The blessings and curses of social media

facebook_like_button_blue-625x1000Over the past few weeks, since my mom’s death, I have spent time both on this blog and my Facebook feed as well as other social media sites looking for comments my mom had made to posts I’d written.  For a senior, she was one well versed social media expert, in fact, my mom got on Twitter before I did and had both a blog and Facebook presence. Most of the comments on my blog were lovely, supportive opportunities for her to share her own experiences like this comment after a blog post I’d written about giving a young girl $10 at the airport or this comment on a post where I ‘d shared a recipe from my paternal grandmother and she remembered her fondly as well.

When she commented on my FB page sometimes those were more tricky. I was often upset that she was sharing so much in reply to something I’d written, listing her own life story or mine in the comment section for everyone to read. She sometimes shared comments on my wall that made me uncomfortable. These past few weeks, however, rereading some of her comments both on my Facebook and my blog, I am filled with a new perspective. In fact, I honestly wish there were more, because with these words I feel like I have a piece of her and some additional insight into something that was important to her or something she wanted me to know. It is baffling to me that something that was such a source of conflict and irritation just a few months ago could actually provide some comfort to me now. I guess that’s life, in different circumstances your prospective changes.  Today mom, I am grateful that you were a no holds bar, share it all kind of woman even though that used to be very hard for me.  Thank you for being on my blog and Facebook page so often and leaving a piece of yourself on-line. I am so grateful for the gift of those words now. I love you.


Facebook and Twitter can aid in doing mitzvahs

It dawned on me this week that I am beginning to notice social media used as a way to invite others to participate in a mitzvah or good deed. Earlier this week, an acquaintance posted this request,

“Help me out here…does anyone know someone who has either court side or box seats to the Blazers that might be willing to give them up so a 100-year-old woman can see a game? She is a HUGE fan and we are trying to surprise her on her birthday.”

He had posted on behalf of a friend and the flurry of comments that took place literally within the hour was heart warming. People made great suggestions and ultimately someone offered to help him get the tickets.

A day later, a friend of mine from the Boston area posted this…

“OK cookie lovers…we are 14 boxes shy of a big number over here… Any takers? Remember, you don’t have to eat them yourselves. The Cookies for a Cause sends boxes you donate to the US Troops overseas…”

Of course, I saw that post and commented that I’d buy one box and asked her to send me her email address. I saw three or four others who did the same thing.

When in our history could we so easily and effortlessly ask and receive what we needed? No matter what people believe about social media, it does allows people to connect in ways that we have never done before, getting the word out about large and small giving opportunities. What an amazing tool when put to good use. So hop online and join the conversation, perhaps you will be able to engage in a mitzvah or see one unfolding on Facebook as I was lucky enough to witness twice this week.