11 March 2013

Looking You Right in the Face

What better place than here, what better time than now?  

So yeah, I KNOW, it's been AGES! Forgive me. I was at a loss for words. I didn't know what to say.  

Until now. 

So, I get up this morning at 1:30 am-ish.....because Mr. Lennon is screaming in my head....'and we all shine on....' 

Then, after a brief snafu with the coffee maker, I, of course, sat down to check out Facebook.  It's how I wake up. Memes and such.   I'm also not afraid to admit that I play very inane, stupid games on The Book O' Faces.  It's how I keep my mind so very wry and acute....with puzzle games.  Deal.  What comes along with playing these games?  Adding complete strangers to your friend lists so you can do stupid things like advance to other levels and what not.....and sometimes these complete strangers post things that you see in your newsfeed.  

So goes this morning, when a stranger-friend started posted all manner of gobbledygook which led me to believe that he either had several wayward cats or small childerbeasts attacking his keyboard  or he was drunk-typing at this very odd hour of the morning.  But then, the messages kept coming, interspersed with that tiny, yet so important word called "help".  My heart kind of sunk.  Because, admit it, you just never know if something is real or a bunch of wolf-crying when it comes to social media.  We live in a desensitized world, unfortunately.  

But, the messages kept coming, as did comments from other people on his very lengthy list of friends. Comments of concern..interspersed with more cryptic and yet sometimes coherent comments from this person.  Finally, someone, somewhere found his address, he confirmed it and they called for help.  I still don't know what's going on or what's exactly wrong with him, but the first conclusion most of us came to is 'Stroke'.  

Strokes are horrific, insipid beasts that can attack suddenly or over the course of an entire day. I know this because my mom had a stroke, and it wasn't until the actual visual, physical signs took hold (the sagging muscles on one side of the face, and the increasingly slurred speech...).  I cannot fathom how utterly frightening it must be to be the one HAVING the stroke...to lose the ability to communicate and to be trapped both physically and mentally.  

So, it occurs to me, here, alone in my kitchen at 3:14 am....that we shouldn't wait for someone to form a National campaign or some sort of Public Service announcement, to start educating ourselfs on how to help people, when we are several states away and without any pertinent information.  In person, it's easy to recognize the signs of an impending health crisis. Online, not so much.  Therefore, here are some things I believe it would be prudent to consider when dealing with your online world and the people within: 

1.  Everyone's a stranger online....but we also communicate and form this vastly blind yet strangely close community when we want to.....Facebook, Twitter, wherever you land and talk, you form connections. So, be connected. 

2. If you take part in the world via internet....and form even seemingly trivial 'friendships' or acquaintances online, and you are someone who is alone in the "real" world, then take the time to find at least ONE or TWO people that you can trust and share with them some method of contact, be it a telephone number or address or preferably both.  I'm not saying post your info everywhere you go, but if you go somewhere every day without fail, and encounter the same people, you'll eventually find individuals who are trustworthy enough to hold your info for safekeeping.  

3.  Don't use the words "help" or "help me" unless you really, really need HELP in that moment.  If you are able to do so, and you do need help, but you cannot get to phone, or remember how to use a phone (in the case of a stroke, etc.), and you CAN remember this, then type "Call 911".  This way, anyone who DOES have your information will know it's not a joke and they can act to get you help.  

This person did what he could at the moment he did it because he needed help. Doesn't it behoove us, as human beings with souls and consciences, to do whatever we can to help someone when someone is in need?  It's all too easy to disconnect and put on our filtered tin-foil helmets and pretend that everyone that we encounter MUST have someone with them, when in fact, that's not ever always going to be the case.  

If you can't be there in person, be there in mind.......and as Mr. Lennon put it...: 

Better recognize your brothers
Ev'ryone you meet
Why in the world are we here
Surely not to live in pain and fear

Shine on.  


Roger Dodger said...

Good Post, and that's a really good song to wake up to....

I think for the internet, there are so many different kinds of unsavory people that, when someone would write "help help help" on a newsfeed, it would seem like a joke to be ignored. But you're right, there are some good advantages to having Facebook, and finding friends for the lonely is definitely the biggest one to me.

It's contact with friends that stop the dangerous from acting out. Maybe if there was Facebook when I was a kid, I would have known many more happy people.

Miragi said...

And maybe, if there had been FB when I was a kid, I would have BEEN one of those happy people. I think, for the most part, the internet has become an unwitting support system when we feel like there is absolutely no one who can fathom what we feel or experience.

And with that happy thought, I'm going to watch the ever-so-happy 'The Following'. :)

Thanks for visiting and commenting, Roger! Have a great evening!