Thursday, July 21, 2011

Because it Normalizes Us

Today I put on my facebook status that Dominyk had found an Iphone/Ipod/Ipad app that says "That's what She said" 100 different ways. A friend of mine commented, "ha ha. My son found that app a couple of months ago and drove us crazy for a week. I think it was me smashing his ipod that fixed it..."

This Facebook friend is someone I haven't seen since I was probably 13 years old. She is now a librarian at a Christian college but back when we were kids our dads pastored in a very small denomination and we saw each other at our annual "convention." She has a "normal family" and her kid is "normal." So seeing her type that made me realize something.

The reason that many of us enjoy Facebook and Twitter status updates so much is that they normalize us. If we can read that someone else is going through what we are, suddenly we become more settled in being human. We recognize the things that connect us and the ways that we are all heading in a general same direction, though the paths we take are different.

Another thing that social networking can do is to help us to gain perspective. I have a list of things that are annoying me and making me crabby, irritable and anxious today, but if I scroll down my Facebook page and see friends who have a child in surgery today -- or who have lost a parent recently. I see people who are fighting cancer or who have lost their jobs. And suddenly the fact that my kids tell me where they are going instead of asking, or that their language is unacceptable, or that they are disrespectful pales in comparison to what my friends are enduring.

So today I'm thankful for that normalizing comment by my old old friend (old as in we knew each other years ago, NOT old as in she and I are old.... duh!)


1 comment:

Lee said...

I agree about the normalizing via computers. When my eldest was growing up (he is 25 now) I felt sooooo alone. We had adopted internationally and there was no support group, not even a correct dx for his issues for 19 years. When I did connect w/ professionals they had no advice to share that we had not tried and wanted me to lead a workshop. I wanted help not being told we were amazing when we felt like we were drowning. BTW my boss has found an app for his phone that says "don't answer this, the@@@hole is on the line." And he supposedly is "normal." LOL