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It's not uncommon for me to see a Facebook friend post, "I'm taking a break from Facebook - see you in a month or two!" They usually go on to cite a busy season at work, needing to focus on their family or a proactive step to curb a borderline social media addiction.
Their post often leaves me thinking that a break would be nice. More privacy, less commotion. Some spare time to pick up a novel or watch that Netflix documentary I've been eyeing. Hmmmm... maybe I should make an announcement launching my stepping away from Facebook-land.
It crosses my mind, I mull it over well and then I don't. I don't hit publish on a status saying my Facebook life is officially on pause.
There is one overarching reason—my friends. Specifically, my mom friends.
Some of these gals, I've known since childhood. We literally went to preschool together and are now moms together. Others I met at the park and dropped my first and last name like a calling card so we could continue to connect online. I've met moms through my blog who I now consider dear friends. We've never met and maybe we never will, but these days, the lack of seeing someone in person doesn't negate a friendship one bit.
More than anything, I have a secret group of local moms who congregate in our Facebook group 100 times more than we do in person. These are my ladies, my fellow warriors. In previous decades of motherhood, I suppose these are the gals I would call on the phone when I had a pestering question or worry. Now, instead of calling just one, I post my concern and almost immediately receive likes of encouragement and comments with helpful advice from 40+ friends who are in the trenches alongside me.
Facebook has closed a gap in communication and allowed everyone, especially moms, to gain support and love on a daily basis.
Without Facebook, without the connection to my online mom world that it provides, I fear I'd be a wandering soul. I wouldn't learn from the articles my fellow mothers share, I wouldn't have constant contact with long-distance mentors. I wouldn't be able to offer a quick, "It's ok. I've been there! You're doing great. Chin up, sister!" I wouldn't be able to join in the celebration of exciting news as fast or offer immediate prayers to a family in need. Facebook has closed a gap in communication and allowed everyone, especially moms, to gain support and love on a daily basis.
But couldn't you call or email or host a gathering? Of course I could! And I do! They're great and I love all those relationship builders too. But if you're a mama, you know how rare it is to catch a quiet moment on the telephone, type a complete sentence or coordinate a play date around nap time. Yet this website of millions offers a quick but meaningful way to gain and maintain relationships.
At the end of the day, I consider myself eternally grateful for Facebook. Not necessarily for what it is—there is plenty I don't like and choose to unfollow or hide—but rather, for what it offers to me in this season of my life.
Through my friend connections, it gives me priceless relationships, wisdom and encouragement. And when I'm able to frequently connect with moms who are walking my same path, I feel empowered and equipped to better care for my children. And so I say thank you. Thank you Facebook for providing me with a venue to improve in my role as a mom. Because of you, I am better.