I've been on social network sites for a long while now. Using the different platforms for different reasons. Mostly as a way of consuming or expressing thoughts of life. This morning, I was reminded of the power of some of these platforms. These soapboxes that let us broadcast everything from what we eat, to how we grieve.
Twitter is my most used social site. Everyone utilizes it differently. Twitter can be - anything you want or need it to be.
Last night, one of the folks I follow was stood up by a friend and decided to go out and enjoy her dinner alone anyway. I was so grateful for her updates. She used tweets to keep her company, and I felt as if I was still a part of her evening.
Today, a woman who many of us have followed lost her husband to cancer. She had used tweets to share their journey. Her blog has been sharing the story. Cancer that has come into her world and changed her family forever. Watching the response of others to her pain and grief, is... there aren't enough characters in the world to describe the feeling. Or, maybe there aren't any.
When I first joined twitter, long before celebrities were trending, we early adopters watched frozen peas become the movement that would bring healing to a woman struggling. The brave way she wrote about chemotherapy. The honesty of the suffering. The hope in the healthy way a woman would reach. To anybody and everybody that was listening.
My own struggles and pains have been made public for all the world to see - I've used tweets this way since first signing up for the network. Finding strangers and friends to keep me company when isolation was the biggest part of me. That was years ago. Since that time, I've vented, ranted, laughed, cried, and spilled out more of those stories. There is something therapeutic about knowing at least one person cares about what we're saying.
And I've always been amazed at the outpouring of love and concern that has come when I've been that open. When I've watched a great big globe become intimacy in our homes. When on days like today, perspective comes.
Twitter is good for wits and wisdoms and laughter. It's a place to find sarcasm and satire. It's a world of one liners.
It is good for breaking news and pictures. A place quicker than our morning paper. A place where we can discover what's happening over seas or in our own neighborhood.
It is good for conversations with colleagues. A place where we can find some things we need. A place where networking is really happening. A place where so many are actually learning.
But mostly, for all the reasons I consume and use this platform, it is for moments like this morning. Where a woman unfolds this story. And with two words takes us all into her journey....
And in nine characters, the grief of a stranger, the words of another human being.... say everything.
hearts and thoughts @califmom - godspeed.