Facebook, Life and Death

When I listened to the Media Bullseye Radio Roundtable this week, I realized that I had not visited Ike Pigott’s blog lately.  I have said this in this space and on his blog, but I admire Ike’s intelligence and ability to make complex topics seem simple.

The latest post stopped me in my tracks a bit, though.  I learned a lesson about social media, but not about zeros and ones, circles of influence, but about life, death and absolution.

Ike bravely talks about a childhood that included a lot of bullying — with one bully in particular with whom he re-connected via Facebook a couple of months ago.  His friend and former bully, Scott, openly shared his experiences in the 22 years since they had connected, apparently filled with struggles and addictions.  Recently, Scott fell, hit his head and never recovered.  Ike eloquently notes:

Scott’s Facebook page is still up. His status message still reads “Scott is resting in peace.”

That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a death notification on Facebook. But there’s much more to that message.

I can’t speak for him, or Debbie or anyone else. But I know for a fact he and his family were checking his Facebook from the hospital bed. And I know they saw the messages of support coming in. And I know that if it weren’t for Facebook, he wouldn’t have passed with the knowledge that he got the absolution he wanted from Isuck Pignuts.

Yeah, this social media stuff can be pretty stupid sometimes. Check that, a lot of the time. But when real people connect in ways that are truly meaningful and lasting, you can’t ignore the power. People use phones for stupid things too, but a call from the right person can change your life.

Scott – and to all from Scott’s family who read this – you brought a lot of joy to a large body of people.

Peace out, Scott.  Peace out…

When someone says something that is so eloquent, you can only mess it up with extra words.  But in a world of Facebook filled with keg stands, drunken parties and thrown sheep, it made me feel a little bit better about the world of Facebook.  It does connect us — not always in ways as meaningful as this, but it does.

Thanks to people like Scott and Ike and their circle of friends — on Facebook.

Mark

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