Over the weekend, Matlock, who works as a freelance blogger for ChicagoNow, received an outpouring of support from her Facebook followers, many of whom do not know her.
That Matlock chose to express her anguish in such a public fashion reveals how some people use social media to release their pain. It’s a form of self-medicating cyber-therapy that shields the user from having to actually face the person who caused their anguish, according to Jaclyn Cravens, a professor in couple and family therapy program at Alliant International University in San Diego whose research focuses on how people use social media to deal with their relationship challenges.
“It kind of depersonalizes very personal issues, so we feel less inhibited to share personal information about ourselves because we can type it up, we hit send and we don’t see people’s facial responses and don’t really have to worry about how people initially respond to it,” Cravens told NewsOne. “We can put it out there without feeling as vulnerable as we would be with face-to-face communication.”
As for Adkins, he would prefer a more personal discussion and even invited her back for a visit back home.
“I want to do whatever I can to help her, and if it’s acknowledgment that she wants, I’m willing to give it to her,” Adkins said. “I responded to her in email today and I simply said, along with my other children and my wife, come to Memphis, let me introduce you to the entire congregation.”
Given that her open letter has been shared more than 5,200 times since it went live last week, Matlock may have already gotten the recognition she wanted and shows no indication that she would even be interested in making a trip. The ending of her letter says it all:
“So to a man who is a stranger and yet my father I say this: “Go to hell.” But, he’s already there, isn’t he?”