Social Media Brings People Together - Twirp Communications

Social Media Brings People Together

 

Katie Emmerson Renz

Katie Emmerson Renz

Something happened this week that really has me reeling. A wonderful woman I’ve never met lost her battle with cancer. I read the first posting of her passing and began to cry. An hour later and I’m still welling up thinking of her, her struggles and her family left behind.

Katie Emmerson Renz and I only barely knew each other through our mutual acquaintances in the stamping world and on Facebook. While we never actually met, we shared many things–a love of stamping, cardmaking and crafting is just how we “met.” Like me, Katie was a mother to a young family. I think that is why her death has hit me so hard. I can’t help but worry about her young boys and think about how they will have to grow up without this wonderful, amazing and strong mother in their life.

The fact that her death has touched me brings a whole new understanding of the impact social media has on our lives. Here I am honestly and truly upset by the death of someone I only knew through her blog and on Facebook. HOW is that possible? I don’t even know if we ever even had a typed conversation between us! Like hundreds of other e-friends, I followed Katie’s battle with cancer on her blog where she wrote the most incredible posts–some uplifting and some heartbreaking. Her husband Kevin posted when Katie was no longer able to, keeping us all up-to-date on her struggle. Her last, unfinished post was finally posted after her death, but even in that post you can hear a glimmer of hope. Even though I didn’t meet Katie, through her blog I feel like we’ve known each other forever. That is the power of social media.

I’ve said for a long time that “most of my friends live in my computer” and this just proves my point. Through my hobby I have developed a far-reaching network of friends. These people live everywhere from Croatia to Hawaii, from England to Texas, and there’s even a few in Canada. I “don’t know” more of my own friends than I do know! But I still consider some of those people close friends. They know just as much about my life as my “real” friends here in Halifax, thanks to Facebook, Twitter and SplitcoastStampers.com (where I met most of them in the first place). What an age we are living in! Enjoy it. Absorb it. Live it.

Rest in Peace Katie, my dear e-friend.

 

Comments (5)

  • 4hmosher Reply

    So sorry for your loss Anita. I too have been blessed by e-friendships which I consider as real and meaningful as the friends I can actually touch. I think social media can make the world a friendlier place because it offers us an an opportunity to care more about people.

    November 8, 2011 at 11:46 pm
  • Alison DeLory Reply

    I had a similar experience when Chatelaine breast cancer blogger Leanne Coppen died. I’d never met her but had been following her treatment journey and was delighted to have just read that she was accepted into a new drug trial in the U.S. When the posts stopped I worried, then there was an update from her parents that she’d gone into sudden respiratory distress and died. It was like losing a friend. It really made me consider the closeness you can feel to someone you’ve met through social media. I’m sorry about Katie, and thanks for sharing her story. I’m not so sure anymore about the delineation between real and online friends.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:22 am
  • Alison DeLory Reply

    I had a similar experience when Chatelaine breast cancer blogger Leanne Coppen died. I’d never met her but had been following her treatment journey and was delighted to have just read that she was accepted into a new drug trial in the U.S. When the posts stopped I worried, then there was an update from her parents that she’d gone into sudden respiratory distress and died. It was like losing a friend. It really made me consider the closeness you can feel to someone you’ve met through social media. I’m sorry about Katie, and thanks for sharing her story. I’m not so sure anymore about the delineation between real and online friends.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:23 am
  • Winnie Reply

    I, too have been praying and reading and sending cards to Katie. I lost my husband to cancer and I felt like I understood her situation and was amazed at her love and strength during her battle. What an inspiration. I had people ask me why someone I “met” online meant so much to me, and I said she was loving and caring and wanted to share her life by blogging both when she was well, and then not. If her blog taught me anything, it reminded me NOT to sweat the small stuff…RIP Katie…See you stamping in heaven someday.

    November 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm
  • Test Reply

    hhhh

    February 13, 2012 at 10:08 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *