This weekend, several people mourned the loss of a famous social media celebrity, Trey Pennington. Unknown to most, Trey suffered from depression and was trying to reach out one last time before he took his life in a church parking lot. The online world has spread a message of love and loss via various social media channels.
I didn’t personally know Trey but I’m familiar with his work. Depression is a horrible disease and the symptoms are easily hidden. Trey’s loss makes us wonder how many other people are silently suffering and what can we can do as a community to reach out and prevent another loss.
Life is short and all too often we don’t realize how short until it’s too late. In our rush and busy lives, we might forget to say “I love you” or reach out to friends, family, or even a stranger. In honor of Trey Pennington, we encourage you to take a pledge with us and a few minutes out of your busy schedule to acknowledge the people in your life and maybe even a stranger. If you don’t know where to start, search Twitter for “need a hug.” You’ll be amazed by how many people are reaching out and perhaps, all they need is a simple tweet to keep going.
This weekend, I’ve sent out over twenty virtual hugs and a few in real life. That connection has put the “social” in social media for me and I’ll never know if they made a difference but that interaction probably meant more than any other tweet or article I’ve shared. Who have you reached out to lately? Let’s all tweet and pay it forward today.