friendship building online

This is part two of a two part series part one can be found here

I know that a lot of people talk about the dangers of the internet and although I have to agree that this is the reality of the social media world how come we rarely here the positive impacts of social media?

Take the fact that I found a sense of community from a Toronto based site called ability online or Eva Markvoort who’s blog changed the lives of many her story: raw and insightful had me and many others captivated a story that at its core allowed her to form friendships online when due to health concerns offline ones were unreachable. And a story that was later transformed from her blog to an award winning documentary

My point is as long as safety and common sense are used you can form lifelong friendships online.  My friend and I are a great example of this. We both started on ability online around the same age of 13. After years of corresponding we discovered that we knew many of the same people offline being that we attended the same camps (apparently just at different times and never met.) She grew up several hours north of where I lived and decided to relocate to only an hour from me now.  When she came down a group of us all made plans to meet up with her at a mall they all knew her from years at camp and it took them a while to figure out that this was our first time meeting face to face is it just seemed natural.  The beauty of ability online is it is monitor for safety by an army of volunteer of which my friend and I are both now. It just goes to show you that there can be positives come out of an online community.

(Just wanted to add that when signing up, I had to get parental consent to join being that I was a minor and I think that that has helped to form the strong foundation of people on the site. The site is free to join and was started to curve issues surrounding social isolation in youth with illness or disability)


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About lifeofthedifferentlyabled

Laura Forde founded her blog through my eyes: my life with cerebral palsy in December 2009 out of a great need she had, realizing that there was a vast gap in firsthand accounts of what life was like living with Cerebral Palsy: she knew then that the only way to see this reflected online was to create the change herself and thus this blog was born Laura was born four months premature, weighing a mere one pound three ounces and given ten percent odds for survival. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three. After graduating from college, she continued writing and doing what she loves to do most; speaking to groups about her life experiences and sharing what she has learned from her journey. Her blog lifeofthedifferentlyabled was created after discovering that the online community lacked the voice of people in her situation. In its first year, the site saw over 20,000 hits from all over the world. Her readers are from all walks of life; some with disabilities, parents of children, professionals, and others who seek to gain a better understanding of the world of the differently abled. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook
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