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The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Online Friendships/Social Networking

I know, I know, I am totally out of the norm... not posting last Friday (I was spending the day with the incredible Susan Mankita, L.C.S.W.) and today isn't Friday, but I really had the urge to update now, so forgive my being 6 days late or 1 day early, depending how you look at it. I've just been so recently majorly impacted by social networking that I couldn't help but come to this networking site and write about it.

Saturday night, my dog had an emergency and it began a 3 day whirlwind of panic and fear for me as he spent the days in the ICU. Every bit of my energy and every bit of my strength was being telepathically sent to him. My days were filled with calls to the vet, visits to see him and to put my hand into his incubator cage and nights were filled with sheer terror at the very real possibility I'd lose him.

I can truly say that the only thing that held me together was the world through the internet. A breed specific website I'd joined when I rescued him gave me comments of hope and well wishes with folks from everywhere checking in for my updates. Emails came from those who had heard about the situation. Most of all, facebook allowed me to spend my hours typing with people who loved and supported me during a time when I was too afraid to speak the words but when I needed others more than I could articulate.

I got lucky, very very lucky. Nikko rallied and got to come home. But I was also incredibly lucky to have been held up by incredibly supportive people.

Please please keep in mind how helpful the internet can be in trying times. Although it's known for being full of porn and useless videos of kittens and celebrity gossip, it is also a place to reach out and a place to reach back. With the holidays here, please remember to ask for the emotional support you need and to give the extra you may have, it truly can change (or save) someone's life.


  1. Kryss, thank you so much for sharing how the power of the Internet/social networking helped you through this difficult time.  It really is quite powerful as a way for people to connect, and I think part of what helped was that you used it to let your friends know what you needed from them.  I am so, so glad that Nikko is doing better and is back home. 

  2. Thank YOU so much, Linda, your kindness through the process was beyond helpful.  I have to tell you, I'm not always the best at asking for what I need.  I am lucky enough to have most of my friends be friends for over 10 years, so most times they know me well enough to just know without being asked.  This time, with the seriousness of this, I was just at such a loss.  I found it much easier to write than I would to have spoken my needs and it was an incredible thing to have people hold me up when I had no strength to stand.  For that, for watching him sleeping right now, I am so undescribably grateful.