Sometimes, when friends are struggling, they *can't* ask for help.

Sometimes active engagement is the right thing to do. We need to lift each other up, and to stop letting our culture dissuade us from doing so.

I can't even count how many times in my messed up life when something like this could have had a huge impact. (Right now is one of those times.)

@JigmeDatse Given that I'm one of the first wave of children who grew up online, knowing there are people on the other end of the wire who care even a little, makes a tangible difference to me. Thanks for reading.

@muninn I didn't really get online until about grade 7... And was pretty weird for someone to be online at that time (period, let alone someone that age).

@JigmeDatse Yeah, hmm, I was dialing up to remote information services by 5th grade, and on the actual internet by 7th at the absolute latest, but it was definitely on a DOS machine with an orange screen and no graphics.

I got a hell of a lot of support over the internet from 19yo college kids who didn't know I was 13 or 14 until it was too late and they already liked talking to me. It worked out. It's not for everybody, but online community has long been a big positive for me.

@muninn See, this is how limiting social media is. I want to say, hey, come over, or I'll come over. We can sit on the couch and watch TV and vent. Mayberry's on. I'll make bread. Any fillings you want. There's the recipe I've been eyeing using heavy port wine.
But none of that's gonna happen and it often makes me feel helpless. Because, in the end, you don't know me. I don't even know where you live. And we might hate each other in real life.

But still, Mayberry's on, or it should be.

@StephanLoy Yeah, it can be an uncertain dynamic. And I find that American communities have become so atomized and the people so busy with the rat race, that many people couldn't do this even with friends they DO know irl!

One of my housemate's best friends of many years happened to find a house across the street. They're still good friends. Both have jobs & kids. They often go a month without seeing each other. Something is very wrong with a culture where that's normal IMO.

@StephanLoy Also everybody's comfort with social media is different, I tend to be way more gregarious online than in person, but I grew up online and have been a member of multiple active communities online for over 20 years. Not everybody feels so free to speak up.

Thanks for sharing your perspective. Bread sounds good btw ;)

@shmibs Yeah, I don't have many local ones and most of my online ones are busy or having troubles of their own lately.

I guess I would hope that if we as a society started being more proactive in this way, we'd also be more open with neighbors or strangers, at least enough to get to know they're struggling, and offer a hand. And they would feel more able to accept.

Right now the suffering of people who have no one is mostly invisible.

@shmibs I hope so. Meanwhile I try to spread good ideas as best I can. I'm always open to talk privately here as well for anyone who likes :)

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