Yesterday, April 9, 2015, pop megastar Taylor Swift informed the public of some unfortunate and truly upsetting news about her family. Her mother Andrea has been diagnosed with an unidentified cancer at the age of 57. Taylor explained that she asked her mother to get a health screening back in December since she hadn’t done so in some time, only to later find out about the illness. Below is the statement released by Taylor on the popular blogging site, Tumblr.
Just so you know…
I’m writing to you with an update I wish I wasn’t giving you, but it’s important and I’m used to sharing important events in my life with you. Usually when things happen to me, I process them and then write music about how I feel, and you hear it much later. This is something my family and I thought you should know about now.
For Christmas this year, I asked my mom that one of her gifts to me be her going to the doctor to get screened for any health issues, just to ease some worries of mine. She agreed, and went in to get checked. There were no red flags and she felt perfectly fine, but she did it just to get me and my brother off her case about it.
The results came in, and I’m saddened to tell you that my mom has been diagnosed with cancer. I’d like to keep the details of her condition and treatment plans private, but she wanted you to know.
She wanted you to know because your parents may be too busy juggling everything they’ve got going on to go to the doctor, and maybe you reminding them to go get checked for cancer could possibly lead to an early diagnosis and an easier battle… Or peace of mind in knowing that they’re healthy and there’s nothing to worry about. She wanted you to know why she may not be at as many shows this tour. She’s got an important battle to fight.
Thank you for caring about my family so much that she would want me to share this information with you.
I hope and pray that you never get news like this.
Obviously, I am sending my prayers towards her, her family, and especially her mother during this difficult time. Cancer is a difficult disease to battle and to witness a loved one battling it is unimaginable. As I read the release, I thought that she made a wise decision to personally release the information rather than let it get twisted and turned by media. I also think that it was a respectful way to raise awareness about cancer and the proper precautions that are necessary in order to catch the disease at an early stage. It is a terribly difficult topic to discuss, but one that people should certainly take into consideration.
However, the post also led me to reflect on some other ways in which people use social media websites to inform others of less fortunate news. As I did some research, I stumbled upon a Mashable article from a few days ago that DEFINITELY relates to the topic of bad news on social media. You may not believe it, but you can legally send someone divorce papers on Facebook.
Let me repeat: you can actually divorce someone by way of FACEBOOK. What has our world come to?
To dive in to the topic a bit further, its not quite what it seems. The divorce doesn’t take place by clicking some things on the social media site and changing your relationship status. Basically, in this particular case, Ellanora Baidoo, a nurse from Brooklyn, NY, had exhausted all other means of trying to reach her estranged husband Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku. After attempting to reach him via phone and email, as well as trying to locate him through a private detective, Baidoo had really no other options than Facebook. So, when in court, she had to prove that the other more conventional means of informing your partner that you would like a divorce had been exhausted.
Anyhow, this really led me to reflect on where our society is headed in terms of complete integration with social media. If people are beginning to use social media as the main way of contact between friends, family, and in this case enemies, what may happen to the more traditional methods like the telephone? Divorce: will there soon be an app for that?
If you would like to read more about the legalities surrounding what can be served on Facebook, check out the Mashable article.