Publisher Message – February 2020
Facebook was created in 2004, and I didn’t join in until 2009 or so. At first, it was a fun way to connect with people I’ve known over the years, many of whom I thought I’d never correspond with again. It was a great opportunity to follow their current life’s journey. Most posted pictures of their kids, and shared pictures of sporting events, and fantastic shots that made me jealous of their family vacation. It was light-hearted, and helped give a reference to how we’ve all aged, so if we attend an upcoming reunion, we wouldn’t be so focused on seeing a name tag to remind us.
As the years have passed, social media has grown well beyond the original fun. It’s become a vast data gathering source that is out of control. We should have known, because it was set up at no cost to the individual users. It reminds me of the line in Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” And the businesses came in droves. Local businesses found early success in social media, but now it’s become so fragmented, that using this medium alone has many closing at the end of their lease. It’s also become very politically driven by both real and fake news. The saying “buyer beware” has been around for generations, but now we have “reader beware.” It has made me avoid social media, as it’s hard to scroll through all the junk to find the light-hearted side of just seeing pictures and posts of my family and friends.
Social media does have its positives, and a few years ago I became aware of someone who’s truly used this medium to make a huge difference in the lives of others. He’s Officer Tommy M. Norman. He’s an officer in Little Rock, Arkansas who’s dedicated himself to make a difference to those in his community who were struggling. He’s become a celebrity, and he’s made those who he’s befriended celebrities too. He videos his interactions with these wonderful people, such as The All Star Crew, Chris Pickens, Romey Rome, Mr. George, Louis, Miss Emma, and Davey. It’s wonderful to see the power of giving, and Officer Norman has become family to these very important people in his community. If you have time, please check out his body of inspiring work on Facebook. I promise it will warm your heart, at times you will need a tissue to wipe some tears joy, and this is without a doubt, the best use of social media to help a fellow neighbor.
As always, thank you for reading The Park Press, and I look forward to the great things to come.