You probably remember the story. In order to save her best friend Wilbur from the chopping block, a lovable spider named Charlotte calls a special committee to come up with words that describe Wilbur. Then she weaves these adjectives and declarations such as “Some Pig!” and “Terrific!” and “Radiant” into her web to convince the farmer, a Mr. Zuckerman, that Wilbur is worth far more alive than in the form of bacon on the breakfast table.
Wilbur is uncomfortable at first, saying he’s more of just an average pig and that he’s not really terrific at all, but Charlotte assures him that he’s terrific to her. Soon Wilbur starts believing that maybe he is terrific and even begins to feel radiant and in general that he’s some pig! Consequently others believe it too. In fact, he becomes quite famous—Zuckerman’s famous pig. Yes, Charlotte’s plan works.
“Who wouldn’t want to have a friend like Charlotte?” I commented to Jen after she posted the Facebook status I mentioned above.
Jen responded, “We should all be a friend like Charlotte.
True, of course! I started thinking about all the people I know who are great friends like Charlotte. Then I started thinking about how Facebook and other social networks, can be like a big Charlotte’s web as they make it easy to declare our support to each other. Yes, I know it’s considered cool to bash Facebook, and the negatives are often pointed out, and maybe some of them are true. Facebook can eat up our time etc. But here are a few posts I saw to or about friends on Facebook in just in the last few days:
Happy anniversary, my love!
Love you! Have a great day!
Three cheers for you!
Wooo hoooo! Good job!
Awesome! What are you building next?
You are amazing!
Have a day as great as you are!
You are the best!
Aaaah! Love it!
And a few more:
I couldn’t ask for a better husband!
I have the world’s best family!
I’m there for you.
We’re proud of this girl!
Always remember how fantastic you are!
You are worth it!
How did I luck out to have such a great wife?
Hang in there!
Not to get overly dramatic here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if supportive comments on Facebook haven’t actually saved a few nonfiction and very real lives. Seriously. There’s some amazing power in words.
Sooooo, to all you Charlottes out there, thank you. I know you lift spirits. You’ve lifted mine. And thanks, Jen, for the reminder to be a better and more selfless and supportive friend just like that lovable and very wise little spider. And thanks E.B. White, wherever you are, for creating such endearing characters and for writing such a lovely, thought-provoking classic.