FAWC Winter Cover
Are Facebook Friends Your Friends?

No. They are not.
They will not bring you soup when you are sick.
Virtual hugs are lousy.

Just last night, my husband told me that I should think if I am spending too much time on Facebook.

No. I am not.
I have met some incredible friends through Social Media.

Excuse me? You just said Facebook friends are not your friends.

Look. Nothing beats sitting across from an actual person. Having an actual conversation … aura to aura. I truly believe the power of the women’s circles that I host and am always speaking of has to do with gathering several actual souls in the same room, coming together, connecting and pausing with real live, breathing people.

I met the majority of these women through social media.

Use the power of the internet to connect locally with like-minded people.

Connect across the world – yes, these are called ‘penpals’. We’ve always had them, and they can be a source of inspiration, a resource of fresh perspectives and proof positive that we’re all dealing with the same human stuff.

Visit these people.

Once you visit them, call them a friend.

My first round of Facebook, I connected with old classmates, people who I grew up with or had known along the years.

It made me feel horrible. I was going through some big challenges in life and to hold this yardstick of perfect children and perfect vacations made me feel quite small.

I started to delete Facebook, but instead, I deleted all of my ‘friends’ on Facebook, and I started again.

This time around, I was very selective. And once I put that intention out there, I started connecting with a completely different type.

I discovered Clarissa Pinkola Estes and Women Who Run with the Wolves.

I began to realize that there were ‘Others.’

‘Others’ out there, like me. ‘Others’: sensitive souls who prefer nature to the local mall. ‘Others’: who felt things very deeply and didn’t think of this as a flaw to be fixed but as a gift that one needs to figure out how to best use. ‘Others’ who can be brought to their knees by the beauty of a sunrise, a beautiful song or a painting.

I have always connected through books. Growing up when I felt like a ‘misplaced zygote’ to escape the boredom, the sadness, the anger or whatever felt ‘too much‘ at the time, I would escape between the two covers of a book.

Nowadays many ‘connect’ with Social Media which gives us a glimpse of different ’realities’. There I go contradicting myself again. Is it realty or not?

People project on Social Media:  who they want to be and who they are afraid they are.  They put out their best and their worst. ’Real Life’ usually falls somewhere in between.

Yes, I have created my own little ‘world’ on Social Media. It is filled with some pretty incredible, positive and loving people. Those that are not are easily taken care of by the click of an unfriend bottom. In real life, unfriending is often much messier.

I am not ashamed to admit that Facebook has gotten me through some very dark days and has given me the strength to dig down deep and really look at and figure out who I am. It has given me the most incredible glimpses into the possibilities of thriving in life not just surviving.

After you get that glimpse, be sure to turn off the Social Media.

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are approaching the Winter Solstice, the longest darkest day of the year.

It is a time for looking within.

One of my favorite quotes:

“Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?”

The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?”

“I don’t know,” Alice answered.

“Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Use this time of the year to make your roadmap. Where do you want to go? You have to dream it first.

And then get in the car and go visit some friends. Or better yet, drive to a Women’s Circle.