False Sense of Connection

As I was scrolling through my Facebook account a few months ago I saw that a friend from college was having a birthday so I wrote on her wall as I usually do for friends birthdays.  This is someone that was a good friend for the year that she was at Washington College until she transferred to George Washington to pursue pre-med.  She was a smart, funny and beautiful woman.  She later became the doctor she always dreamed of becoming.

I get a Facebook message from a mutual friend that asked if I had seen the post.  At that point I hadn’t.  Apparently she passed away unbeknownst to either of us.  A friend of hers from the area had posted that she had passed away several months before.  There was more to the story and she asked if we wanted to know to just google her name.

I did and so did my friend as we started chatting on-line and then eventually on the phone.  The event itself was horrifying and sad to say the least.  For me I was totally unaware of her personal struggles and what she was going through.  We reconnected through Facebook after many years but looking back now it all seems superficial and distant.  It begs the question that if we had not stayed in touch what did we really know about each in our current lives?  The answer was obviously very little.

The stories that were printed painted a picture of a very troubled woman who was going through some very intense emotional struggles.  She became the doctor that she always wanted to be and apparently had more than one successful office.  The stories were vague and disturbing.   The facts were that she had a young daughter and lived in a beautiful house.  The father of the child was not at that residence and they were not married.  This is what apparently caused her great pain and anguish.  Her answer was to attempt to murder her daughter by stabbing her multiple times then taking her own life.

These facts bewildered me as well as my friend and we could not understand what could be so horrible in her life that would cause her to do this.  In the end you realize that Facebook allows us the false sense of connection to others.  We no longer seem to pick up the phone or hand write a letter.  We would rather type a quick text, email or send an instant message.  We have communicated but still have the barrier between us and them because there was no face to face.  It’s troublesome in society today and I hope this will change once again in our lifetime.  There is no substitute for that phone call, letter or the hug of a friend.   So next time you think of an old friend, pick up the phone instead writing a text.  It has a much bigger impact on their life as well as your own.