I’ve lived 700 miles from my hometown for nearly a decade. Many of my best friends are scattered around the country. During that time I’ve learned to value the virtual sisterhood in our friendships that we’ve maintained via email, phone, text, video calls and a ton of other media outlets that keep our sisterhood in tact.
There are very few friends out there like the ones you had growing up…total Stand by Me reference…and yet there are times that when you desperately need a friend, it’s not who you think it will be to catch you as you fall.
I’m in numerous groups on social media, mostly for entertainment. One of my favorites is a local ‘mommy’ group where we share a virtual sisterhood about marriage, kids, careers and best places for happy hour. We’ve talked about our kids poop – size, color, frequency – which stores are offering the best deals on the ‘it’ toy of the day and where to get the perfect mojito.
A recent post broke my heart. A fellow member discovered her husband of more than a decade had been cheating on her over the past year. Her simple confession, and request for best places to binge eat and drink, sparked a reaction that turned my broken heart into wings.
Within minutes, this woman received so many posts I couldn’t keep up with all the comments flooding in. Our little group filled this woman’s feed with words of encouragement, sympathy and offers to help in her quest for a well-deserved binge. Over the next few days she had more than 100 posts, and I’m sure even more personal messages.
She had hundreds of women, all in her actual and virtual community, immediately there to help her vent and get on the road to healing. There post that spanned the spectrum of support. From plots for this wayward husband’s demise to offers to grab margaritas women were reaching out. Some even shared stories of their own battles with infidelity.
Women can be catty and competitive. It’s easy to lash out and put each other down – especially when you don’t have to do it face to face. There are lots of people who look at social media and don’t recognize all the positive ways it can influence and affect our lives. In this case, I was proud to be a part of this group there we stood along our sister and helped her through a terrible ordeal.
We owe it to ourselves and each other to be supportive and encouraging to our fellow women. No matter if you’ve been friends for a lifetime or just joined a group, be honest, open and understanding to each other. A virtual sisterhood counts as much as a live one when you need it, and you never know when you will need your sisters to lift you up.