Sunday, February 8, 2009

The PA System Called Facebook

I probably should be told to step away from the computer when it's after 2 a.m. and I just found out that a friend of mine is dying. This post might deserve a warning stronger than the swear-word warning--so stop reading now if you are not up for tragic and morose.

My friend has been told she has advanced, inoperable liver cancer and will probably only live another three months at the most.

I found out on Facebook.

Finding out that someone you know is dying on Facebook is like someone breaking up with you on a post-it note, only a lot less funny.

It's like Facebook has somehow become the universal PA system. "Attention everyone in the world remotely connected with (insert person's name here.) We have some bad news for you and we'd like you to read it right along with everybody's minute-to-minute updates about the weather, anecdotes about how tired their kids make them, and the quiz that tells what character they are most like from The Office."

Since there is no remotely good way to hear about something like this, it might as well be on Facebook. It's easier really. When you hear about it you don't have to see anyone except your own reflection in the computer screen. It takes a few hours for this kind of news to sink in and seem real anyway.

Honestly, I'm not sure I would have heard about this as soon as I did were it not for Facebook. I haven't seen her in a while. And I wish I could have just stayed oblivious to this news forever. But now at least I will get to go visit her, and laugh about old times, and try to make up for letting so much time go by without seeing her.

Hopefully soon my head will be clearer, and I will be able to write down some of the great memories I have of this friend. She is one of the most vivacious, energetic, sparkly, and intensely good people I have ever met. Her happy and joyful spirit rubs off on everyone she is around. Her impact on this world has already been spectacular. And that part I didn't have to find out on Facebook.

1 comment:

Bebe said...

Sometimes I think Facebook should stay out of my life. It's like that "friend" who tells all your confidences to the world. Thanks a lot, Facebook. Now leave me alone!