It’s an unspoken rule that you don’t just disappear from social media. You don’t remove your blog or delete your Twitter and Facebook account without warning. You don’t keep those accounts and abandon them.
Why? Because we have made connections.
Maybe I made this rule up because, of course, many people do disappear. But a lot don’t. They announce they won’t be on Twitter or are taking a break from blogging. They often give a reason, too: computer problems, internet connection, poor health, family stuff, personal issues, going on vacation, “just need a break”…
The “social” in social media is strange. I’ll confess to checking on people (discreetly—in DMs or emails) if I notice they’ve gone AWOL, and it truly is out of concern. I’m not trying to pry and yet, I wonder, is this appropriate? I think it depends on your relationship with the person.
Do you remember making me a sugar mountain in college for my twentieth birthday? Doesn’t seem that long ago.
To which I responded:
Oh my gosh! I forgot about that!
I didn’t. I loved it. It’s a very clear memory.
I can’t believe your baby will be twenty today.
I know. I’m going to make him a sugar mountain.
This is making me cry.
Weird what things in life end up special memories. A paper cone with sugar packets stuck on it is forever in my memory and now (maybe) his. See what you did? You started a tradition. I’ll never forget that. Thank you.
I did, indeed, tape a piece of paper together to make a cone and staple sugar packets on it. Why? Because you can’t be twenty on sugar mountain. (Also, we loved Neil Young.) My best friend was leaving sugar mountain and I wasn’t. I wanted her to have a place she could return to if she wanted. That sculpture stayed up in our dorm room like a trophy for months.
I also unintentionally started a tradition. Yesterday, twenty-three years later, she made a sugar mountain for her son.
It isn’t always the big things (weddings, funerals, et al.) that make memories. You never know what will stay with someone, what will become a cherished memory. Sometimes it’s the smallest acts, the simple stapling of sugar packets to a paper cone.
Her last text message said:
Your boys are still there. I’ll remember to send them sugar mountains.
My random thoughts in 200 words or less.
(Excluding the texts—which I’m not counting. Yes, I’m cheating.)