Facebook's Mea Culpa Takes The Site Back to Its Social Roots
Being in business in the 21st century, social media can be the lifeblood of your business. The incessant connection must always be available, especially for small businesses. On a more personal note, it's the open diary that many people can't live without. Whether they're tweeting, posting or sharing, it's a necessary evil our days seem to be incomplete without.
Over the last few weeks however, Facebook has been the source of death notices. Within the last two weeks, I've discovered that two of my good friends, passed away...first thing in the morning! It's unbearable as you struggle waking up to clear your eyes good enough to see that someone has died since the last time you closed your eyes.
Death is inevitable, but how and who are always factors that shake us to our core. With each of the recent deaths, I had no chance at goodbye. About two weeks before that, an industry colleague passed away suddenly and I had intentions of reaching out to him asking about media work. He was exceptional at what he did but didn't yet work with gospel artists, I was going to ask if he would take on a gospel artists or two and recommend a few artists to him. He was moving the needle for his artists and I wanted him to do the same for a few artists in dire need of direction and industry help...but he's gone now.
Facebook is a number things to a number of people. It is a diary, a sounding board, a bully pulpit, a virtual meetup, job board, garage sale alternative and much more. For me, it has been the obituary notice.
This week, the world lost Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain to suicide and in the wake of those tragic losses, we have begun "those" conversations again. We don't know everything and there's only so much a note can say, but I do want to say this to all of you reading this: If we're connected on social media, let it be a lifeline!
I don't know the ins and outs of mental health issues and don't claim to be one who does. I do have experience as a friend and a listening ear. This week, I have seen longtime friends, social media connections and colleagues all confess to bouts with depression and thoughts of suicide and to that I was oblivious. There have been cases when I reached out and was rebuffed because of my Christian viewpoints though I never condemned or judged them.
Let's face it, sometimes we want to choose the help that comes to us. That is understood and I would never violate a person's choice, which is why I have chosen in many cases to pray for them without even announcing it.
I don't know what's on the other side of the screen when I see a post. Some see much more than a post, a cry for attention, help or just someone to care. With many of our social media connections, they're all there. What I'm asking you to do as you read this, take a moment and appraise your friends list on and off social media.
Who can you call? Who's listening? Where is the help you need? Suicide is one sided and while the victim may do it for release of their troubles on this side, it leaves pain and heartbreak to those of use left behind in their absence. I heard Kirk Franklin say something so poignant years ago. He said: "you don't have to do life alone!"
Lean On Me
Bill Withers said it best:
"Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won't let show."
Living through it and surviving a dark season is sometimes as simple as shining a light on it. I believe that the people who know you need help will do all they can to help you, that's what I believe. I know depression and other mental health issues cause most of its sufferers to retreat and isolate, but I'm begging you...please don't go and stay in that dark place by yourself. Vulnerability is sometimes the key that unlocks the help we need. How can you get the help you need if you won't ask or even tell anyone that you need it?
Prescribed medication works wonders and you need people to remind you and encourage you to trust medication's part in the process. Let's talk about it, maybe not on social media, but talking it out has great benefits.
"How can I help?" is a tremendous conversation starter. I may not have any of the answers, but I will look high and low to help you find the answers you need. Your support system is only a click away.
Whether you have thousands of friends, or just a "top 8", there is someone who loves you and loves you enough to live through whatever life brings your way. Find them...find us, we're here for you! Social media can be a number of things both positive and negative but one possibility I will never leave off the table is the possibility of a life line.
Today, I'm praying for my social media friends and their families. I may not know what pains you or what's burdening your heart, but I care enough to let you know that I'm praying for you! Not every person believes in God and I understand that as well. However, there's an innate power that friendship and connection possess that I don't ever want us to undervalue.
With that being said, I want you to know that and know that you are special to me! We need you, we want you here with us and I promise to be the best I can if you need me! I'm think of you and praying for you. You don't have to do life alone!
Yep, I Said It!
When I have something to say, I often say it. Many times, I try to find the best way to say it. Other times, there's just no easy way to say a hard thing. My journey in life has made me a person with much to say and the person people least want to hear it from.