“18-year-old high school student, Ashley Billasano did not show up to Rosenberg’s BF Terry High School on Tuesday morning. She had taken her life the day before, after taking to her Twitter page to air out all of her personal demons. The young girl had allegedly been sexually abused by members of her family and received no justice for any of it. She posted 144 times over the course of 6 hours on her Twitter page, which has over 500 followers, explaining how she had been molested and forced into prostitution, before committing suicide. No one stopped her. Even after one of her final tweets stated, “I’d love to hear what you have to say but I wont be around.”” – www.therundown.tv

This story horrifies me. It also convicts me as to how I truly am using social media in this headline nation.

Do I ever take time to seek to read beyond the tweet? Do I look for signs in others by way of their tweet feed that might scream… “Somebody please listen!!!”??

I quoted recently that 50% of communication is listening. Frankly, I think it is a lot more.

If we are not giving ourselves time to listen on social media, then why would anyone want to spend time listening to us?

I talk about this in my class with regards to the humanization of social media and that we think social media can be a waste of time, yet sadly for her it was because too many of us were talking and not listening.

Now I am not placing blame on you, me, or anyone else. I am not even wanting to play the guilt card. However, what I am asking is this… how much listening do you do on social media? And when you do see something that stands out, do you ask the question?

Are you okay?

Do you realize the power those three words can be to someone like Ashley?

Sure, people can say all they want about how social media is fake and a waste of time. But, for those with ears to hear and eyes to see… it can be life saving. This is not some big sim game. For many, it is life or death and a cry out to somebody… anybody.

Do me a favor and take a long hard look at that picture of Ashley. Do you feel what I feel?

Be hope to somebody today by noticing them and listening to them. Who knows, in doing this, you might just save a life.

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