You know what the best part about social media is? The free psychotherapy. Hear me out. Most of the time, when you’re depressed, worried or confused you just need someone to clarify what’s important and give you a moment to think it through for yourself. Sometimes this is harder face to face. Sometimes this is impossible with someone you can’t hide from. Enter social media.
If you’re on twitter for discounts, news and the latest gossip concerning what celeb is eating where and when she’s having her poodle manicured, then you’re missing out on the friendships and communities that thrive in this world.
It’s great for laughs, flirting and killing time, but if you’re lucky, you can actually make a friend or two. If you’re really lucky, you can even fall in love. Don’t laugh, I’ve seen it. I’ve watched people start out in @ replies and end up relocating across the country.
I’ve seen it go horribly wrong too. Someone shuts down their account unexpectedly and leaves the rest of their friends here asking, “What happened?”
Social media can become more than “hey, look at me!” and turn into “hey, how’s your week?” Instead of talking to everyone, you start talking to someone. Many someones. You’ve established “hey, how’s your week?” friends. These can be incredibly strong bonds too. You’ll see people who’ve never met face to face, throw down online to defend someone’s honor. They’ll morn their losses. They’ll rejoice in their triumphs.
“Hey, how’s your week?” friends are the greatest thing to have in your corner when you’re just fighting to make it out of the round. These friends will go out of their way to cheer you up and give you a virtual shoulder to cry on. It’s easy to confide in someone and lend support when you can choose your words before clicking send.
There’s enough trust to feel confident and just enough anonymity to be brave.
Sometimes, putting your problems in front of you is enough. Writing it out to read back and try to look at it from a different angle. Other times it feels good to just share your problems. Blogs can be therapeutic both for the writer and the reader.
“There, I got that out. I feel better.” vs “I didn’t know anyone else felt the same way I do.”
I was dealing with a lot of shit a few weeks back. Without twitter and the blog, I’d have went nuts. Thanks to those of you who read what I wrote, let me vent and offered support. I appreciate it more than you’ll know.
Don’t discredit social media and the online friends you can make or the benefits they offer. Take the time to ask for help. Take the time to offer it.