My friend John Byrne asked what we liked most and least about Facebook for an upcoming presentation. Having just come back from another high school get-together, where I connected with a couple of old friend I hadn’t seen in a looooong time, I was feeling pretty positive on what Facebook has done for me personally. Then I got to thinking about three scenarios playing out on my page just this week:
- A high school friend, who is single, has reached out in his battle and fears surrounding cancer, which has also lead to financial problems as well. One little message allowed a large group to rally support. He is not alone.
- An acquaintance recently had surgery. In the middle of the night he was able to post that he was awake in the hospital and looking for someone to talk to. He found that person. He was no longer alone.
- A distant friend’s daughter had Cystic Fibrosis. It’s a heartbreaking story, yet heartwarming as well. Facebook has allowed this family to post their story via Claire Wineland, Love, Songs, and Updates Page. This page has turned into an incredible source of emotional and spiritual support for this family.
Now, here’s where the magical 6-degrees of separation come into play. The Wineland family needs assistance in arranging their daughter’s lung transplant. Amazingly enough, my sister-in-law is a pulmonary critical care specialist — who treats adult, though not pediatric CF patients — at the exact hospital where this little girl is fighting a good and valiant fight. I’ve put my SIL in touch with the family. Will she be able to help? I don’t know, but maybe. Why not try. For some reason we as human being seek comfort and connections with one another. Unfortunately, we don’t all have the ability to reach out and ask for help. It appears that just as we are willing to over-share our personal activities and thoughts on Facebook (whether politics, about our kids, or problems we’re having in our intimate relationships), the medium also makes it easier to share our fears, insecurities, and need for human comfort and support. So I will repeat what I have said on my Facebook page a lot this weekend: if you can breath easily, if your child is healthy, if you’re at work, if you’re enjoying life … take a moment, breath deeply, and think good thoughts and offer up prayers for Claire Wineland and her family. Oh, and “like” her page. The family is looking for “healthy, non-smoking A pos blood types who may be willing to give up a lobe.”