Social Media Brings People TogetherAnita Kirkbride
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.