simple mom banner

A support system… in social media

avatar
by Prerna Malik

Living in India with a heart that wishes to see the world, Prerna works with her husband, bakes with her daughter, shares her life at The Mom Writes and frees up time and creates content and community for time-starved entrepreneurs at Social Media Direct.

It had been a long, long day. Talking to clients, dealing with deadlines, heading to a play date, and the usual routine of making dinner, cleaning up, pretend playing, and reading with my 5-year old. I was exhausted, and so was my husband.

We work together and sometimes, we need a support system other than each other.

For him, it is tennis.

For me, it is social media. Seriously.

I am all for switching off and meeting people in real life. But when real life gets so busy for yourself and for others, staying connected and seeking support in communities of other women and moms who “get” you is SO good for the soul.

Social Media is…Social

I’ve found encouragement in Facebook groups by women I’ve never met, when the going gets rough.

I’ve been inspired by the blog posts I’ve read by moms who’ve got way more on their plates than I do.

I’ve smiled and laughed at the fun photos on Pinterest and Instagram.

I’ve chatted and Skyped endlessly with supportive mentors and friends {whom I haven’t ever met!} about business and life.

I’ve supported causes and cheered on folks who’re making a difference.

I’ve celebrated birthdays and mourned losses.

Social media, for me, is social, engaging, interactive. Just like a coffee chat or a lunch with my girlfriends.

Social media saves me time and helps me get my groove back without me having to think about planning a coffee date keeping in mind everyone’s schedule.  I can get into bed, once the chores are done, switch on my laptop and find laughter, support, wisdom and warmth.

Social Media is What You Make Of It

Since my “business” is being on the web, I am on social networks way more than others and have come to realize that, like most things in life, you can make social media what you want it to be.

You can view it is a community of supportive voices or a clamoring for attention.

You can choose to stay plugged in all the time or switch off every now and then.

You can decide to share every.single.thing or only those that are important to you.

You can make the choice of being everywhere or participating only in forums that feel natural to you.

Like “real” social support systems, social media is what we make of it.

What about you? Do you use social media as a support system?

Join the Conversation

Like This? Subscribe for free and have it delivered to your inbox.

Comments

  1. I agree, social media can be so fun and also SO helpful, after a long day with little ones. Also, I think “real life” relationships are super important. Face to face, in-person words can never be replaced with friendships over a computer.
    As a Mom of 3 little ones, I love the outlet that blogging has given me. It’s the perfect fit. I also love the Moms that I know in real life. Both are great!

  2. Right now, social media is really an extension of real life friendships. But as my blog grows and I grow my online community, I know there will be as shift. I’m looking forward to it!

    • Yes, NJ! And that is one thing I love about my blog.. The community that centers around it.. Just SUCH a delight to learn, grow, share, “talk” :-) All the best with your community building!!

  3. I absolutely agree about the support system. I have met 4 different blog friends this year “in person” who I’ve known nearly 5 years and we couldn’t stop talking. We became friends through our words and social media.

  4. I couldn’t agree more. ;)

    When I first became a mom, most of my social interaction happened in real life at playdates and classes. But as my kids have gotten a bit older and I’m working more and more from home, I’m finding that my online friends know a lot more about what’s going on with me than I ever would have imagined. I’m very grateful for friends both far and near.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Yes, Lane.. That is also one of my main motivators.. Being the only one with a 100% online business, interacting with women who “get” what my business is helps me deal with the stress and the overwhelm:-)

  5. I really like your message that social media is what you make it. I have found that scrolling through my personal Facebook newsfeed doesn’t leave me with the same positive feelings or “boost” that reading through fellow bloggers posts on my Bloglovin feed so I have cut out the mindless Facebook perusing. I prefer Pinterest, Instagram and my blog’s Facebook newsfeed for getting inspiration and entertainment!
    xo Sally

    • Hi Sally! That is so true.. You need to find your “right” online community and then, get nurtured by it.. If it leaves you feeling exhausted and in a “not-so-happy” place, then it is essential that you step back.. Glad to hear you’ve found your online happy places!

  6. Facebook is for me like my main way of communicating with others rather than by text or calls. I arrange hangout times for my children through Facebook messaging. Arrange runs with my friend through the messaging area. Share personal prayer request through a small facebook group of close friends. I will shoot the youth minister a message that my boys won’t be able to make an event, or ask so and so if they can cover me in the nursery this week. So I have to agree Social Media is what you make it.

  7. My personal FB page is my outlet. All my friends are there, I feel like it’s one big party and everyone is hanging out together. My blog FB page is okay, too. But more introspective about whatever topic we’re discussing.

    Scrolling through my blog reader replaced magazine reading for me. And I don’t watch nearly the amount of tv that I used to watch.

    It’s Twitter I can’t seem to get a handle on. Every time I log in, I’m barraged with hundreds of “Look at me!” tweets and once I get through them, 140 more have popped up. Its too much for my brain to take in. Yet, I still log in. I just don’t get the warm fuzzies like I do after reading Facebook.

    • Andee, yeah, my blog reading totally replaced my magazine habit:-) Saves money too!

      With Twitter, you could consider making lists of people who you like following or probably join a Twitter chat that centers around a topic you’re interested in.. I’ve found them to be great at meeting like-minded people who I’ve gone on to connect with beyond Twitter then:-)

  8. I love this piece! In the barrage of posts about “unplugging” from devices and guilting us moms for not doing so, it comes as a relief to find myself in good company among those who enjoy genuine social media connections. The need for adult contact can feel so extreme at times for a stay-at-home mom and blogger. The kinship I have discovered through social media is a wonderful outlet. My different and varying interests get met conveniently within my space, at the times that agree with my schedule. Bravo for acknowledging how the social media sisterhood feeds the soul!

  9. I agree that social media is what you make it. And it is called social for a reason, I love that I can get some ‘grown up’ conversation through reading blogs, have my thinking challenged, broadened and refreshed through reading about others’ lives and then interact with them.
    Instagram is one of my favourite refreshers/interactors but it’s been fun to take the whole experience one notch further into personal email.

  10. I think social media doesn’t get very social in real life for us extreme introverts…the thought of meeting a on-line friend irl….nerve wracking! but I’d like to try….

  11. Personally, I get so much more out of real life relationships than I do from social media. I have a Facebook account, a blog and read a bunch of other blogs, but most of the time I feel like I am just observing (and liking) other people’s lives, and they do the same. Yes, I interact, but there’s not usually any real fellowship happening.

  12. While I love spending time with my family and friends in real life – social media add another layer of relationships for me. Like you, I enjoy getting online and connecting with others whom I’ve never met. For instance, I have friends all over the country and even a couple in Wales and Australia.

    It’s not that I’m addicted to social media, but when I’m at home with the kids (ages 5 and 11 month) it definitely helps relieve a little stress and helps me feel connected to the outside world!

  13. avatar
    Kelly Pietrangeli says:

    I loved this post! It gave me permission to drop the guilt over my love of Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and blogs. I also have a very active ‘real life’ social world, but in my downtime – like right now, I often prefer a bit of social media than watching telly. What I do need to watch is the multi tasking of social media WHILE watching telly which is just silly really!

    • Thank you, Kelly! So glad you liked it and yes, I totally understand the feeling of guilt.. Early on, I used to feel the same way but then I realized that connecting with other moms and entrepreneurs made me a happier person, which is really, really good:-)

  14. So very, very true! For me, social media is like own personal office water cooler. It’s the adult conversation when I’m surrounded by children. It’s a nugget of wisdom when I needed it the most, or a laugh on a hectic day.

    And sometimes, I’m touched at how very real a “virtual” relationship can be. Ladies in Facebook groups that I consider to be dear friends (you included!). A lady who I’ve never “met”, I’ve helped through a bad marriage, and later consoled when her husband ended his life.

    This was a wonderful post Prerna! Yay for support networks. :)

  15. Social media is a big part of my life and has been since trying to conceive my first-born about 10 years ago. The women I’ve met through social media are like my sisters. They are my main parenting support network and they know me as well as my “real life” friends, if not better. You understand this and explained it up perfectly. Thank you.

  16. Hi Prerna,

    Social Media became a vehicle for me to stay in touch with family and friends in other countries and to share my kids milestones with them. However it evolved into my new career and I love it. Serendipitously I landed a Job in news where I got to use my journalism background, merging the newsroom and social media.
    Today I get to help a non-profit get the word out, engage their participants and partner with new constituents. Social Media is a very important for calls to action in Social Justice issues and it’s not only for the so called Social Media Generation.
    I would love to pick your brain more on the subject. You do an amazing job.

  17. I’ve just started a new blog about healthy living that I am really enjoying! I connect on google+, pinterest, twitter, and very little face book. I love the support I get from the communities at google +. Being able to share and connect with others that have the same interests is really fun. I do like building new relationships and helping each other along the way :)

    • Awesome Lynda! The “helping each other” part is SO important for creating positive communities that support each other.. Love that you’re doing that! All the best with the new blog!

  18. I don’t have kids, but social media has been a wonderful buffer after moving to a new city. I can keep up more with old friends, and have some”deeper” conversations that I don’t know anyone well enough to have yet in my new home town. Of course I’m also trying to build new friendships here, and keeping up with old friends over the phone, but FB/blogs have helped curb the loneliness and kept me sane in the transition! :)

  19. I use social media for my work to and at first I still used it to unwind and chill out after the kids had went to bed. But now that my work is getting so busy I have realized that there are parts of it that are no longer helping me to unwind. Generally now to unwind I either read blogs or read books either and actual book or an ebook. If I find a blog post that I want to share I usually just save it and share it later.

  20. Magnifique post, continue de cette manière

Speak Your Mind

*