There is a push to limit social media. “Get off your phones!”, they shout. “Be with the people you’re with! Look in their eyes! Get off the computer, off the tweeting.”
And here we are. In this age of all-connectedness at all times. And, there’s this outcry that people should go outside! “I walked 4 miles in the snow to get to school” has become “I used to play in the neighborhood until the streetlights came on!”
I was reflecting on this today, and I was thinking of all of the people I’ve met and connected with because of Twitter. Twitter was where I learned how to run. Where I learned the value of a Tweet-up. Where the governor helped me save my house …and where I met the director of the LA Marathon, who eventually hooked my mom up with her hero, Pete Carroll. It was there that I met single moms raising sons. Where I was drawn into confidences, and walked people through grief. It was the day that someone sent me an airline ticket to Virginia to be with my cousin as she laid her dad to rest. It was my coach, who taught me so much about running. It was my friend on a TV show who memorialized my Princess with a living tree. Another who had a huge hand in a TV series where a man was having ongoing affairs, and the night I sat up in bed and said, “This is happening in my house!” My sweet Seinfeld sister in London. The girl in San Antonio who took me to the World AA conference, and our marathoner friend who let us stay in her home. It’s where I learned at 50, to run and train. To date. Where I talked for hours with friends who helped me with my broken heart.
I joined Facebook. I didn’t really get it at first. It’s the collection of our days. My pictures, the music I like, funny and inspirational posters, and links to good articles. And after awhile, you know about me. My day. My two funny and outrageous teenagers. My beloved Chet. And always the spa. Always.
I like your kid pictures, and you like mine. To the outcries of those who say this is “just Facebook”, I say really? I can tell you my friends kids’ names, the one who has a kid in the band, and my funny and adorable baby H. and his Mom, when I was up in the middle of the night, and it was early morning on the east coast, sort of talked me through what the heck I was doing with all these animals at 3 in the morning. (You had to be there). It’s hearing Poison by Bel Biv Davoe, and messaging her EVERY time it’s on my playlist. It’s A Wonderful Night, every time around Mile 3 near the church, and my pal in the south who is an amazing father of two sweet boys himself.
I know when I don’t see someone for awhile. I reach out. I message them and hear that her son is in the hospital, and her daughter has a broken heart. People privately ask me about their alcoholic father in law, my broken feet, what advice I could give them as they have to get welfare and Food Stamps for the first time in their life.
I have 3 or 4 women in my town who I can call and run down to Starbucks, a mile from my house, and we figure stuff out together. I have 2 really good men friends who I meet for coffee and therapy. And, I’m forever grateful for them.
But. Without Twitter and Facebook and all the connectedness all across the globe, I would not be the woman I am today. So. Bring on the tweeting and status updates. Bring all of it on. Because, this is real life, and there’s enough room for everyone here.