A Fondness for Facebook

I love the internet, but more specifically, I love Facebook. I used to be annoyed by the hype of it all, but recently I’ve owned it and made it work for me. Each day my News Feed brings me photos of my friends’ cute kids, exciting news about a pregnancy or promotion, and lots of articles that friends share and bloggers write. I dig into each and every one and read and enjoy everything from stories of Modern Motherhood to the ins-and-outs of Insulin Resistance. The shift from Annoy to Love for this social media occurred when I was tired of feeling guilty about my Facebook ritual, and I asked myself what I really wanted to spend this time doing. My answer was a customized space that transformed the infamous Time Suck to a message of permission to myself–Get Inspired to Write.

Thankfully, it’s done just that. This week I’ve been compelled to write this post based on the following stories I found on Facebook:

7 Things You Don’t Know About A Special Needs Parent

and

Tips for Food Allergies: A Child’s Perspective

The topics are varied, but both of interest to me. Clearly, an article that outlines the honest thoughts of a special needs parent is right up my alley. Additionally, a mom’s article from a child’s perspective on the effects of food allergies definitely grabs my attention.

I still very much operate in my teacher brain most days. So hopefully, it’s not completely shocking to you that I would like to create a Venn Diagram (overlapping circles that show how 2 or more things are alike and different) on these articles and find several powerful messages that lie in both of these stories. I loved both of these articles and could not resist the urge to compare and contrast, so here are the similarities that stood out to me:

Both moms take a big personal message and write in a clear and concise way. It’s as if they are saying, “I don’t want to overwhelm you with how important it is for me, so I’m going to break it down into just a few points to help you understand”, i.e. 7 things and 10 tips.

Both moms write from a place of isolation. Maria Lin’s third point is how alone she feels raising a special needs child. Referring to her son, Jacob, Maria shares, “With this honor of caring for him comes the solitude of the role.” Gina uses her child’s voice to drive home the isolation, “Having another friend with food allergies in my classroom or to eat with me at lunch would help me too”.

Both moms are owning their vulnerability. One of my favorite Likes on Facebook is Brene Brown and her amazing work on vulnerability. I see these women sharing and owning vulnerable, but universal thoughts, like jealousy and embarrassment.

So after finding these similarities and displaying this diagram, I would take it a step further with my students…what can we learn from these articles? What can we take with us in our lives?

And maybe it’s because I see so much of myself in both of these writers, the answers are crystal clear to me.

They come from a place of love for their children and a desire to get their truths out.

They are owning it and sharing it and feel brave and empowered enough to educate you.

They don’t want to live in it alone anymore.

They are modern mothers, using the power of social media to bring about changes in opinion and changes in how others see them and/or their children.

They are brave and smart and inspiring for writing their truths. And so are my friends who shared it with me.

Did I mention that I love the internet?

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