Social media is so pervasive and powerful in our online world today. Here at the Healthy Mummy we are constantly on our phones looking for inspiration and ways to connect with others.
We have several private Facebook groups (that you can find here) used for the sole purpose of bringing women together to unite, to inspire each other and to support one another.
But sometimes things happen in the online world that aren’t so great. We’ve asked one of our active members to share tips to help private groups maintain their effectiveness in boosting women’s self-esteem.
Laura Flanagan is a very active Facebook member and we’ve asked her to share some helpful tips to make sure these private groups maintain their effectiveness in boosting women’s confidence and improving their self-esteem.
The World Of Private Support Groups
In the wonderful world of Facebook there are many private support groups. These groups are spaces away from our normal Facebook feed where we can talk and are a great way for people to communicate and make friendships.
I’ve been in my fair share of Facebook groups; my miscarriage support group, my trying to conceive group, my pregnancy groups for both babies and the lose baby weight private support group (among many others).
Through these groups I have made some amazing friendships, some with women I may never meet but women who have supported me through some of the hardest and best times of my life.
These support groups have provided me with a kind of strength I’ve never known before. Women coming together and caring with such love is a force to be reckoned with.
On Sharing Intimate Details
I have found private support groups a great space for me to be me and depending on the purpose of the group have shared intimate parts of myself that I haven’t shared with my ‘real life friends’.
Things like positive pregnancy tests before announcing the pregnancy to the world and tests that look like they may be positive. I’m also shared gender and name ideas of my babies.
I’ve shared before and after photos in my undies, vented about family, kid challenges, mental illness issues, weight loss and more. In fact you name it and I’ve probably talked about it in one of my groups.
Women being friends to women can bring out the best in us, it’s the best thing to come out of Facebook, in my opinion!
Over time in these groups I’ve learned a ‘code of conduct’, if you like, that keeps them a peaceful and positive space, a place where women lift each other up and not drag each other down. These are some of my golden rules to getting the most out of your support groups.
5 Golden Rules To Being Part Of Private Online Community
1. Be Supportive
Seems like common sense but is so important. Support means being positive, using language that lifts up the woman reading your words and doesn’t leave them feeling terrible.
2. Have An Opinion But Be Kind About It
We are all going to have different opinions, the world is a great place like that and healthy debate can be wonderful. It can also be the destroyer of a Facebook group if the debate becomes aggressive and personal. Debate yes but keep it kind.
3. Don’t Screen Shot Conversations In A Private Group and Share With People Outside Of it
Sounds basic enough but it’s a fundamental glue that holds private groups together. The last thing anyone wants is their private posts being shared for the world to see especially if they are doing it in a place they feel ‘safe’ in.
4. If Something Really Bothers You, Scroll On
If you know you have nothing nice to say remember your manners from primary school and don’t say anything at all. It hurts no one to stay quiet sometimes.
5. Remember There Is A Real Life Person With Real Feelings Reading Your Words
Don’t be a keyboard warrior hiding behind the screen. You never know what someone is going through or what their tolerance is for negativity. Tread kindly.
I think the essence of all my ‘private support group’ rules is kindness. Be kind, treat each other on Facebook with the consideration you would (hopefully) in real life.
As women we have such a power when we unite, the strength in numbers counts for so much especially in the Facebook world. Make your words and actions count for something brilliant!
Thanks to our dedicated admins, we don’t have to deal with too many issues of ‘meanness’ or ‘bullying’ in our supportive Facebook groups.
But hopefully if everyone can take note of these rules to follow, we can all continue to support each other through the challenges we all face in life.