The Hope of Social Media

Social media has its detractors, but I, for one, appreciate its power to connect us in a way that the human race has never been connected before.Without Facebook, there are personal connections that I wouldn’t be able to maintain, simply due to my limited time and resources.With it, for instance, I am able to see pictures of my adorable baby cousins who live all over the country and haven’t had a chance to visit yet.

I am also able to reconnect with old friends (and their adorable babies) who I also cherish but rarely get to see in person.

I will always take a virtual connection over no connection at all.

In addition to staying closer to friends and family, Facebook afforded me an opportunity last year to send a long overdue apology.

While in Middle School in Philadelphia, I participated in a spate of bullying that I have been hotly ashamed of ever since. There was a girl in our class who my friends and I taunted until she cried.

We relocated to Rhode Island shortly after my plaid uniform-skirted reign of terror and the opportunity to make amends with said girl never presented itself.

I have felt deep remorse ever since.

Then, last year, I saw our victim’s name on Facebook through mutual friends.

I screwed up my courage and wrote to her telling her how terrible I had always felt about how we had treated her and that I wanted to whole-heartedly apologize for our actions.

I was not invested in what her response would be when I wrote.  If I had been, I probably would have lost my nerve.  I just knew that I needed to apologize.

Sometimes things just need to be said.  How they are received is secondary.

I felt it was imperative for me to go on record and take responsibility for being a bodacious “mean girl” in 1980.

So I was prepared not to hear back — fully understanding if she would want nothing to do with me.

In less than a day, I got a response… a lovely and graceful response telling me that she accepted my apology.  This completely humbled me.

She also let me know that her experience at our old school was not a positive one, but that hearing from me could go toward healing this part of her past.

This humbled me even more.

Honestly, I still have not absolved myself for my aberrant episode of cruelty in my youth, but I was honored that this lovely woman and I connected in such a meaningful way.

We shared something I did not expect: a sacred exchange.

Because the act of forgiveness is always sacred.

Even if it’s on Facebook.

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