The Bright Side of Social Media

Social media gets so much bad press on a daily basis and yet it is a thriving industry. Is it really all that bad or could it simply be its prolific use that makes negative press somewhat inevitable?

I confess that I am not very techno savvy and my use of social media is limited mostly to Facebook, despite having  Twitter and Pinterest accounts. Have no intention of going near Instagram, Snapchat or LinkedIn as I don’t feel drawn to them. Having used Facebook since 2005, I have developed a bit of an addiction to it and have been tempted to leave it at times. I do review my privacy settings regularly and I try to post astutely. I believe this helps me to continue having a very positive experience with it.

Being a member of some motherhood type private groups as well as special needs private groups is invaluable in terms of information gathering, support and journeying in friendship, through the playground of life. I couldn’t possibly chat about them all in this post but I would like to share something about one of the motherhood groups. I could say similar things about the other ones as well.

These motherhood friendship groups all originated from the same place; WeddingsOnline.ie. We used to refer to ourselves as “Wols” or “Wollies”. We came to know each other through sharing the ups and downs that are all part of preparing a wedding and honeymoon. Our journey together continued and evolved as we began our families and supported each other through pregnancy. After this,  certain members came together on Facebook and the private groups were born.

One such group could be likened to a rare and precious gem. It is a rare platform of confidentiality, respect, support and friendship that has stood the test of time. We come together as a group of friends to share joy and sorrow as well as everyday laughs about our children, moaning about our “suffering husbands” and sharing parenting tips that can benefit us all. With affection, we refer to ourselves as “Bobbles”. I don’t consider myself arrogant, but I would be confident in making a bet that nowhere in Ireland or even the world will you find a group of young women as strong, as good-hearted and as fun as the bobbles. In terms of the Olympics for friendships, we are right up there on the podium and if life ever takes a dystopian turn and the Hunger Games come to pass, then say no more. The bobbles have it sorted.

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This friendship is not confined to our tablets and smartphones. We do our best to organize nights out for us moms and meet ups for our kids too. Sometimes we organize gift swaps when it is back to school season or early in the new year or maybe generally when there is a feeling that people could do with some cheering up. This works like a Kris Kindle event and is great fun.

Illness and recovery, death and grief are only some aspects of life that have touched our lovely group on a frequent basis. They are what make us a strong and caring group of women. Thank you bobble friends for all you bring to our group. I cherish all the rich experiences we share. They make me a more grateful mother and friend and teach me when I can laugh myself silly and when I can allow myself cry with you all.

So there you have it. Social Media is not all bad. I just hope that there are many more groups like Bobbles experiencing life together. Some days are like a seesaw of ups and downs, a merry-go-round of emotions, a climbing frame of challenges and struggles and other days are like flying down the slide without a care in the world. No matter which, we are all constructing valid friendships within the playground of life.

 

 


6 thoughts on “The Bright Side of Social Media

  1. I completely agree. I wrote about this for the Examiner a couple of months ago and interviewed members of a group similar to yours. They’d met five years ago on Rollercoaster, then moved to a closed Facebook group, and 35 or the original 40 are still there chatting every day. I think Facebook groups are a wonderful support, and as someone said to me, your best friend might not appreciate a 7am call if you child was up all night, but there’s always a listening ear on Facebook.

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  2. I agree Grainne – social media is a pain and can be addictive and most of it is probably silly but – it helps people keep in touch from afar and know what is going on. When my hubby was in Lanzarote for 6 years I was in Ireland visiting for the summer and Christmas – we had 5 minute phone calls. It would have been easier if skype and other social media was around. And that was only from 2003 to 2009! I am also on some forums which give great advice and support. I think the thing we need to be aware of is that not everything that is said may be true and there is no replacement for face to face contact.

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