@Whymommy Love Fest: Social Media as Virtual Hug

BlogHer Original Post

If you concentrate your examination of social media to the low-lying fruit -- the jockeying for followers, the trolls, the question of oversharing -- you miss the story that rarely makes Mashable. The one that is played out in thousands of different ways across the blogosphere on a daily basis.

Social media is being used to give a virtual hug. In a fragmented world where your friends may span multiple continents, social media gives people a chance to gather together virtually in a single space and give support.

Toddler Planet recently posted about receiving hospice services at home after returning from the hospital. She has been battling inflammatory breast cancer for five years. Susan's story has reached so many people, from good friends around the country who get to connect with her in the face-to-face world during conferences (such as BlogHer, where she was in the community keynote in 2010 and wrote one of my favourite BlogHer posts to date about it) to readers around the planet who are cheering her on from home, that many wanted to flood Susan with love as she recuperates. Hence how a blog project came to be overnight.

DC bloggers are gathering slides for an impromptu slideshow to send Susan to let her know that the blogosphere is thinking about her. Teachmama writes,

@whymommy love fest: We’re making THE most incredible digital card that has ever been made to show Susan just HOW much she is loved.

This is the side of social media that almost never makes the news. It isn't sensational, it isn't about celebrity, it isn't about treating each other poorly.

But it is the story we should be telling: about how one woman is writing about her personal experience with a disease and educating many about the lesser known inflammatory breast cancer. And how the people she is reaching have organized a way to harness that same social media to give her a figurative hug.

If you would like to participate in the @Whymommy love fest, please read Teachmama's post and learn how you can contribute an image or short message.

Photo Credit: Amy Mascott of teachmama.com

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.


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