The PencentralRead all about Song Writers, Script Writers, Novelists, Ebook Creators and more...

Sunday, 23 September 2018 Contact Us

-
Share | Flag |
 
186_4

Social Networking; Is there a larger purpose?

[Society At Large]


Facebook can provide support for those in need
Photo Courtesy of Neeraj Kumar on Flickr

Social sites like Facebook can provide so much more than simply the day-to-day chit chat between old friends.  A closer look at Facebook reveals that the site can be a tool to provide many social services.

 

We all know that every product in the known universe seems to have its own Facebook page.  This makes Facebook a great advertising outlet and a place for people to blow off steam about the deficiencies of any given purchase or experience.  Every movie star and celeb has a Facebook page so that fans can let their favorites know how amazing, (or not) the fan felt about the actor or singer’s last project.  These are obvious uses for Facebook, but what about the not-so-well-known purposes for Facebook?  Can the site provide social services that we would never have considered years ago?  The answer is yes.

 

A few years ago, we lost our 30-year-old daughter.  Of course, I was devastated.  It was suggested to me that I join a group for parents of loss.  Since I’m not much of a go-to-meetings kind of girl, I decided to start my own group on Facebook for parents who have lost a child of any age.  Since that day in 2008, the group has grown to over 200 members.  The service that we provide is important to parents who are grieving the loss of a child in that there is solace in knowing and communicating with others who are traveling the same path as you, and who really understand what you are going through.   At 2:00 A.M., if one of our members is feeling especially distraught and alone in his or her grief, there may well be another member online with whom to chat. 

 

I found that there are many other grief groups on Facebook for those who have lost a parent, sibling, spouse, or even a loss group for those who have lost a beloved pet.  Furthermore, groups can be found on the site in support of any number of needs from suicide loss to alcoholism support.  Alcoholic’s Anonymous groups can be found to support people online who are determined to be sober, and there are groups for children, sibling and parents of alcoholics and drug addicts, as well.  Of course, some groups are much more active than others and it makes sense that if you are looking for a Facebook support group, be sure you join a group that has lots of recent activity.

 

There are also Facebook support groups for those who struggle with medical issues.  There are many groups for diabetes support.  In the case of diabetes, as in many conditions, the newly diagnosed person struggles with a life-altering event.  One wouldn’t feel so alone if others were there who understand how you feel and could lend a supportive ear now and then.  Some sites are run by medical professionals and others are not.  Taking medical advice from a non-professional online can be dangerous, but sharing experiences with others is a positive thing.

 

I was surprised to find few groups for amputees.  I assumed there would be many groups online because amputation is certainly a traumatic event.  I found a couple of viable groups for people living with colostomy.  I can’t imagine how difficult this would be and on line, in a closed group, one could share some amazing insights with others who have walked where you walk if colostomy was a new part of your life. 

 

I also found a Lupus support group.  Again, these life-altering conditions are difficult and one wouldn’t want to face any one of them alone.  There are many groups for people living with cancer, including teens living with cancer.   As a patient struggling with one of these conditions, you become fearful of sharing every, single detail of your frightening adventure with friends and family.  Many people feel that friends can’t deal with their struggle and begin to shy away.  Even family can become weary of the constant talk about illness.  But online friends who are sharing your struggle can provide an outlet for your feelings without having to involve those closest to you when you would prefer not to constantly talk about your situation with those closest to you.

 

Divorce is certainly a stressful, life-changing event and yes; there are many Facebook groups dedicated to those going through a divorce.  I found one group called, “Single parenting, Challenges and Victories.”  I like that.  Sounds like an upbeat group.  I also found groups for single, working moms; not so active groups; I think most of those moms are too busy working and parenting to do much Facebooking!

 

If someone had told me 20 years ago that I would be very involved with people online whom I’ve never met, in a support group situation, I’d have laughed at them.  But now, I not only have my close-knit group on our parents of loss Facebook group, but I belong to and support many other groups with the same purpose on Facebook.  I have made some amazing friends through this loss and have come to know many people whose spirits reach out across the Web to help others in need.

We are interested to know if you partiipate in a Facebook group that might be useful in helping our readers.  If you wish, please leave a comment below.

Links to Facebook pages with important purposes:

Grief for bereaved parents of loss

Judy's Childloss for Mom's

Grief Recovery; my child has wings

Grieving the loss of a spouse

Loss of a parent

Parents who have lost a child

Parents of a child in the military

Living with diabetes healthline

Living with Crohn's Disease

These are just a few links to purposeful Facebook sites. A quick Facebook search will reveal thousands of others, for any purpose you can imagine.

Other Articles by This Writer:

Creating an Angel Memory Garden

Divorce and the Senior Citizen

Salmon Salad; Asian Style

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very powerful topic. I am very sorry to hear about your daughter. My husband lost his eldest son at the age of three. This was over thirty years ago, and my husband never got the support he needed. Each year, that sad anniversary is full of grief and bitterness. I am very thankful that support groups exist now. No one except other people who have experienced the same trauma can fully understand different types of loss and illness. I never knew there was so much support on Facebook, but I think that it is a wonderful thing when people use the internet for such a positive purpose.
Dec 5, 2012
Great topic Shay. Sometimes the feeling of anonymity allows us to be more open to sharing - plus you can log on any time you feel the need.
Oct 1, 2012

Guided Meditation Products