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The Tragedy and Illusion of Facebook

"Things aren't always the way they appear."  No truer words could be spoken following the tragic death of Karen Smith in San Bernardino, CA this week.  She was murdered on her job---in a classroom where she was teaching young students.

What intrigued me about this story was the fact that she and her husband killer, Cedric Anderson were black baby boomers around the same age as my husband and myself.  I was particularly interested in the posts he made on Facebook.  By all accounts, he posted regularly on Facebook about the so-called love and admiration he had for his wife.  He created an image that was clearly contrary to the murderous behavior he demonstrated when he walked into her classroom and killed her.

In a February 27th post, he posted a selfie video and said:  "I love being married to Karen Smith-Anderson!" 

March 11 post, he said: "My wife Karen Smith-Anderson is an Angel!!!"

March 12: He posted a youtube song by Sade titled By Your Side and said:  "I'm getting loved like this! #karen. Thanks Baby!"

But 30 days later, he would kill her for reasons that have not yet been made known---although a family member commented on his FB page that he suffered from PTSD Disorder. The victim's son hinted to police that there may have been domestic violence involved. 

Were there clear signs of mental illness?  Reading through his FB page, one might draw the conclusion that he had a screw or two loose but he managed to masquerade it pretty well with his sweet, romantic confessions of love for Karen.  

Whatever the case might be, three lives were lost (also killed was an 8-year-old student who was being shielded by his teacher).  That's the tragedy and illusion of Facebook.  

Too many people spend their time presenting an image of who they want you to think they are.  They are always more successful, more diplomatic, more sensitive, more reasonable, more logical, more compassionate, more loving, etc in the social media world than they truly are in reality.  And those of us who buy into their "image" end up frustrated and angry because we begin to lament over the would've, should've, could've of our own lives.

What happened to Karen Smith was a tragedy because she was living in the deranged, illusional world of Cedric Anderson.

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