I don’t want to start this blog entry with the typical, “I couldn’t believe my eyes” statement. That’s trite, right? I’m a writer. I should be beyond trite.
But I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Within the past few months, I’ve seen things on social media I never wanted to see.
So, I thought I’d write a little note to anyone who cares.
Dear social media friend:
I love your posts, for the most part. But lately, there have been a few instances in which I’ve wanted to reach through my computer screen, grab you by the shoulders and say: “For Chrissake, put down the damn camera!”
To the unnamed person who was posting as her spouse was being loaded into an ambulance to be rushed to the hospital for chest pains: Honey. Put down the damn phone. Your husband could be DYING. At the very least, he is in extreme pain. This is a moment you need to be in, fully, no matter how hard it is. To even consider taking a photo to share with the world when your husband could be between life and death stymies me.
To the peach who sent overly bloody photos of her child’s emergency room visit: Oy. Just, oy. Your son is less than 10. He may look brave but he’s bleeding all over the stinkin’ hospital floor and looks quite pained. Let me say it again: This is a moment you need to be in, fully, no matter how hard it is. He needs you right now. Your arm around him. Your comforting words. That worried, yet reassuring mom gaze that we all craved when we got hurt as a child. Why are you informing us of what happened instead of tending to him? We can wait. Honestly.
And, to the exhibitionist who decided sending us a pic of her daily fertility shot was a stellar idea: No thanks. Your fertility is your business. Really. No, I insist.
I could go on. Unbelievable, right? There are more. But I won’t.
I’ll just say this one last thing: Your camera should not be my lens. Not all the time. Show me your pics of Rome. Show me your daughter proudly displaying a well-won trophy. But in the critical moments, good or bad, just BE there. For whoever you are with. For whoever matters to you.
Now, it’s time for me to exit this little blogging window to the world and get back to living in my real physical world. I have a son I’ve missed who is coming home from a trip and I’ll want to greet him with all of my attention. I have a real, live in-person meeting with a friend. And, separately, a difficult goodbye to get through.
That last real-world event is one I’d like to skip. Or, at the very least, to have support during. But, I promise I will not videotape it live for your viewing pleasure.
Some moments are just meant to be lived, not recorded.
Words to live by. Emphasis on “live.”