|Posted by Admin on January 25, 2013 at 12:45 PM|
I have family. My immediate family lives closer to me, but my extended family lives out of state. This means that I have to go on "vacation" to visit them, since it doesn't make much sense for them all to come out to visit the few of us. The problem with this situation is that, as someone with Aspergers, "vacation" and traveling stresses me out more than it helps. I REALLY want to see my family, but the stress of that traveling and lack of routine and comforting space takes away from the joy of the visit. Instead of being able to spend time with the family, I usually end up tucking myself away, having meltdown after meltdown, and unable to deal with so many people at once. It's so bad that I haven't seen my family in about 5 years.
But the other day, I noticed something. As much as I enjoy hanging out with a few people in person, I tend to MEET people better online. I tend to interact more easily and understand people better. I have time to process what they say, without the pressure of face to face communication. If I need a break...well, I just don't respond. And now the social networks have begun to help me get close to my family again.
I understand the RULES of social networking better than I understand the rules of being social in person. Likes and shares on facebook are nice. Favorites and retweets and mentions on twitter are all nice. Unfollowing or unfriending are signs that someone isn't happy, and it's more complicated. Blocking is when you don't want anything to do with them. I GET this. This I UNDERSTAND. Rather than those crazy, hidden rules of social interaction in person, I have found a way to socially interact pretty well online.
And by using this method that I understand, I can now have better relationships with my family. I don't HAVE to call them and visit them to show them that I care. I can "like" their status or "favorite" their tweets. They know that I'm listening and trying to connect, and not just ignoring them! I'm just using a different way to interact.