Sunday, 10 October 2021

Social media can be for the good

and I was reminded of that again yesterday. A friend posted a note saying she was awaiting an "all clear" from her medical team and that it had been delayed. Hopefully it is nothing more than a paperwork delay. 

Her post generated a lot of positive and supportive messages for her. It is the sort of post to which normal, caring people do respond. I added one too because I genuinely wanted to wish her well. 

I know how much such messages can mean. I had some myself recently and they really were so good to hold on to  - they were like hugs in the middle of the night. They are still like that. I wasn't on my own even though I was alone in the house.

For many years my family lived in small rural communities. One place would scarcely have been labelled "hamlet" in English terms. It had a two teacher school. My parents were the teachers. Most of the children travelled in from outlying farms. The "buses" were just vans with extra seats. Those vans also delivered the mail, items from the general store in the "town", and the local news. There was a "party line" telephone service - you wound a little handle to alert the man who ran the post office counter at the general store. He connected you to the person you wanted. He often knew if people were at home or somewhere else. If it was urgent he would try  to reach them at a different location. He could connect several women  to discuss the catering for the annual agricultural show or men to line up the local football team. He knew when a young mother was going into labour and sent the wife of a neighbouring farmer to help. It was a sort of social service - a much needed one.    

In a larger but still rural community people knew one another. The rural equivalent of modern day social media was what we called "the bush telegraph" - that network of communication which could be infuriating because it was hard to keep information private but also so very necessary when people needed help.   

I'd like to think that social media can be like the old bush telegraph - there when people need it most.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cat: your Dad might be interested in this:
which popped up on my facebook today,