This week hit hard in a way I never expected. My Instagram account was hacked and a social media storm ensued. I started to get notifications from Instagram and friends that something was strange. I was completely locked out with no options to change my password and get stuff back. The hacker started to email me threats and demands. I was sick to my stomach thinking someone could post or send horrible content to friends and followers. After three hours, the hacker made a mistake, I had an update email that I had to translate from Turkish, which gave me a way to hack the hacker back. Password changed and my account back under control, I started to hyperventilate, my heart was racing, tunnel vision, tingling lips, I thought I was going to pass out. I was shaking and in disbelief that my life was returned to me.
“It’s just a social media account. You can create a new one and start over.”
Many have told me that maybe I post too much and check too often. They don’t realize that social media was a savior for me after Clayton passed away. Facebook and Instagram kept me connected with friends. They would check in on me and fill the empty space that Tin’s voice and arms used to fill. A friend was in the room when I regained control. He asked if I was ok and I started to cry. I shared that my social media holds much more for me than fun animal pictures, dancing videos and my widowed blog. My grid holds my grief. I couldn’t hold it back and I just let it out:
“I wouldn’t be this upset about being hacked because I wouldn’t care about social media if Clayton wasn’t dead.” I started sobbing. I felt so violated and angry. Losing control of my account meant I just lost him and myself again. I’ve worked so hard to try and regain me.
Until you go through what I’ve gone through (and I pray you never do), you will never understand the immense stability social media has played in my moving forward. When I was younger, people were expected to take pictures and put them in important albums. Now, we do it all online. My social media isn’t just for “likes”, it’s a reflection of the road I’ve traveled and a reminder that I am strong. On my toughest days I can scroll through my posts and remind myself that I can do this. I can move forward after losing him. Maybe someday I won’t need this tangled widowed web so much but for now while I rebuild my life, it is a safety “net”.
Down here on Earth, technology continues to advance. I keep trying to message Clayton but he’s not responding. Maybe someday we can connect to those who have passed. Until then, does anyone have the number to Heaven…