Social Media Relation…

Social media is often criticized for fostering unrealistic connections and relationships.  Often it is easy to be lured into a false sense of intimacy and safety in the promise of “friendship” on sites such as Facebook and Instagram.  It’s funny, it is possible to know what someone had for dinner and where someone is at any given time, but that same person may be going through some difficult stuff that no one is even aware of.  Isolation within the illusion of relationship.

It’s interesting, however, when something happens to defy this norm.  I have a few friends that I met way back when yahoo groups was popular.  We all joined a group for moms with preschoolers.  There were only a hand-full of us, but over the years we built a relationship of sorts.  I love these women, and I know that they love me.  In 14 years, I have only met one of these women face-to-face.  Yet this group of ladies have been a support to me through some very challenging times in my life.  I have been able to do the same for these ladies.

This kind of connection is rare within social media.  It almost never happens.  Building a lasting relationship is difficult at best when a person can spend time with another.  Social media makes it so much harder because it is all too easy to only share the good and positive, the unimportant, and to keep what really makes up life to oneself.  It is easy to not share heartaches and hurts, and to only present picture-perfect versions of self.

I am very lucky to have this group of ladies within my network of relationships, but I am also lucky that these are not the only support system I have.  Real-life connection, the ability to hug and be hugged, cannot be replaced by any online relationship, no matter how good that relationship is.  The one lady that I have actually met feels much closer to me as a friend.  I feel connected to her, much more so than the other ladies, because I have spent time laughing with her and hugging her and even crying with her.  I even attended her wedding.  It makes a difference.

Just a thought about social media and relationships.

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