I am full of gratitude for my online family. I have a wide-ranging network of 400+ people I know online (several overlap among Facebook, twitter, and the blog). This week alone I received help from my online family in several ways. Since I’ve been out of the non-religious workforce for several years, my mind blanked. And I asked my online family for questions to ask in a phone interview. Several poured in!**
My online family, who knows my story and my struggles of the last many years, also gave me repeated encouragement to do the interview and that I can hold a job. They helped me through a panic attack last week because of increased chronic pain that incited plans to hurt myself. I didn’t think I could handle it, but with my online family and the support of my professional care team, I avoided a hospitalization – yay!
Through the internet I feel connected to people I never get to see, or don’t get to see often enough. Real connections. Real care. Real prayer. Real help. I know these friends are there on the other end of the line offering their real opinions and snark, and their real care. I wish more of my immediate family were online since I tend to update my status and converse online more than make phone calls. I never have been a phone person, and I took to the internet as soon as it burst onto the scene in the 90’s.
I also had the chance to be with my online family while my church of affiliation, the Presbyterian Church (USA), met for its biennial General Assembly. Many of us presby-geeks watched the live feed from the website and tweeted our comments and hopes. Several friends were there in person and tweeted what was going on when we couldn’t see or hear or figure out what was going on. We felt like we were part of the family reunion feeling that usually goes along with General Assembly’s 4,000 people in attendance. When votes didn’t go the way the Presbytery of Twitter (as we called ourselves) wanted, we took solace and hope in others who held hope and encouraged one another.
Another way I find help from my online family are mental health websites with a conversational feel in the content and comments. I get support to live healthily and without anxiety about my illness because of folks like Natasha Tracy, my favorite blogger. She blogs @ Bipolar Burble and Breaking Bipolar and Bipolar Bites. Yes, it is several sites. Two are two different mental health sites. She rarely repeats herself and so I find help by following her musings and reports from the medical community for cures and treatments.
Thank you again, my online family! I couldn’t do this without you!
** Some questions to ask during an interview
- What is the X factor you’re looking for in the person in this job?
- How will you know if this job is being performed well?
- What challenges about this job do you think I should be aware of?
- Why do you enjoy working there?
- What about serving the clients is important to you?
- What are you excited about in what you’re doing?
- What’s the best part about working here? worst?
- What makes you look forward to coming to your job in the morning?
- What would you like this organization to look like in five years?”
- Is the position likely to grow full-time anytime in the future?