Since the start of the pandemic, even those of us who claim to be introverted are feeling the void of human interaction. Many of us are re-evaluating how much we thrive on in person social interactions.
I recently read a social media post from someone who was exploring and asking questions about the value of online relationships and virtual connections. In her opinion the word "connect" and
"online" did not go together.
While I also prefer in person connections and friendships, I have identified four reasons that online community has been a life-saver for me in recent years.
The Loneliness of Motherhood
When I finally landed the job of my dreams by becoming a Stay At Home Mom in 2013, I also unexpectedly became very lonely. I was not prepared for the isolation I felt when staying home to care for a newborn baby through the toddler years. The daily tasks of diapering, feeding, and napping left little time to make in person connections with other moms. However, while I was feeding or during naps, I could always hop online and share pictures and thoughts to connect with others through "likes", and comments.
The Reality of Relocation
Since my early adulthood through parenthood, I have moved four times on average of every 5 years. In my experience it takes about one year to find people you are interested in becoming friends with and then another year to create a relationship. Which means I then had three years left to develop the relationship before I moved again. Relocating can be a hard transition, but from each new move we gained new lifelong friendships. However, maintaining those friendships left behind requires effort through phone calls, text chains, and social media.
The Isolation of Quarantine Life
When Covid-19 entered our world our social lives came to a halt. Even those of us with a relatively slow social life have felt the affects. Since March of 2020, I have had little in person contact with people outside of my immediate family. My social interactions transitioned from the ease of an impromptu coffee dates or dinners to the challenges and logistics of socially distanced meet ups. So I chatted with neighbors on the street, met friends in driveways for a short visit, or hiked with 6 feet apart. Now, a social interaction requires complicated planning. So inside of quarantine life, I am grateful for social media to get daily peeks into the lives of my friends.
The Benefit of Shared Experiences
Because I became a mom through adoption, I sometimes share in different experiences, joys and struggles than my mom friends who are not. There are things they have experienced like pregnancy, child birth, and breastfeeding that I will never experience or understand. There are things that I have experienced like waiting to adopt, an interrupted adoption, and birth parent relationships that they will never understand. Being able to find connections with other adoptive moms online has been very refreshing.
While I definitely miss the spontaneity and logistic free social life from our pandemic free years, I really appreciate the connection that online relationships provide now more than ever!
Hello friends! If these words resonated with you and you too are looking for an online connection, I have a few options to share with you.
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out my page @refuelbylacirichter where I share content on the challenges and joys of parenting while encouraging others.
If you are specifically looking for a group of adoptive moms or hopeful adoptive moms to connect with:
Check out Refuel Community small groups I started in January.
Check out Kindred & Co to join their virtual community of adoptive moms.