I still giggle about being at my dear friend Amanda’s bridal shower, and introducing myself as we did the standard party intros and “how do you know the bride” sharing.
“I’m Gina, and I met Amanda online…”
Online dating is over a decade old, but I guess I am old enough to still think it out-of-the-ordinary. I’m used to meeting people in real life, face-to-face, and then gradually getting to know them. It was a big deal in my childhood to like a friend enough to share phone numbers. Now? It is a big deal to like an online aquaintance enough to meet in person.
And so it is now with many of my good “IRL” (in real life) friends. Amanda, who I now count among my dearest friends, and many others, I met online.
It is weird. And brilliant.
My life doesn’t provide opportunities to meet women often. I don’t work, don’t go to school, and don’t even meet other mothers at my children’s school. My busy days start before dawn and end far too late, jam-packed so full I don’t even have phone conversations often, because catching a few minutes free at the same time as someone else is a miracle. Just ask my mom and mother-in-law.
Social media has been a blessing. Crazy, I know. I can sit for a few minutes and send a message out to a group of Catholic moms, and then go tend the laundry or dinner or read stories. Later on, I can check in and continue the conversations.
In the last three years, the connections made possible by online groups have been great. If it wasn’t for a few groups on Facebook, I never would have connected with so many great Catholic women. If it wasn’t for these groups, I never would have met these friends and been able to deepen relationships.
We met online. And for the good in social media, I give thanks.