It is a gripping experience when someone your own age passes away. At just 20 years old, my life seems to be truly just beginning and yet, someone else's life is ending. January 21, 2017, a girl I went to high school with passed away. Her name was Matsie. She died of cancer. It was a disease she had been battling for quite some time, but I never thought it would be something that took her life.
We were not close, but we had grown up together. We went through elementary, middle and high school together. We had mutual friends and had known each other. She was a light in people's eyes. She was joyous, humble, kind, generous, and a sincerely beautiful soul. Charisma erupted from constantly and influenced those around her. She was loved by those around her, and in turn, she gave that love back.
She reminded the world that there is good and that we can be the good.
Social media is one of the most evident aspects that involve our lives today. Technology is how we frequently communicate with individuals, whether we are a block away from each other or in opposite states. Social media has made it possible for individuals to keep in touch with the lives of those around them, even if they aren't always present. When I opened my Instagram app on January 21, 2017 and began scrolling, a post about Matsie's passing was not what I expected to see. It popped up on my newsfeed, and I almost didn't believe it was real.
Within seconds, I went onto yet another social media platform, Facebook, and began to see the posts. The images, the comments, the heart-wrenching stories. It was shocking. I had not expected to find out personally, that was not the type of relationship we had. But seeing this occurrence through a digital screen makes it seem unfeasible.
What was the most compelling aspect for me, was that her passing was available for everyone to see. All 1500 of one's Facebook friends, thousands of Instagram followers, individuals who did not even know her, but felt the pain that her friends were experiencing. So while it is overwhelming to not hear about her passing from the specific source, it is comforting to know that there is support from other individuals.
The support from people who didn't even know her, but felt the pain of those who loved her. I went from disliking social media for sending me into a confusing spiral of loss, to appreciating it because it allows for a collection of support to be established. As overwhelming as social media can be, it allows for people to be brought together, comfort to be had, and a remembrance of a beautiful individual to be shared.