn't help them grieve any better. It makes me appreciate what I have all the more, God does it make me appreciate it more. But sometimes the helplessness I feel in not being able to do anything from out here in internetland, is too much to think about.
Sure, there's a lot of hope on the internet, too. And there is hope in every one of these sad stories I read and stumble across as well, otherwise I wouldn't come back every single day. But I have to say, I never would have thought, at the time blogs started popping up and Twitter gained its popularity, that I would learn this much about humankind and what we all go through. How we fight every day to survive. Maybe this will give all of us an opportunity to help in some way. Any way we can. And maybe it's just reading each other's stories, and getting a better understanding, that will make the most difference.
at 9:06 AM