I was scrolling through Facebook recently and came across one of those silly word cloud generators that a friend had done and allowed to be posted on her page. I noticed that my friend’s “most used words” made sense for what I know about her, but were also all positive words. Surely at some point in whatever time period was being scanned she must have posted some negative words and maybe a curse word or two. But there were none in the cute little cloud.
“Click here to discover your most used words on Facebook!” it prompted. Sometimes I get curious and so despite my hesitation about privacy, malware, and spam, I allowed this site to scan my recent posts, pictures, and comments and create a word cloud of my most used words. The words most used would be biggest and probably closest to the center.
There it is, front and center using the biggest letters – Shawn. Shawn is the center of everything.
My eyes scanned quickly for Lilly. Surely Lilly would be there. Lilly has to be there. I found Lilly. Not in the smallest letters, but close, and on the outside of the cloud.
Lilly the person (vs. Lilly the word) also feels small and on the outside lately. She feels neglected because she IS neglected. She eats, she has a comfortable bedroom to sleep in, she gets to school on time every day. But she does not get the amount of attention she should get from her family right now while Shawn is big and in the middle. We know this. We acknowledge this. We all resent this.
Other words are also notably small and on the periphery. Running. Food.
CHOP is bigger than cancer.
Bill isn’t on there at all.
Who knows what algorithm is used by this program to pick the words and display them in this arrangement. But I can’t say that it got them wrong.
The toll this all takes on the family is huge.