Virtual support is a trend that is growing more and more popular in the military community. When spouses have questions, they no longer have to rely solely on their family readiness group for answers. Now, with Facebook pages and forums dedicated specifically to military spouse support, it’s easy to get instantaneous feedback.
Fellow military spouses are stepping up to the plate to offer advice, suggestions, opinions and support to families that are new to the area or finding themselves in situations they’ve never experienced. If you scroll through the posts on the “Fort Stewart Military Wives” Facebook page, you’ll likely see questions varying from “Who can I get to take care of my animals during leave?” to “How do I help my kids deal with separation anxiety?”
There’s no denying the usefulness of such a resource. In fact, I think it’s wonderful that the military community is finding new ways to communicate and support one another.
But I fear that with the increasing popularity of Internet-based support comes a decrease in support of the live-and-in-person variety. It’s not enough to rely entirely on any one resource to help you adjust to a new environment. It’s still important to get out there and meet people in real life.
During my first months here, I wasn’t a big fan. Life was lonely and boring, and it was easy to get depressed and overwhelmed by this new life change. However, I’m now a huge fan of our community. I love this place and the people in it.
What changed? I got off my computer and started interacting with the people here. I started talking to people in the church we visited and soon found myself a group of friends that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Sure, the convenience of support via the Internet is a wonderful thing, but it’s not the only thing out there. I think it’s important to find a good balance between the virtual and face-to-face interaction, even if they both are valuable.