Luddite : noun, a person opposed to new technology or ways of working.
Lurker: noun, a person who lurks, in particular a user of an Internet message board or chat room who does not participate; an observer.
In terms of fashion or technology, my family claims I am woefully behind the times in both areas. They joke I purchased a leisure suit on the last day it was in style. Similarly, they point out how I refused for years to use a cell phone. I hated (and still hate) the ability and/or need for anyone to attain instantaneous contact with another person at any given moment. Over time, I begrudgingly accepted my conversion to the utility of messaging.
I confess that former Luddites can and do regress. It’s like a flare up of a dormant disease. I know it’s 2019. Adapt or face the consequences. Yet I find comfort in my belief that there is something so incredible, so undeniably creative about putting pen in hand and pen to paper, structuring your thoughts to reach out and communicate, connect to another in so reflective and personal a manner. The written word! The letter! The postcard! The POSTCARD?
When was the last time you sent or received a postcard from a relative or friend? Remember the frequent message inscribed on them? Wish you were here.
My wife has shown me the visual postcards she scrolls through on her Facebook page. I read in my mind their electronic inscriptions: Look here. See me. Some draw smiles. Others make me shake my head in disbelief. Since I offer no comments, I realize I am a lurker.
My wife has shared beautiful postings celebrating life: its love, humor, tenderness, longing, accomplishments. I have viewed posts of families celebrating the passages we all wish to commemorate. Look, there’s the newborn, the toddler, the first day of school. There’s someone with their BFF, at their prom, their high school graduation, all grown up with their parents and grandparents. They all seem to say to me, Don’t you wish you were here? How plaintive these moments in time must seem to the families such as the Brucias.
It is ironic that the first platform for Facebook (available only to students at Harvard University) debuted on February 4, 2004, three days after Carlie’s abduction. Her social media presence will always be missing.
February 1, 2019 is the fifteenth anniversary of Carlie’s passing. Wish you were here, Carlie.