I have really felt blessed/lucky the last several months to have met so many women through my blog and Instagram. We are connecting on so many levels, and SO well. But the downfall to this is that women connecting online is outpacing real life connection.
For instance, I’ve talked with many women about how genuine our connections feel. I’ve never met these women. Most of them live half way across the country, some live half way across the world. Yet, we have so many things in common. We are looking for our tribe, and luckily most of us have found and/or created these tribes of women online.
The lack of real life connections seems to be a common thread in all of these groups. Women physicians, stay-at-home moms, moms in business are all struggling to make deeper connections or to find their tribe.
First of all, I think the serious mom judging that continues to happen on a daily basis is a major player. Are we just more willing to look the other way when we scroll through Instagram? Are our personal biases more obvious when we can’t control the look on our face? Do we think about what we are saying before its said when we are typing it out? I’m simply not sure.
On the other side of that, I feel many women have fallen prey to internet trolls that mom-shame for any reason. We are constantly bombarded with shame. We are shamed for vaccinating or not vaccinating. We are shamed for what we feed our children. We are shamed for breast feeding in public or bottle feeding. We are shamed for putting our children on a tight schedule or not scheduling them at all. We are shamed for the clothes we choose, the cars we drive, literally ANYTHING.
Are we just not trying as hard when we do put our phones down? Are we anxiously awaiting the next time we pick up our phone and make a new connection?
Do we crave that next “like”, that next comment, that next way to engage? These opportunities do not arise as often in person. We are busy watching the road (I hope), or talking to our family, or making sure our children aren’t actively attempting to off themselves, or working, or eating. I wish it was that we are just too busy enjoying the simplicity of our surroundings–a beautiful sunrise, a peaceful sunset, or a starry sky.
Is it simply that we can connect at all times of the day, every day when we are on Instagram and Facebook? Real life connections take so much effort. We have to plan the time to connect. We have to put it on a calendar. We have to organize. We have to find something we all enjoy as an activity to bond over. But we are all actively enjoying scrolling through Instagram in our jammies with a glass of wine after the kids go to bed–so we already have something in common.
Does It Need to Be Fixed?
I’m not sure that this is really a problem. Yes, many of us comment about children/teenagers staring at their phones rather than talking to the person next to them. But maybe they better equipped to be their AUTHENTIC self with someone that’s not right in front of them? Maybe they can be more open and honest about their feelings if they don’t see the immediate non-verbal clues of disappointment. Maybe that’s what I found on Instagram and my blog and why I’ve found a tribe of physician moms, a tribe of stay-at-home moms, a tribe of moms with wonderful side gigs, and a lot of tribes that are supporting me in my daily life.
Can We Recreate Genuine Connections In Real Life?
I remember when we used to be warned as children about meeting someone you met online. The Craigslist Killer, anyone? When we are making these connections with people, we obviously still run the risk of meeting someone that is a complete impostor. We run the risk that we are the impostor. What if they find me out? What if my introverted self doesn’t let that fun part of me shine through? This is something I willing to test out. When I’ve met people of whom I’m already a major fangirl, it’s gone so well and been so rewarding. Hence, this is why authenticity is so important in your daily life–and your social media life.
Just my two cents today.
Do you want to connect? Would you like to be a part of a virtual meet-up?