Many of us use social media all the time. We tweet what we are doing, we tag people, we mention others, we “check in” at places and post photos to Instagram. Twitter wants to know “What’s happening?” and Facebook wants to know “What’s on your mind?”. All this, to show others what we are doing and in most cases to show them a glimpse of who we are and what our lives are like. I am one of those. Mention a Social Media platform and I am 99% I have an account on it, eh, I’m even on Orkut. Interacting with others on the internet has become part of my life, I am connected. Some people fear this, their opinion is that no real “community” comes from this and that we can become too used to hiding behind a computer or an iPhone and being social. They are entitled to their opinion and yes, it can happen, but that’s not what I see every day.
Take my life on Twitter for example, I have “met” people on Twitter with whom I have some of the deepest conversations; when my Mom has struggled with some of her conditions, my Twitter friends were there to help me pray, when my father was sick they stood by me. Twitter, a website, has allowed me to meet some incredible people in person. One of my biggest Twitter success stories is meeting Christy Polek, who took me to In N’ Out for the first time and for a drive through Hollywood, in which we saw the cast of Entourage filming a scene. I count her now as one of my closest friends, a friend that knows my life, all of it, our friendship was born on Twitter and grew way out of there, to the point of making our lives better. Social media can do that. It can bring people together, it can make lives better.
We use all these platforms as we go on with our lives. But what if this was one of our only means of interaction with the outside world?
Sara’s Story: Choose Joy
I have followed Sara, @gitzengirl on Twitter, for about two years I believe. I first followed her because a lot of people that I follow would mention her and retweet her tweets. My first impression was that she was a happy, inspiring and funny lady. These people that followed her first seemed to love her and I constantly saw words of encouragement coming from her to many of her followers. A while back I visited her blog and read through a few pages. And that’s when I knew her story. Sara has an “autoimmune disease that begins by attacking your joints… It is progressive and systemic… it’s goal is to attack your joints an build scar tissue, causing pain and stiffness”. You can read more about her story here, and please do. Basically, what ended up happening is that Sara wasn’t able to go outside because the air outside would harm her, she had to live life in seclusion and with a heavy dose of medicine. But even through her pain and her difficult situation, Sara has always showed joy. Through social media, many, like me, got to know her story a little better. I was amazed that a person who lived in pain as she did, was able to shine a light in others the way she did daily.
I am grateful for the internet and social media. Can you imagine? Just a few years ago, something like this would’ve been impossible. Sara’s life was not bound by her seclusion, she was able to inspire and encourage others and at the same time have a strong group of people to be in her life every day. She was not alone.
Sara’s journey among us is coming to an end. But she is moving up, she trusts God and is looking forward to a life with him, free from pain. Choose Joy is the name of her blog, and has been the standard in her life and it is know a thought that is running wild in the minds of those that know her. If someone had reason to complain of her situation it was Sara, but she chose Joy.
Dear Sara, catch you in the flip side! Thank you.