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 Mehm67, one 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…