In this day and age our relationships look a little different than they used to. Our circle is wider, more extensive, and we no longer have to rely on only our jobs and local hangouts to meet people and strike up friendships. A lot of us are meeting our partners online, so why would our friendships be any different?
I am no stranger to online friendships. For the past several years, most of my closest friends have lived in my computer! It can be hard at times, but I consider myself a bit of an expert at this point. So here are 5 things I know about online friends:
1. They're just as real as face-to-face friendships.
Sometimes people can make you feel like your online friendships aren’t as legitimate as face-to-face ones. But they are! Remember, that’s not just a computer you’re talking to, there’s a real person behind that profile. And isn’t the most legitimate type of friend one that makes you feel supported and loved, no matter where they live?
2. There are tons of different ways to communicate with online friends.
You have a plethora of options with which to communicate, depending on your personality and preferences. Do you like to Facebook chat while you’re feeding the baby? Maybe you like seeing their face, so Skype or Google hangouts are more your style. Or if talking on the phone with little ones is a challenge, the voice message feature can be the best of both worlds. You can post funny stuff on their Timeline. And have you seen the new Snapchat filters today?!
3. Your online friends don't care if you're a hot mess today.
You can talk to them without a bra. Or in only a bra. Or with your hair a mess. Whatever, your online friends don’t care! They’re just happy to hear from you. You never feel like you have to impress them.
4. Online friends are there whenever you need them.
Even if they aren’t always online, having their profile readily available at all times makes it really feel like they are always there. When you’re up feeding the baby again, you can send your BFF a message because you know she’ll see it soon. And sometimes you might abuse this just slightly by treating your messages like your own personal journal... but it’s all good, because you know they’ve got your back.
5. Any time spent face-to-face with your online friends is the sweetest time ever.
On the rare occasion that you do get see your online friends face-to-face, it’s the best. They are SO happy to see you, because it’s been months or even years since you last hung out. Online friends know how to cherish time together because it’s so rare. They never take you for granted and you always part looking forward to the next time you can hang out!
We all need friends and support people in our lives. That need is even greater as mothers. We need people we can complain to, laugh with, cry with, love, and be loved by. They say it takes a village - it’s okay if your village is a virtual one.
Authored by: Brooke Duke, owner of Expecting Baby Doula Services. Brooke is a doula in Ames, Iowa. Check her out at www.expectingbabydoula.com.