Halloween is coming up and one of my online communities on Facebook is having a Halloween party celebrating one of our favorite couples Chrolli. I'm pretty excited to spend some time with my friends celebrating together, sharing videos, pictures and stories. As a matter of fact I'm considering writing some fanfiction for the occasion myself.
I'm very active on Facebook and have come to appreciate the friendships I've developed. Many of them were found through communities like my Chrolli community. I have found some of my closest friends through groups that follow gay couples in the international television viewing audience. I consider myself very lucky to have found them. Especially those I've met through Chrolli (Christian and Olli from VL) and DeRo (Deniz and Roman from AWZ). These two fictional couples from German television have introduced me to people that have stuck through me through some of the most challenging times of my life.
I've also been lucky enough to have people from my spiritual/pagan community come forward when I was suffering. These are some of my few local friends and my day to day contact with them is also through the internet. I interact most often with people, even if it's just sharing pictures and quotes with each other, online. I know I can reach out to them to ask for support of a spiritual and mental nature and they will be there for me and allow me to be there for them.
One of the things that strikes me about social networking and the way I now interact with people is that when I'm tempted to pull away from life, I have these people's influence in my living room staring me in the face. It's harder to cut myself off from others now. That seems kind of counter intuitive I admit, but it's the truth. I've been hurt by people who I considered friends in the recent past and pulled away from almost all my friends because of it. Facebook has kept me in contact with people and has even led me back to people from my past that still care about me. I wouldn't know that they still wanted to be in my life if it wasn't for the internet. I'd be completely alone with just beloved hubby and my kids to count on.
The flip side to this is that I've started to have a hard time interacting with people physically in person. I just don't know how to act - how to talk to people. This is one of the drawbacks I guess. There needs to be a balance I suppose, but to be honest, if it wasn't for social media, specifically Facebook, I probably wouldn't interact with others at all. I'd only interact with my immediate family and the strangers I come in contact with in the supermarket, the farm market and the yarn store.
I'm truly grateful for my friends on Facebook both local and from far away. I'm grateful that Facebook brought me back to my friend Jenn so that I could be there for her the last year of her life. I was also lucky enough to reconnected with others from that support system. I'm blessed, truly.