A virtual hug back

I hate it that we have to check again whether our relatives or friends are safe or became the victims of senseless violence. Paris, Brussels, you name it. If it is in Europe chances are you know someone. Even if it isn’t in life, chances are you know someone you met online. You may not have met that person in life but tweet or “talk” online every day and a relationship forms. Different, but it is there.

When I am really sad about checking again whether my family is alright, it is ironically those “not in life” friends who reach out first. The Twitter followers I never met, the blog readers who email, LinkedIn connections who send messages, showing that behind the unknown virtual account is a human being. And that they care.

The support I get from those virtual friends means more to me than I can say. It may sound weird to you or even naïve. But receiving an email from a LinkedIn connection simply saying “hope everyone is ok” or a tweet that says “keep me posted, thinking of you” means the world to me.

Why?

Because for a moment, someone else took time out of their day for me. They stopped thinking about themselves and their own issues and made mine theirs.

Because for a moment, they focused on me and the pain my family goes through.

Because with that simple email or tweet they proved that there can be no relationships if at some level, we do not care for each other. Different levels but caring nonetheless.

And I thank you for that.

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