My grandfather passed away on May 9th. Losing a family member is one of the hardest things you will ever go through. It was made even more difficult due to the depth of our relationship. He was my Daddy, as mine, for all intents and purposes, has been out of the picture since I was 5. While there will be no long, drawn-out melodrama on my part, I will say that he was such an influence, that when I married, I married a man eerily like him in many ways.
During my time of grief I was on Twitter and one of my pals had wanted to know where I had been. When I explained, the next thing I knew, I was bombarded with well-wishes, prayers for my family and a generous outpouring of faith and support. Where did this come from? These people only know my nom de plume, @Daily_Pinch.They don’t know me. How could this be?
Decidedly, it can be. Overwhelmed with tears, I made a vow to thank everyone. However, my friend, @lwcavallucci, said “you don’t need to thank any of us. That’s what we’re here for. Community.”
@ Love & Light for you…love is eternal & it never ends despite absence & separation. Blessings 2U (I’m a friend of @)
@ Hugs from one geek gal to another. Heard you were in need of support. Sending healing cyber hugs your way. : )
Ashevilleallie @ agree. not a popularity contest, like real life, many acquaintances who could be friends, effort to connect needs to be made!
I can’t say enough about my friend Christi, also known as @twochix1, who sent messages full of prayer, hope, and love daily. She never failed to ask me how I was doing, but more importantly, how my entire family was faring.
There are so many others, such as @geekgirls who started a group hug and love thread to be sent to me.People I didn’t know, didn’t follow and didn’t follow me were sending me messages.
When I look at this, I don’t care what you do, how you do it. When you create a platform of communication, even one based on 140 characters or less, you create a community. A place where people go to meet, talk and discuss their latest projects and adventures.
Sure there are a lot of people who do nothing but advertise on Twitter and use no form of personal communication whatsoever. However, for those of us that do, it can be life changing. There have been lives changed and saved. But what matters, in this age of texting, email, twittering, and online social networking, is that people still feel the need to reach out to each other. To comfort, to pray, to let us know that we belong to something greater than ourselves.
Musing upon this further, I think about the lack of community in my neighborhood. People are too busy in their overscheduled, hectic lives. The only time you see them is coming in and out of their garages, ready to zoom off to complete another item on their to do list. I will admit to being one of those people who is now in the painful recovery stage: an over-doer who didn’t take time to smell the roses.
Communication is a relevant part of life. Community is the real part. If I am working and twittering, then I feel like part of my community of followers and many of them feel the same way. So, while I may still be electronically connected for a good part of my day, I never feel lonely. Friends are just a tweet away.