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The “BLESSINGS” of Social Media

I wrote this post about a month ago after becoming connected with a wonderful young man in the UK – @JourneyJoshuas (#SuperJosh), and seeing that my friend and Brother in Blue JB held that simple sign reading “I Beat Cancer.”

We posted his picture on our department page and was amazed that 96,000 people “liked” his healing and our prayer of praise for His healing mercy. I have since been accepted into the realm of supporters for this 12-year old wonder boy through Twitter connections as his fan-base continues growing.

My Brother JB hit 263,717 as of this post and my cell keeps buzzing with notifications. The Stretch of Social Media had to be rightly changed to the BLESSINGS, because it is only through the care and compassion of others that so often have people taken a positive action to support two guys named Josh who love and are loved by COPS.

God Bless you both

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I was going to wait till next week to post, but I am so moved that it’s hard not to share. I’m sure that if Beyoncé posts she ate toast for breakfast, her Facebook site records a million likes and comments about what flavor butter jelly. Even after the fall-out for Lance Armstrong, his tweets still draw millions of “followers,” curious how far he biked or swam. That’s the draw of celebrity.

My recent venture with Twitter @ThibodauxChief led to an association with a remarkable virtual gathering of caring tweeters. @JoshuasJourney is a 12 year old boy from the United Kingdom, known as Super Josh among other superhero names. He has neuromuscular disabilities that do not stop an amazing smile and energy.

He is followed by more than 30,000 people worldwide. Plenty of those are cops from everywhere who enjoy doing the gangnam dance to raise money for his care. I’m not even sure what a gangnam is, but I know people all over are doing it for him. Personally, I’ve sent a care package of U.S. Police goodies after making sure with his “Mum” that it was okay to do. I hope the mail gets there before he reads this.

On my side of the pond, another Josh (older than 12) closely associated with law enforcement posed for a simple photograph. He held a piece of paper reading, “I Beat Cancer. 1-8-13.”

I asked the public information officer for our agency to post that picture onto the department’s Facebook page, and praising God for the victory. While our agency may serve a mid-size jurisdiction, we partner with over 4,000 “friends” on Facebook in just over a year.

After about 20 minutes, the PIO said that JB’s picture had 96 likes and a few responses. Within a few days, this simple picture of a young man holding a plain sheet of paper with a three word message has reached almost 90,000 people, with 800 messages of “Amen” and encouragement.

My cell phone notification service has drained my battery multiple times with the constant buzz at each person plugging into JB’s victory over cancer. Yet, because of the stretch of social media, it is not only JB’s victory. His family, friends, co-workers, associates and the soon to be 100,000 plus encouragers get to rejoice in this one person’s life.

If only for the brief moment it took to hit “like,” for JB or “RT” for Super Josh, we are all connected. Two guys named Josh. Two caring people taking the time to share their lives. Millions of caring people engaging in a social media community, that for the one moment it took to respond, no longer cared about bicycles or butter.

That, my friend is the stretch of social media.

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