When I was reading some of the replies to my blog on Compassion yesterday I found it interesting that Anne mentioned social media and the impact it has on us.
I'm 46 and although I do use the Internet for many things I had no idea how big a role it played in my life. I had been meaning to write about it so thank you Anne for reminding me.A lot has changed electronically since I was in high school. I graduated in 1984 and there were no cellphones. None of the kids I went to school with carried anything like that. "Pagers" were the first big thing I remember and when one of those went off the person had to go find a regular phone to return the call to whatever phone number was paging. I never had one.
My first cell phone was in 1989 and it was one of those huge "bag phones." It had an actual full size receiver and cradle, the same as one that hangs on a wall. It was so heavy, like toting luggage. I used to take it with me when I sold real estate and I thought I was so cool because I could make phone calls while I sat doing an open house on a Sunday afternoon.
As time progressed the phones got smaller and smaller and thinner and thinner. Then the whole World Wide Web was new and exciting too. I remember the first computer I ever ordered was enormous. The monitor weighed a ton and had a gigantic back. It stuck way out from the wall just like the old TV sets did. The hard drive was completely separate and took up its own massive space. Of course computers are slimmer now too. We also have laptops and iPads, etc. which are so much easier to transport and quick to navigate compared to the "old days".
When I was in school our big electronics were Walkmans. First the one that held a cassette and then the one that used a CD. Our parents didn't spend a lot like they do now. Have you read the kids Christmas lists these days? They're filled with electronic "wants.” Their two year phone contract can't expire fast enough for them because a new and improved product comes so fast. It's mind blowing.
When I went to college there was nothing being offered as a major in Social Media. There was Communications and Journalism but nothing like what is being offered today. It's quite interesting and a whole new avenue of communications that has created a variety of career opportunities.
I hadn't given much thought to social media before Chris passed. I do recall being at the hospital and the Chaplain asked me where Jeremy was. When I told her he was away at college she insisted we get hold of him before social media did. I was so confused. It never crossed my mind he might find out before I actually got to tell him in person.
My mind was swimming with panic to get to Jeremy quick. My nightmare of losing one son was magnified by the pressure of connecting with the other son before some random Internet post got to him first. If ever I experienced terror, the night at the hospital was it. I’ll never get over it nor will I forget it.
Thank God almighty I got to Jeremy first. I cannot imagine him reading about it! There is relief for me in that. I'm so thankful. When so many others found out so much earlier and the news spread like wildfire, God provided me the opportunity to tell Jeremy about his brother. That was a blessing. I didn't get to tell him in person like I would have preferred but I got him by phone and that was as good as I could have hoped for with the travel distance between us. I couldn't leave the hospital to go get him. The hospital waiting room was filled with family and football players and parents and coaches and the texts and Internet posts were running wild and Jeremy never saw. Thank you Lord!!
So there's quite a lot to social media in my life; in all of our lives. It's here to stay. It's an instant connection to one another and although I do find it to be a very good thing, it can also cause panic. It did for me that night. I was scared to death. But look what else it has done. It's caused us to connect and share thoughts and stories. The good outweighs the bad. I choose to use this blog and any of my other posts for positive reasons.
I hope you will too.
Thank you for reading.