Disconnect in a Social World

disconnect in a social worldGuest post by LaVonne Long of Long Wait For Isabella.

My best friend has a Facebook page to die for. It is filled with posts about her exciting life filled with family and friends. But recently she admitted to me that she had less than five close friends including me.

As a work at home mom blogger, I am in a few blogger groups on Facebook. In one group, people get pretty personal about their lives, and more than one woman admitted to not having one single in-real-life friend. The members of our blog group were their friends. We may not have met in real life, but since we help each other daily, and occasionally lean on each other, we were friends.

Social Media is the best liar, people. Those exciting lives we see? Not real. As Anne Marie Miller wrote in her book Lean on Me “Independence has created a disconnect. Screens and pixels, people and posts everywhere but we’re so lonely.”

And I know this, and I am still fooled. I still feel jealous. Because like many of you, I am lonely at home with two kids and barely any real connection with friends. You know the true bosom buddy, Anne Shirley kind of friend.

Social media has completely changed what friendship is, and it’s changed it fast. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it is for the better. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media as much as the next mom. But as I scroll through my Friend List I notice that I have 700+ friends on Facebook. But, do you know how many of those are close friends? Not too many. Like four. Four. And after finding out that many of the ladies in my blogging Facebook group had none, I feel blessed. But still lonely.

So this new school year, I am going to be more proactive. I want to connect with other moms in real life. I am now the new Women’s Ministry leader for our church. Not only are we planning social events, but I am going to host a Mom group each month. Because I know I am not the only one who feels this way — lonely and disconnected. Connecting with other moms, even for two hours for a play date, can change the whole week.

I’m also committing to connecting in real life in other ways. I’m going to make plans. Actually set dates. Maybe even get out of my comfort zone, out of my house, and out and about.

I’m also going to try to be vulnerable. Connecting in a group setting is great, but a deeper connection with friends requires you to disclose information about your real self.

Finally, I’m committing to actually putting my phone down when I meet with these women. Because what I’m craving is not an internet connection. I’m craving a real life connection.

LaVonne Long is the owner and author of the family lifestyle blog, Long Wait For Isabella. She is married with two kids. You can find her on Instagram @lavonnelong.

Ali Wilkinson
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Ali Wilkinson

Online Editor at PDX Parent
Ali Wilkinson is the Online Editor for PDX Parent, and is one of the founders of PDX Kids Calendar. She loves exploring Portland with her three small children, especially when the explorations lead outdoors, to music or to ice cream. You can read more from Ali at www.runknitlove.com.
Ali Wilkinson
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  • This is beautiful and so perfect!!!

  • SunshineFLGirl

    Yep – connecting does take more of a personal effort. I think many are reticent to share so much real detail when their “friend” list is made up of strangers. We either don’t want to get that personal with people we don’t know – or we want to impress them. I try to keep my friend list filled with actual people I know – or have grown to admire. I use the “list” functionality to make sure that only the people I want to see the real stuff can see it. As a serious introvert, I’ve learned to be private, recharge in private, and connect deeply in a small circle of friends. Social media is an extrovert’s world that I’ve learned to “introvert-ize.”