Man, I could count on several hands how many times I heard or read that in the past two days.
I was involved in a conversation on social media with a lot of prominent local people regarding commenters on posts. It started the day of the super bowl. Everyone gets upset by the racist, “troll” comments that keyboard warriors type. It’s easy to write mean and nasty things and not have any consequences. Then? It stays there forever in cyberspace for people to go back on for centuries to come and see what kind of society we are right now.
If by chance you delete the thread, chances are someone has already taken screenshots and shared it 10,000 times anyway.
Nothing is sacred anymore.
Nothing is private.
(And yes, so ironic I’m writing this on social media… but stick with me here.)
Social media is also ruining our kids. They are never “off”. When they are in their houses, they still have 2,637 “followers”. Invisible people, some they would never even speak to in public, “following” them into their homes, sitting in their living rooms, eating dinner at their tables, and going into their bedrooms. Other kids may write mean things about them on other people’s pages, and it’s there forever for them to go back and look at, and take a tiny chip out of their heart each time they reread the mean things.
“Social media is the downfall of our society.”
And then there is me.
A piece of me ten thousand percent agrees with that statement. I’ve seen it up close and personal. I’ve seen statements written get misconstrued. I’ve seen bullying by other kids, and even worse, physical harm threatened by adults to kids and families.
But then there’s the other piece of me.
I had two decisions to make when I was diagnosed with the pesky stage four cancer thing where that silly little oncologist said there were only weeks or months left, maybe a year or two, because that teeny tiny little bone met was gonna get me.
One decision was to decide how to proceed. Go home, make goodbye videos, write up a bucket list, write letters for my kids to open on birthdays and graduations and weddings and births of grandchildren. Or go home and research and go find people who beat all the google and Debbie downer oncologist odds and be there to hold my grandchildren.
That choice was easy.
The second one wasn’t.
I had to decide if I should go public or stay private. It’s a small town, and I work where I live, and teach in the same school where my kids went and still attend. Word always gets out on the street, and the word gets twisted. So I went public so I could make sure all the information that went out was the truth, and make sure whatever people heard came from me.
Then something amazing happened.
Social media became the biggest prayer group ever for me.
The biggest support group.
Then I had total strangers sent to me for help. I still get requests every single day.
Do I accept them?
Then I had strangers ask me about Dr Snuffleuffugus. Do I send them and share him?
And in the past three days, three people have written on their social media walls about the cancer is stable, or they are NED (no evidence of disease).
Three people that I didn’t know a little over a year ago, who now have bright futures and long lives ahead of them.
And that’s just the past three days.
I’ve had people tell me they are losing weight, forgiving people, having babies, finding Jesus…
All because of social media.
How amazing is that?
Yes, social media can be ugly. Scary. Hurtful. Mean. People threatening to beat the crap out of total strangers and even children.
But it can also be used to save lives. Solve problems. Find Jesus.
Arrange for juices to be delivered so people can get healthy.
I had the honor of arranging for over thirty juices to be delivered to Aquebogue. (It’s a wonderful school filled with wonderful humans, big and small.) Paula and her staff at the Giving Room packed coolers for people full of juices. People that have always wanted to go but it’s far away for some of them. My sister in law went and grabbed them for us and for her friends too.
I got some extra orders from social media.
Social media helps people get healthy too.
Today, may we all use social media to make this world better. Solve problems peacefully and with calm voices and hearts. Order some juices. May we all remember that we just celebrated two months ago the birth of a King, who showed us what forgiveness means.
Drink a juice.
In Jesus’s name, amen.