The National Post reported last week that if Neanderthals were around today, they would use Facebook. Very little separates us from the socializing patterns of prehistoric man. I have been thinking about that a lot lately. I am at home levelled by some extraordinary pestilence that has robbed my speech. I have always thought that sight is the most precious of the senses, the most devastating to lose. And while speech isn’t a sense, I am putting it high on my list. The isolation that comes from the inability to reach out and talk to one’s friends and associates – or even emergency services – creates a frightening vulnerability, one I don’t want to repeat any time soon.
I don’t think I have ever loved my keyboard more. And nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming response of my social network; my friends were remarkable. BF Danielle kept me supplied in chicken soup, scrumptious dinners and other comestibles. When my brother heard I was ill he threatened to bring in the light brigade. Clients like Beth-Anne Perry were understanding when I cancelled attendance at a major launch event for Glenfiddich Cask of Dreams; not a complaint from hotelier Mickael Damelincourt despite the Trump Toronto opening just around the corner and journalist Beppi Crosariol kept me amused via email.
But perhaps what blew me away the most was the way the team stepped into the breach. My absence was compounded by necessary leave for Senior VP Christine Picheca. Certainly January 2012 is one of our busiest months ever and last week was particularly so. But the team didn’t miss a beat. Everyone stepped to plate in a way that makes me very proud and very grateful (also told me a lot about my sense of my own importance around here!).
It has brought me to a deeper understanding of social networks, friendship and connection. I won’t be joining any bison hunts for the next little while at least, but I think the time has finally come for me to embrace facebook and other social network forums. Certainly don’t want anyone linking me too closely to my Neanderthal forebears – yes, apparently my red-headed gene comes from them.