Trey Pennington, a well-known social media personality, died Sunday in Greenville, S.C.  The cause of death has said to have been an apparent suicide.

Pennington ran a consulting practice, blog and online radio show. His presence on all of the top social networks, including TwitterFacebook and Google+ , brought many followers and engagements.

If Pennington’s death does prove to be a suicide, what does his last message to virtual world mean?

“Sure am thankful for online friends who are real friends offline too. Love You”

Social Media is a lot of fun but there is an essence of loneliness that lurks in the shadows.  I see it in myself and my children at times.  It just doesn’t beat the old-fashion pick up the phone or meet for a coffee get together.

Depression is a beast.  A beast that can keep us secluded and prevents us from socializing with the outside world. Social Media invites us to live an online fascade that really does not reflect our true living environment.  It can make us feel on top of the world or a small as an ant.

There are times when I’m down and I’ll turn to Twitter for some distraction.  While I’m there, not a living soul talks to me, which only escalates my feelings of doom and gloom.  I leave feeling that no one in this world really does care about what I’m going through.  No one really knows how alone I feel.

Some nights I go to bed thinking that social media is the best venue on earth, while other times, it wouldn’t take a second thought to take the hammer to the computer.  It definitely is not the place to be while suffering or fighting depression as it is a very narcissistic environment.

If Trey was anything like me, I can just imagine the frustration felt, after all of these years online, to prove that he is has something of value to share.  Getting people to listen, without a voice, is a challenge.  Keeping them engaged, is another beast.

So what is the solution?  Depression requires help.  Depression requires strength to seek that help.  Just like a drug, one must rip down the barriers that stop them from seeking help and just do it.  It’s easier said than done to share your weakness to the world while wearing a suit and standing tall.  It becomes an inner battle with yourself.

Trey Pennington’s death has taught me that even though a person has created a wealth of success and online friends, a person with depression will always feel alone until they step back, seek help, and embrace those tangible people who love and care for you.

Of course, this is all an assumption that may never be revealed as truth.  I’m sure many of you can contend, that sometimes social media can be the loneliest place in the world.

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