0247E: Social Media Counseling

In my school days I always found it odd when friends and classmates would eventually come to me for advice about this or that personal problems. There were even odd moments when I'd find myself giving relationship advice when it's not like I had ever been in a relationship at the time this was happening. Life is funny that way.

As time has progressed, this sort of behavior has lent itself well to the socially connected world of the modern internet. As we are in "contact" with way more people now, it's fairly easy to reach out or at least attempt to do so. It's another thing entirely if that person decides to reply to your messages but that's a horse of a different color.

Social media timelines give you glimpses of what's going on in people's lives - or at least the bits they want to share. There's the fun, fluffy stuff that's easy to celebrate. There's obvious stupidity that you're better off not touching with a ten-foot pole. And then you get some serious calls for help or troubling indicators that something really bad is going on in someone's life - or in someone's head.

Trouble Facebook updates lead me to leave a comment or perhaps a more direct Facebook Messenger chat. Twitter updates lead to public comments initially but more serious stuff shifts to direct messages. Some folks initiate the conversation and I find myself trying to help them deal with this or that problem to the best of my ability.

I'm not complaining - helping other people can naturally feel good, especially if they take your advice and make a serious change for the better. Not everyone seems to apply what you had to share. Even then it doesn't always work out right away. Life isn't that simple after all and the advice of one person isn't even half the struggle that needs to follow. We all have our battles to fight and in the long run these are struggles we must overcome as individuals. Anyone who gives advice is just trying to nudge you in the right direction.

What's the point of all these social networks if we don't help one another out in times of need, right?