Grieving and finding your tribe online

Can platforms like Facebook and Instagram represent useful (and at times essential) virtual communities? Or can they can feel like more of a tether than a release in times of grief? 

Following on from my last blog post, I've continued doing research and reading into social media and grief and whether platforms like Facebook and Instagram can represent useful (and at times essential) virtual communities? Or whether they can feel like more of a tether than a release in times of grief.

This article from FashionMagazine.com is an interesting read covering whether Facebook and Instagram can help or hinder the grieving process.

We all process our feelings and experiences in very difficult ways so perhaps ultimately the answer is, both. Social media can be both a help and a hindrance depending on what it means to you.

There are times in our lives when answers to questions don't come easily. When those friends and family around us may not quite understand just exactly what it is we're going through. Even with the best will and most love in the world. So where can we go to seek out that 'new' tribe of people who do understand? Who can truly empathise. Who can offer words of support, or who realise that sometimes no words can help? 

In some cases, we seek out these people online communities and for those moments of complete and utter need, they are there for us. But I wonder, whether this is so fleeting, so non-permanent that actually, it's no real help at all? It's just a momentary lift. A necessary one but momentary none the less. And instead, had we leant on the ones who really love us and want to be our supports, might they have surprised us? Provided the words we needed at that moment? Not sought to fix or help. Just been there? 

However we all choose to use and rely on our social media communities, I think being cautious of who you let in is key. Choosing your tribe and leaning into them when you need them in a safe and secure way.  

What do you think of social media and have you or would you use it as a crutch for times of difficulty? Are there ways we can all use it for its positives and avoid its pressures?

x Jess 



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