July 5, 2010

Sue Jones is my friend.

Facebook says so and therefore it must be true!

I first communicated with Sue Jones when I asked her to come and teach a workshop at my yoga studio in Concord, NH. Sue founded yogaHOPE, an organization in Massachusetts that is dedicated to establishing rehabilitative yoga programs in residential facilities for underserved women in substance abuse recovery, poor and homeless women, and victims of domestic violence.

I read about Sue’s amazing organization in a magazine and I thought – this resource is right in my backyard – she should come and do a workshop at Living Yoga.  So, I emailed Sue and we made plans for her to come to the studio. We communicated by email and then our relationship flourished via Facebook.

On her Facebook pages Sue Jones informs us about her inspiring work with yogaHOPE and she shares stories about her boys, Philip the hedgehog and her new ‘boyfriend’ cam.  She has funny status updates (i.e. dear little birdy who is chirping outside my window in the pre-dawn hours:  I hate you) and she lets us know if she is having a bad day.  The other morning she was having a difficult start to her day  – many of her friends reached out and supported her, reminding her it’s okay to be sad, reminding her she is amazing and held the space for her to know we were there listening, caring and offering love.

However, like the Yin and Yang of life – there are positive and challenging aspects to Social Media….for example… there was morning when I naively logged onto my account and one of my ‘friends’ had a status update that led me to believe she was suicidal. For me, someone who is not her ‘can rush to you in a moment’s notice’ friend, it was truly unsettling.  I don’t really know her nowadays (she was a high school friend – I’m 50 – been outta high school for many moons) and I was left with the agonizing thought – what do I do?  I decided to email her (since I did not have her phone number) stating my concern, asked if she was getting help and reminded her that her teenage children were also her ‘friends’ on Facebook and it would be truly concerning for them to open their Facebook and be a witness to their mother’s post about something so serious. Although this person is on Facebook daily, she actually took several days to respond to me and during the entire time, my mind was racing – was I out of line emailing her, is she ok, what is going on.  When she did finally reply, she downplayed the post.  I think of her often and hope she is getting the attention and help that she needs.

I believe the good aspects of Facebook definitely outweigh the bad. It keeps me connected with my daughter in Asheville, NC, my sort-of-daughter in Greensboro, NC, my family who live near and far and friends who I love dearly and do not get to see often enough. I get to see pictures of their children and grandchildren, I know when they are going to the Stony Pony to see Southside Johnny, when they are at the beach or relaxing at the lake and I know when they are having a bad day and need to feel the love.

I like to post quotes on my Living Life, Making Choices status update and on my personal page I like to share what is going on with my granddaughters.

Today’s quote:  “If you are not in a state of acceptance, enjoyment or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others. ~Eckart Tolle, A New Earth.

Yesterday’s personal update was about my granddaughter: “As cute as Sage is, she can also be, well, let’s just say…. honest…. Sage was at the grocery store with her mom and Jenna (sister), who was giving her a piggy back. A random guy says to Jaime, ‘my, they have a lot of energy’ and Sage (2 years old) responds ‘Not funny, (pause here) guy’.”

Whatever reason you use Social Networking, it’s fundamentally about being connected…. and we certainly can use more of that in the world.

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Maureen Miller  |  Contribution: 4,815