So I am hoping that this might start a wee bit of discussion but I have been pondering this for awhile now. Can we form real and meaningful friendships from social media outlets like twitter, facebook,and blogging? Now I will be the first to admit that if you had asked me this a few years ago I would have laughed and said not that friendships are the kind where you get together, hang out, spend time together and you can't do that through social media outlets. Well over the past few years my life has changed. I have had children, my close friends have had children, and some have moved away. That has left my circle of people who I get together with and spend time with is now very small (not including the people that I work with). After having my daughter a year and half ago I focused more attention on my blog and the blogging community and over the last six months I have really gotten into twitter. I have met a lot of great people. Perhaps not people that I would refer to as true friends, but dear acquaintances. I have met some who are helping bring me support in my journey to healthiness. People in my real life are either doing their own thing, are too judgemental, or are not interested in living a healthy life style. I needed to seek out support elsewhere and found that online. I also met an amazing group of women who we share a common interest, OK lets be honest obsession, with deadliest catch. From that I have begun to get to know these women and their real lives. It makes me feel like part of a community. This if course is all wonderful....the question I pose is this...is this healthy
I think for me it is. I am a super social person. This is why I love my job I get to work with an amazing group of people and I get to interact with over 100 teenagers every day. Yet now that I am older and have my family responsibilities and so do all my friends, those close friendship although they are still there are just not as readily available as they were when I was 25. So I feel that for me the social media outlet gives me a sense of community and interaction with others. I think it keeps me from feeling isolate. Yet, there is always that piece of me that questions whether these are real friendships....the kind where you truly care about the other person and their life. If i am being honest this is what I don't know the answer too.
Yet, I will say this, one of my favorite activities is in the am before the frenzy of my day starts at work I take a few minutes to check my twitter feed and read a few blog posts. Then at night I check the daily twitter feed and read a few more blog before bed. I feel it is sort of the same as me sending my best friend a text while eating breakfast and again at night while snuggling on the couch with my dog. So what are your thoughts, can our online "Friends" be real Friends?