The Truth Is, Social Media Produces Real Relationships, Even Heartbreak

Based on everything happening in the company today and tomorrow I had not anticipated to blog today. I am completely slammed with the launch of our new technology on Wednesday, but some things are just too important.

As I sit here in tears I can barely write. Last night a good friend’s husband passed away from cancer. She called my mother last night when it occurred and I found out a short time ago. Over the last 9 months I watched and prayed as this battle wound up and came to a close last night. I am completely overwhelmed and feeling the pain that comes with loss and seeing someone you care about hurting…

Here’s what you don’t know. This friendship was totally and completely one that began in the social graph. Yes, a very close friend I have never met in person.  Someone I have grown to love as a sister. Someone that has shared the most difficult part of her life with me and mine with her and her husband. A bit dramatic for you?  Too bad!

As my friend kept me posted via Twitter DM’s and Facebook messages, the prognosis continued to degrade as the doctors tried one thing after another. Being asked for prayer from someone you care about is an amazing thing I do not take lightly. My family even got involved in the situation as my “prayer warrior” mother exchanged phone calls with this friend. Praying, supporting and just encouraging the two of them as they faced the inevitable end.

So this morning I posted the following across my social graph: “A good friend of mine lost her husband to cancer last night. Life is very short my friends. Live with no regrets, Love like it’s ur last day”.

My challenge to you today is to take this medium seriously. It is about business and ROI but that all comes through relationships. Be a human being. Care for and help others daily. Just as in real life, you need to be human and establish true lasting relationships. THAT is what makes social media so effective, fulfilling and dynamic.

I love you Cheri!!!!


9 thoughts on “The Truth Is, Social Media Produces Real Relationships, Even Heartbreak

  1. A deep experience you wrote about and I want to let you know, my thoughts are with you and your friend.
    What your wrote shows us not to forget the humans behind the numbers of followers – not the number is relevant, the humans behind are. And there is no real need to have thousands – a few with a real connection to are enough.

  2. When two lives are meant to intersect, there will be a way. Even in today’s lifestyle and social arena, two people or more can come together as one. But what I’m amazed at is that that one person found you, and that now we all get to share in the lesson.

    You are a great man of character, Robert. Thanks for being there. And thanks for sharing.

  3. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend Robert! You touch upon a very important subject and that is our online relationships that we develop with others. They are equally important as our face to face relationships are. I hear so much negativity about relationships with virtual friends or a dismissing of them. Not so! So many people come along on our life path in different ways. It’s obvious Cheri was such a person that crossed & touched your life. Thank-you for sharing your story here on your blog and reminding others that all those people in our lives no matter where they are or come from mean something! God Bless!

  4. Thanks @sarassoaps – I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. I too enjoy multiple online relationships that are intimate connected to my life. I talk with many of these people more than my own family members. Some are even like family! (One of my special online connections is @sarassoaps, who told me about this post.) Thank you for pointing out how much richness and intimacy technology adds to our lives when we remain open to the possibilities. May your friend rest in peace, and may his family be comforted by friendships — the virtual and the physical kind.

  5. Robert, thank you so much for writing this. You are a blessing in my life as if your wonderful mother Mary Ellen. I just spoke with her by the way as she prepares for the major back surgery the doctors are about to do. Your family is now a part of my family. And to think I have social media to thank for this actually boggles my mind. But then why wouldn’t this medium be just another tool God can use to unite His children? All good things do come by way of Him. Just to add a particularly personal note, Tom knew Mary Ellen was “the cute guy’s” mom. My special descriptions were how he kept everyone straight in his mind when I talked about my friends on Social Media. I thought this might make you smile. Love you Robert.

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