Friday, October 28, 2011

Facebook Friends

I recently saw a post on facebook talking about how superficial people were for spending so much time on facebook, how those weren't real relationships with real people. 

I felt aghast at reading those words. Many of my closest confidantes are sitting at their computer as we share conversations daily. 

I met these wonderful women on an online message board for expecting and new mothers. It was the best decision I'd ever made, or best coincidence I'd ever stumbled upon really. When I found out that I was pregnant way back in 2007, I started searching for resources online. One of my first stops was Ivillage's pregnancy calendar. From there, Ivillage suggested I join an expecting club and the rest is history.

We all moved our conversations from a very public, broad place like Ivillage where everything you say is moderated, to facebook. It was difficult at first to decide who we meshed with and who we clashed with, but eventually, we've worked ourselves into pretty good groups. 

I wake up, check my facebook and see the things they've commented on my statuses or in the group posts. We share photos and stories daily. We offer and seek advice from one another. We laugh and joke and tease each other. Sometimes we vent and cry and sometimes we celebrate with each other.

These women were strangers. They weren't real people to me four years ago, but today, after meeting a few, they are very real. And very much a part of my real life. I cannot imagine going a day or two without checking in with them. 

Technology has changed the world, and thus how we interact. I have created more new friendships online than in my physical life (I'm refusing to call it real life at this point) and that's okay. We met in a monumental time of our lives, we had nothing in common but being pregnant or having new babies and now I'm proud to say that while our children are still a major topic of conversation, we are friends because we like each other and care for each other. I'm so blessed to have these real life, real friends.

(This post is not to say that people should go around making friends with random strangers online and then meeting up with them. I invested many hours (days, years) talking to these ladies online and came to knew them on such a personal level that I trust them. Please do not see my experience as something everyone should do. Disclaimer**)

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