Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Today I am grateful for the power of social media. Sometimes I hate social media. It can seem so anti-social when I’m talking to a person and suddenly their phone snaps their attention from our conversation. It can also be a problem for people who don’t have filters or dignity and post naked pictures of themselves, then become incredulous when others “share” them.
But it can also take a wonderful, fun, kind woman who randomly posted a video of herself genuinely delighted, even giddy, with her new Chewbacca mask, and get her on TV and send her to Disney. Wonderful! I’ll take that kind of social media any day. It’s a powerful and positive message.
I don’t spend a lot of time ruminating over what I write, or checking my facts, and sometimes I screw up. Like I did recently. Although it wouldn’t have mattered in this case because I was 100% sure I was right anyway and when you’re fact-checking with your wrong self, you’re always going to lose. The apologies were forthcoming, the goof was quickly fixed and my heart is now beating at a normal rate again, so all is well on that count. Don’t even ask because I’m not telling anyway and it doesn’t matter.
Except that the next few times I wrote, I felt a little gun-shy and I almost censored myself. I don’t want to censor myself. I want to be honest and shoot, not from the hip, but from the heart, like I always do. So I will continue to not censor and not always fact-check I’ll probably goof up again, because that’s what humans do. Did you know I was human? Surprise!
Yesterday morning, Memorial Day, I knew exactly what I was going to write the minute I opened my eyeballs at 6 a.m. I couldn’t wait to get to the computer. I was thrilled when I found the picture from my old yearbook on line. I knew that although I rarely use even first names, this time I would use first and last. I knew that instead of an obscure icon, I would use the true picture of Romy Leicht, a friend from high school who died in Vietnam. Zip-zap-zonk! It was written and posted and I was on to other things.
Later when I went on-line to see if there was any feedback, I was shocked. And thrilled. BING! Heartprint! It landed dead center into the core of so many people that it made me realize that I was correct to not censor my words. I think my emotions are too vast to censor anyway. Something would always leak through.
But then, as good things sometimes do, it took on an even bigger life. Many people on Facebook responded that they wished Romy’s family could see the post. A good friend in my hometown, Penny, wrote me a message saying she used to know the boys brother and his wife. She decided to look them up and called them to tell them about my post honoring his fallen brother. Isn’t that amazing? Yeah? Well wait for it. . .
This morning when I went on line, there was a message from the sister-in-law, who said that her husband had read the piece and was very moved. She said he talks about his brother all the time and the fun they had as kids. And that is simply the best! BING! BING! BING! My Heartprint meter is off the charts.
So now, not only did my uncensored story share an incredible young man, it also gave his brother the confirmation that Romy is remembered. . .and got me a couple of new friends to boot! If you missed yesterday’s post and are curious, or if you want to read the wonderful thread of comments, go to my Heartprints Facebook page.
Even though the risk is great, I will not censor myself. I can’t, or it wouldn’t be me. Nobody is sending me to Disney, but in my book this is just as good. Really. The power of social media doesn’t get much better than this!