Monday, January 31, 2011
My own research conclusions
Expats will tell you that after you leave your "home" and your friends, family and colleagues, there is a nature distance that is created because you are not in their lives every day. Yes, you still love and care about each other, but the distances do impact your relationships.
Expats will also tell you that when you move to a new place and make new friends, it is often hard to find the kind of networks that you had "back home" and for many weeks, months and sometimes years, you struggle to really find groups in which you belong.
Well I am one expat that can tell you that because of my PLUGGED-INEDNESS (yes, I am proposing that word to Webster's in 2011!), that I know I am not alone for 3 reasons.
1) I have a network of friends, family and colleagues in the US (from my "old" life) that I am in constant communication with through my blog (and theirs), email, FB, and text messages.
2) I have a network of friends, colleagues, and other expats (all over the world) whom I met through some kind of electronic media and with whom I have have not only established relationships electronically, but with whom I have met (yes, in REAL LIFE) and see on a regular basis.
3) I have a network of friends and other expats (all over the world) that I have met online, but not yet met in person. We read each other's blogs, talk to each other on Facebook and even play games against each other online.
So what happens when you add 1 + 2 + 3 ? In my world it equals WAY MORE than just 6.
It means that when I have a family crisis like what we are going through now, I receive messages, positive energy, encouraging thoughts, and prayers from HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of people that I am connected with because of social media.
This week people who have never met my dad have called him by name as they spoke their prayers. People who have never even been to Dallas, Texas and only know its location because of where it sits on a map, have sent positive energy and thoughts there, directed at my parents. And people who have never even met me in person, and only know me through my blog or through FB, have assured me that they will continue to keep us in their thoughts and prayers as my sister and I flew home to be together with my parents as we walk through these trials.
So to all the critics who say Social Networking is destroying our culture and our ability to "really" connect with people..... I say take all that energy you are using to prove your point and put it to better use like solving world hunger, ending religious conflicts or decreasing the number of people in the world without healthcare. Because I will take my ELECTRONICALLY connected world over yours ANY day of the week!
And to all those that have been praying for my family this week, please don't stop.
Dad's procedure is at 11 tomorrow and by tomorrow afternoon we will know more.
But I can assure you that your support and love means more to our tiny family than you can ever know.