|Jen talks with a therapist about insufficient Facebook likes|
Every time I fall back in love with Facebook, I am given a reason to dislike it again. This time, I was watching the Discovery Health program Secretly Pregnant and saw the story of a Salt Lake City, Utah woman named Jen who suffered a heart-wrenching still born birth. When she hinted about being pregnant, lost her child and eventually posted the news about burying her newborn on Facebook, she was devastated that almost none of her over 300 Facebook “Friends” commented on the tragedy.
Scarred by that experience, Jen waited until she was almost due before announcing the news again, but not before going through some trauma, therapy and dealing with feelings of solitude from not having anyone to share her pregnancy with. Her therapist advised her to pull up her friends in person and confront them about their absence of response. They cried and some said they just didn’t know what to say. In the end, they decided to be more supportive and get together more.
When the story subject finally decided to post again, Discovery’s cameras were there chronicling her and her husband sitting at their computer waiting for Facebook “Likes”. Surely they started coming in. And when she got an actual comment, Jen beamed and read what the friend said.
Wow. Indeed, we have come to a point in our social media lives where we no longer call family and friends to share and circulate life-altering news. Our fore-mothers and fathers would be rolling in their graves to see how emotionally disconnected, yet still attached we are to Facebook and how needy we are for validation from our so called friends on Facebook. Let’s not forget that many of us have friends on our list who we don’t really know and never ever met in person.
But alas, that is the world we now live in. I empathized and felt for that story subject and was so happy to see that Jen’s pre-term delivered son bounced back from the NICU well and is now a healthy boy!
For those who have cable, check your local listings to see when that episode comes again.