The other day, Facebook’s Safety Check responded to the explosion in Lahore, Pakistan by sending a message asking users in that area to check in and let people know they’re safe.The strange thing is, somehow, those same messages were being received by people who had a) never been to Pakistan and b) weren’t even on the same continent (some not even on the same hemisphere).
While it may have posed a small inconvenience for those who received the message in error to view and respond to it, I think that it was a beautiful mistake. Whether it was an error in programming the code, one person’s misplaced key stroke or that many people somehow were involved, that one flaw, I believe, may have done something good for humanity.
I say that because, for a moment, people around the world paused and might have thought, “That could have been me.” Or perhaps “Do I know someone who could have been hurt here?” For a moment, our international borders disappeared, and we were all just a bunch of humans on a large rock spinning around in space, all of us flawed (even if only a little).
This simple mistake also made us pause and let people know where we are… not only geographically, but also emotionally and spiritually. It helped us identify who we are, and made ourselves visible to others. It showed how we felt about others making mistakes, and perhaps also showed how we feel when we mess up.
Thank you, Facebook, for showing us your humanity. It's important for us to see that even large corporations can mess up. What was great about your mistake is that you owned it, and fixed it. That's a great model for all of humanity, to accept that we aren't perfect, that we sometimes fall short, misjudge or make mistakes. We're not infallible. It's acceptable to make mistakes. We as individuals are still okay when we mess up. We're still worthy.
Remember that the next time you make a mistake.