I did say I was going to write about Ramadan and my Logic, but today there is a change in my plans, a change brought on by a post that made me have to stop and take notice.
I was having my last cup of coffee before dawn when I flicked through my newsfeed only to realize how little we know about people we talk to on social media.
I came to this realization after seeing a post that had a picture of someone I used to work with along with words of deep sorrow and condolences. She was a young woman and a mother of two who had passed away yesterday after her long battle with illness. I realized then how little I really knew about her when I thought I knew her a lot.
Me and this lady shared an office together between the years of 2006 and 2008. During that time we did develop a strong friendship that came as a natural bi-product of spending 8 hours if not more in the same room. Like most women on the planet we had a deep love for shoes and bags and we both liked listening to the Lebanese singer Marwan Khoury. We were young back then and for both of us this was our first job as copywriters in agencies. Prior to this job we both worked in journalism. Throughout the day we would joke together about certain things in the world, and we did share did bits about our families, our friends and even our interests.
We usually went out during our lunch breaks with our other colleagues and we sometimes did make plans to meet on weekends. She was honestly one of the few people I never really clashed with at work, as her calm and collected nature perfectly offset my loud, fiery and sometimes sarcastic tendencies . We were a good team but more importantly, we were good friends.
We stopped working together in 2008 when life took me in a different direction. That year, I changed jobs. I went to work in another agency for an offer that my finances at the time could not make me refuse. I did maintain good relationships with her and with everyone I worked with in my old job but with time we all got wrapped up in our own lives.
Over the years, the 8-hour interaction was reduced to an occasional phone call and later even that got reduced to the likes and comments we gave each other regarding the occasional Facebook post. There were never hard feelings between us but we were just too busy living .
In fact I was thrilled when I saw her wedding pictures on her wall because I knew having a family was something she always wonted. I was also thrilled to see her two beautiful children on Facebook and to see that she moved on in her career to seek greater opportunities.
But, today I am really sad to know that she was ill. I am sad to know that I had no idea about her real story or her struggle, and I am very sad to know that she passed away.
This news made me realize that you can never say you know anyone’s true story if your relationship is online. A post, a like or a comment would never replace a phone call or the words “Hey let’s get together and have coffee” or “Let’s talk.”
Let’s face it, on social media we only give the world the glossy , unintimidating and safe part of who we are, while we only let a few people see our cracks, our falls our fears, our mess-ups, and our failures. I once even read that the people who are really in our lives are those who know exactly what hurts you, they know how to hurt you, they have seen us hurt and yet they choose to stick around.
Whether we like it or not, life is too short to spend it interacting behind a screen. It is up to us to really interact, to give that apology that was long overdue, ask about the person we lost touch with and more importantly we should always genuinely care.
This lady was a great person I wish I knew more and yet she is someone I did have the pleasure to know.
May her soul rest in peace.