On Wednesdays I like to participate in the #BeWoW blogging that Ron of Ronovan Writes sponsors. So on Tuesdays I start thinking of what I would write about while I am driving to and from work. I ask myself, ‘what made you feel wow this week?’
I don’t always have an answer. But this week I did.
This week Social Media has made me feel Wow!
I know that sounds odd…social media can be quite ugly and insidious. But sometimes it functions as I believe it was designed, to create connections.
We have only been on social media since the end of December, and joined as a means of promoting our blog. What little we have learned about blogging has come from the internet, and for good or bad if you want to have any traffic on your blog you have to utilize social media. So we joined Twitter, made a Facebook fanpage, and I created a personal account as well.
I’m not going to lie, it has changed my life.
Not in a profound ‘I found God’ kind of way or anything, but it has definitely opened my eyes to a lot of different things.
I have learned more about causes I was interested in. I have read some damn fine writing. I have made friends, and connections with real live human beings with real stories.
And they have connected with us.
As we have said before our blog is being written for us (no offense fine readers). We needed a way to regain some control over our lives and our emotions after that power was taken from us. Our family had alienated us to extended family and made their version of the mess public. We sat in silence, only close friends knowing the circumstances for almost four months. Then we decided to speak, not knowing what to expect as a result.
The result has been connections. New connections fostered by social media, old ones revived.
I remember the first interaction, it was from a neighbor that recently had experienced her own personal tragedy. She messaged me offering support, telling me of similar family struggles and just plain offering an ear if I needed it. At first I felt awful. When she was going through her tragedy we were so caught up in our own mess that I never reached out to her. I thought of her often, but never did. Maybe if I had been on Facebook then I would have, either way she didn’t care. She still wanted me to know she was there for us.
There have been numerous other reconnections that have resulted because of social media.
The former good friend that had drifted away read our post and picked up the phone, disregarding the lack of contact for years and said ‘I know you, this isn’t right. Stay strong”
There is the Dad of one of AK’s teammates who periodically emails us to remind us that they are there reading and supporting even if they are not vocal on social media.
The friend/neighbor we run into out of state at a dance competition that greets us with a big hug, then later leaves one of the most touching comments on a post.
There is my 7th grade BFF that comments on our blog with such clarity of the situation that it is refreshing.
The friend I run into at Walmart, that I’m reluctant to speak with because I look as much a mess as my life. But she hugs me, tells me she’s been reading and that even if she or others haven’t publicly commented they are standing with us. They know us, they know S and this isn’t right.
The other friends that don’t really ‘get’ blogging but consistently show support through ‘likes’ or shares.
I could go on. The number of old and current friends that have reached out to us to offer love, encouragement and support because of social media is astounding.
Then there are the people that have contacted us because they have read our words and are experiencing similar things, they say we are helping them. That blows me away.
Last but not least are the connections we have made with fellow bloggers.
True, I have not ‘met’ these people, but I have read their stories, I have formed connections with them. They have inspired me and left me in awe of their talent and their strength.
After the posts my husband wrote this week he was faced with some hateful messages from family. In addition to discrediting his words, they also tried to say some of the comments left by people on our blog meant nothing because they don’t know us, they don’t know them. They are just random nobodies with no relative credibility to the situation.
I call bullshit on that.
These people are REAL. These people have LIVED.
The very fact that some of these amazing bloggers even take the time to read our work humbles me.
When Sandy Ramsey comments on Tony’s post that she is giving him a virtual standing ovation I feel faint. That woman is a fucking SURVIVOR. If she comments that, I believe that she means it, I believe she understands.
Christine Carter is a sweetheart and a very spiritual person. I believe she knows right from wrong. When she says she sees a behavior as appalling, I know it is true.
When people such as Jen, Gretchen, Sarah and Erin share their similar stories with us we know they understand and truly empathize.
When Darla, Crystal, Kimmie, Starr, Lisa or Henrietta reach out to lend support with words, tweets or comments we do not think they are just doing it because they have to, they mean it.
Ray is suffering the heartbreak of being estranged from his children. He regularly reaches out to see how I am, and is always quick to remind me he believes I have a good heart.
So maybe we have not met but that is no reason to say these people are not credible, or genuine in their actions toward us. If anything they have more credibility because they are REAL. Their life experiences supersede many others.
I know I most likely have left someone out, please forgive me. We love and value you all. I do not care if I’ve known you my whole life, or only virtually know you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Your love and support get me through the days that are dark.
Even if that is all done virtually, through social media.
It still makes me feel pretty #WoW.
I hope I can help you #BeWow too