Last week, my parents left for Honolulu for a trip they won courtesy of Wheel of Fortune’s Watchers Club. While they were away, one of their cats – Slate – went missing. He was gone for three days. My brother Matt was upset, as it was his responsibility to take care of the animals.
When Matt finally found Slate, he was wedged in the rafters of the basement. Slate was very weak and dehydrated, but still breathing. When Matt described how the cat was acting – particularly that he wouldn’t drink anything or lift his head – I told him to take Slate to the emergency animal shelter immediately. My husband and I decided to meet him at the shelter, which was about a 45-minute drive for both Matt and us. Right before I left, I updated my Facebook friends on our status: “Heading to the animal hospital in Mechanicsburg to meet my brother. My parents kitty is really sick.... 🙁 “
What followed was heartwarming.
I received over 20 comments of support and kind words from my Facebook community. I even received a message from someone I’ve never met, but lived close by and said she would be happy to meet me at the shelter to lend support. Throughout the weekend, I received emails and messages from people who were thinking about me, my family and Slate.
Ultimately, we had to put the kitty to sleep. It was a sad experience, but that sadness was lessened by the support I received from my Facebook friends.
Sometimes, Facebook gets a bad rap. Some say “I don’t know most of these people” or “Facebook is annoying – who cares what [insert person’s name] did today.” You could argue these things, but I find the people who make these comments are missing the point of having an online community.
Facebook is the first place I turn to when I want to share something. If I need a little pick-me-up, I go to Facebook and post what’s on my mind. If I read something inspires me, I go to Facebook and share that inspiration. If I snap a cute photo, I go to Facebook and load that photo.
Naysayers can create a long list of things they don’t like about Facebook. If I wanted to put energy into it, I could create a list of things I don’t like about everything. But why bother? I know what works for me and I’m going to focus on the good stuff.
I’m grateful for the support I received last weekend. It not only helped me during a difficult time, but it also inspired me to help others in times of need.
Is Facebook your outlet for sharing? Can you think of a time when you were supported or inspired by your Facebook community?