A friend of mine posted the following image on Facebook this morning. As an artist, I immediately took notice of the gorgeous but seemingly hostile environmental imagery used as the background... and then read the words.
My brain immediately concurred with the saying, but something in the back of my mind hit me on the front of the forehead as if to say, "uh, nooooo, not quite... think again!" I caught on to that thought very quickly, hit the like button and typed the following response:
I thought the imagery then connected with the opinion of the words in a much stronger sense now having connected the dots. The natural beauty of the landscape colors and their subtle blending gives a sense of peace and serenity. The steam rising slowly into the atmosphere softly hazing and masking what is beneath speaks to me about hiding our problems; which if you think about it, are natural and not always as ugly as we often judge them to be. But in contrast, the lifeless, dry tree and immediate area around this gorgeous, enticing wonder tells a story about the dangers of spreading toxins. It's baron and desolate... I"m sure we can all relate that to society headed into a social media driven world.
I doubt the person that chose this image thought this deep into it for what he or she was going to type, but it really turned out perfect together.
I believe that more often than not, most people tend to downplay their problems or choose to keep them private when they really could benefit from the help of others. I'm obviously not one of those people. But I do know many who are. We allow each to choose what they air to the public and what to keep to themselves, but we also judge their decision and quite abruptly on social media. Would we say the same thing to them if they vocalized their problems to us on the phone or in person? Is there a difference? Could they be asking for help discretely or just needing s friend to vent it all out to?
When I was going through cancer, we didn't have social media outlets. I used carepages.com which is now shut down:
That was the website where a patient and/or family could post updates for caring friends and family. The followers could then donate money, send gifts, write comments... much like social media now, but specifically for caring for one another. I suppose they shut down because everyone's connections to others is now incredibly easily accessible at all times... and since most people have social accounts, why add another?
I think it's important to share your personal problems; but, I also think it's equally important to share them with selected people... if you're in need of prayers or a food chain or tremendous help, then I think you should air it on every social media outlet as possible because there are so many individuals out there who do care and are willing to help in any way they can. But if you're just complaining about life, I hope you seriously ponder it before clicking that "post" button for everyone to read and judge because some of us are on borrowed time and would love to have the small problems you think are monumental... it makes us feel just a bit worse than we already do (because we miss thinking those problems were big when really they were not). Fortunately, we can always unfollow complainers, but then what happens when you really do need those prayer warriors and everyone has stopped reading your posts? Have you become the boy who cried wolf?
So, air your requests for opinions, your search for answers, your need for prayers... and one at a time, we can make social media more than just about ourselves, but about a community of family, close friends and extended acquaintances who help each other when needed... big or small.