Social Question

Blueroses's avatar

How has internet social networking helped you in the real world?

Asked by Blueroses (17747 points ) July 20th, 2011

Disclosure: In a cycle of depression, I withdrew from everything in my life. Discarded friends, stopped answering the phone etc. and this went on for months. This isn’t a specifically Fluther question, but I did change because of the validation I found on this site.

I went from an “entity making a decent pretense at being human” to actually feeling connections. That led to my seeking therapy to integrate the connected feeling into my everyday life and it’s working.

So, I see social networking as a valuable therapy/healing tool. Have any of you experienced this?

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14 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Oh yes. Fluther has played an important role in my recovery. I owe it a big debt, I think. I don’t know how it does it, but it validates me on a daily basis. Or rather, it provides a venue for others to say nice things to and about me, and that, along with the other good feedback I’ve gotten in other ways, has played a big role in my escape from depression.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Fluther has helped me connect with people in a way I thought impossible online. I can ask anything I want here and not be judged for the most part. There are the occasional trolls who sneak in, but my experience with this site is 99.9% positive.

@Blueroses, I’m so glad to hear that Fluther helped you, too. I agree that places like this can be healing. There are people here who genuinely care about each other. It’s that caring that I think is key.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Wow, @Blueroses , I read that and fell down Well, metaphorically. You have always presented here as very together, no mean feat with this discerning bunch.
I just wrote a long rambling borderline weepy post, decided it was boring and deleted it. In a nutshell, it helps me sometimes when people from all over like me enough through my thoughts and words alone to help me out if I’m down, and cheer for me when I accomplish something.

marinelife's avatar

It helped me after I moved and did not have physical access to friends. I made online friends at Fluther.

Blueroses's avatar

Thank you guys for answering and validating my question!

@JilltheTooth I sent you a PM but then I thought, if this is an honest discussion, I should bring out some of the gist of that.

There’s a danger in appearing “together”. It separates you from everyone else and you can never feel like you can ask for help, no matter how you might need it.

That was my real motivating factor in posting this Q. Sometimes we see people who seem to have it all together… sometimes we appear to be that person. We are all bailing water from the same lifeboat. :)

atomicmonkey's avatar

I’m new to Fluther, but I can say that Twitter helped me find like-minded people in the small town I moved to 12 months ago. I would never have expected that of Twitter (I joined mainly to have my internets curated) and I never would have found these people without it.

And you thought it was just for finding out what Ashton Kutcher had for lunch.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Of course. Fluther has answered tons of questions pertaining to my real life. Very helpful in countless ways.

I agree that it helps when times are rough, too. Sometimes I feel like I have far more people to lean on and shoulders to cry on in the virtual world, than I do in real life.

flutherother's avatar

Fluther is a social experience, not just a question and answer site. I have not been depressed but I might have been if it wasn’t for Fluther. @Blueroses I thought you were the person that had it all together, that is how you appear to me. I am glad you are getting connected in ‘real life’. I have always liked reading your posts.

JilltheTooth's avatar

OK, @Blueroses , you do know that this means you now have to get wonky from time to time here so we know you’re being honest and not hiding behind your “together” face.. XP

Neizvestnaya's avatar

It kind of kept me sane through a really horrible isolating time. I had moved to a state where I knew no one, didn’t work for awhile, had no car and so the only way to communicate with friends was via internet. One day I stumbled across wis.dm (defunct) and met some outstanding people, several of them became face-to-face friends I keep contact with still. Just last weekend I hung out with 2 wis.dm friends (also jellies) I had introduced to older friends of mine and we all gathered for dinner, some hanging out and what not.

I say be careful with who you open up to, what you share but if your gut feels ok then you can possibly meet fabulous friends, connect them, share them and experience wonderful times, especially if it includes travel.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I got a Facebook account just to do networking for my rewilding group. I ended up meeting my friend who ended up offering me a job. That’s the job in which I teach at the wilderness school. Otherwise, I’ve met a handful of good friends through websites.

blueberry_kid's avatar

Actually, Fluther really helped me learn a lot about myself, the world, and society. Social networking can teach you alot and help you get closer to friends, and help you make friends.

I’m glad Fluther helped you out, big blue!

augustlan's avatar

How did I miss this question? Fluther was my first interactive online experience, and it filled some gaps in my life I hadn’t even been aware of. It got me thinking again, mainly. I’d spent a long time just surviving my days (depression/panic attacks), and even after I got better I just didn’t have the outlets in my physical world for that, anymore. Being here got me interested in the world again, and for that I’m eternally grateful. It revved up my creative side, got me passionate about politics, and gave me wonderful friends (which I hadn’t believed possible in a virtual environment.) Not to mention the job. That was the icing on the cake, really. The human connections were (and are) far more important to me.

I’m glad that you’ve found support here, too. Thanks for opening up about all of this… I think it really helps others to know they’re not alone in their struggles. <3

mazingerz88's avatar

My search for a constant source of both meaningful and senseless laughter is done because of Fluther.

( Wish I could say my search for degrading shallow internet sex is done as well but no, lol. )

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