100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #74.

In case it hasn’t become apparent yet, allow me to enlighten you with an irrefutable fact: We are living in a digital age.

No duh, right?

Nevertheless, the online world rules our everyday existence. You can’t stroll down a city street or through an airport or a mall (especially a mall) without seeing hundreds of cattle glued to their devices, their eyes glazed over as droll collects at the corners of their mouths. They tweet (I certainly do) blog (guilty as charged, obviously) post photos, look for lust and even risk bankruptcy on Amazon, among a million other activities.

The digital age has, of course, also led to online bullying, shaming and harassment that has led to many a suicide.

But there is much about the digital age to celebrate.

#74: Virtual Allies.

The best part about this selection is also the worst, sadly. The fact is, I have too many virtual allies to list here (the digital version of me is more appealing than the flesh and blood copy, apparently) but I’ll do what I can. We’ll begin with Mehm67one of the sweetest, most genuine souls I’ve never actually met in the so -called real world but who has had a big impact on my life regardless. We’ve connected on Twitter (it’s not just Trump’s playground, kids) and this young lady never fails to lift my spirits when I need it most.


In fact, M (I call her “M”, because, you  know, we’re so close) sent me a virtual animated bunny with an encouraging, “You can do it!” message after reading that I was hitting a metaphorical creative wall that felt all-too real while working my way through this series. Staying positive has never come easy to me so taking on a blog series that requires me to list one hundred reasons to avoid suicide has proven enough to drive me to, well…

But friends like M make it easier to keep fighting the good blogging fight. An ounce of encouragement, even in the form of an animated woodland creature, can help remind us there are good people in this world. These people have lives and challenges of their own to deal with but they’re still willing to take the time to help a stranger stave off the darkness.

And this is where it gets tough for me, as tough as the first steak I ever cooked as a young college student who soon realized he couldn’t afford to eat steak anyway. yeah, even I have to admit that one was a bit wordy…

At any rate, I really do have far too many online pals to list here and that’s an embarrassment of riches I’m happy to accept, though I have no idea how I earned any of them.

Shantelle Bisson is a parenting/relationship expert, an actress, a blogger, an author, a mother and wife, and possibly even Batwoman in her spare time. And in spite of all this, she’s still found the time to be a good friend to yours truly. You’ve seen her appearances here but there have been moments, one in particular, when my life was enshrouded in darkness, that she’s seen fit to reach out and help me raise myself out of the muck of self-pity and depression. And I will be forever grateful.

John W. Howell, Susie Lindau, Courtney Wright, Loretta Hassler, the list goes on, and I feel if it does, I’m just going to feel worse for leaving people out. I have over three thousand followers and while that number may be small compared to the fanbase of some online personalities, it never fails to astonish me.

The genie’s out of the bottle and we’re never going to go back to a world without digital avatars and online lives, so take my advice and make the most of it. Mine social media for it’s positive aspects while living in the real world as much as possible. Of course, you don’t have to dive into the digital ocean but if you’re willing to exercise caution it could provide you with a lifeline or three thousand.

See you in the lobby, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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21 Responses to 100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #74.

  1. Tara says:

    I value my virtual friends as much as my IRL friends. I think there’s a great deal of support out there for some folks who really need it, and in some ways feels safer for them with virtual friends.

  2. Santa Cucinotta says:

    I enjoy your writing every morning with my tea! It is so much more interesting than morning talk shows! Have a good day.

  3. 3bones says:

    I like your comment on “Mine social media for its positive aspects while living in the real world as much as possible.” Unfortunately, the line often gets blurred for many and they confuse the two. A good post, Hook.

    • The Hook says:

      They certainly do.
      I just read about a man whop has been stalking director Kevin Smith’s daughter; this guy posted an Instagram video of himself ranting about her while standing dangerously close to their residence.
      Strange times, my friend.

  4. Loretta Hassler says:

    Hopefully this brings someone to see and use the good aspect of social media. Good work once again. You are pointing things out in this series that mental health professionals would never think to discuss, or would just laugh at if they did – hope some are reading your down to earth counsel.

  5. dianaepona says:

    When you make a friend on line, and they write something that lifts and/or inspires you, the words are there for you to read again and again. You don’t have to rely on a faulty memory, or question the voice inflection or the look in their eyes. I can only write for myself, but I would not have a problem meeting anyone I correspond with. If I had any kind of an “ick factor” alert about someone, I wouldn’t deal with them at all. Thank you for finding the time, and summoning the courage, to share your thoughts on this so important topic. And why do I keep humming “Starry Starry Night?”

  6. Thank you for the mention, Hook. You bring a lot of joy to a lot of people and who cares if we never met. Big hug you big lug. Great reason not to off yourself too. Think of the virtual friends left behind.

  7. Doug in Oakland says:

    I value my online friends highly. As an old disabled guy, they make my days immeasurably better.
    You know what? So do the excellent bloggers I read every day. Also, that’s a venn diagram with some overlap to it, so make of that what you will.
    The times when I lost internet access were hard because I do value the interactions with the folks I only know online, but those times were when my “IRL” friends stepped up and helped me get back online (Thanks Sara! Thanks Zsuzs!)
    I guess I have a lot to be thankful for.

  8. StillWaters says:

    You are a valued online friend, Mr. Hook. Please never forget that.
    It seems Bell Aliant will soon force me into the smart phone world. I have promised myself to only get the most BASIC of whatever is required and NEVER walk around with head down texting/e-mailing or frantically hook in to Wi-Fi as soon as I get to a coffee shop or restaurant. As Detective Murdoch might say, we shall see. Wish me luck.

  9. Some days my bloggy friends are who see me through. I get more love and REAL support from those I have met through the blogosphere than I do anyone in social media. I have deactivated my Facebook account for a while because… well, I am just sick of the bullshit! I’m tired of seeing what everyone else thinks is important and horrible posts of horrible things that aren’t filtered. Once you see them, you can’t UNSEE them!! People who say they have all these “friends” are fooling themselves. The ironic part of social media is that the more people you “connect” to, the less you are connected to the “real” world! 😦
    Thanks for shout out Robert… the feeling is mutual! ❤

  10. curvyroads says:

    Virtual friends rock, Robert! I am glad to call you one of mine! ❣

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