Every few days or so someone will ask a question about Sonlight publicly on Facebook. Inevitably, I have to tell them that the only response they're likely to see is the one I provide. If they want more people to weigh in, it's much better to go ask on the Sonlight® Forums.
Facebook says it offers us a chance to connect with friends and share stuff. What this means for me is that I see a few new photos and a whole bunch of Upbuzzworthyfeed content and the same six videos about shampoo and violins or that guy who gave a dog his sandwich. Occasionally stuff from the distant past appears -- last week someone shared the "laughing Quadruplet" video from more than half a decade ago. I'm not overly bitter, but how many posts, counter-posts, and open letters "to the person who posted about the post commenting on the post about a comedian's suicide" do I really need to read?
There are far more pressing matters on my time and bigger issues in the world. Though that depression thing seems to really resonate with people. I've got a few "kids" who struggle with depression and it's not an easy topic. That's definitely something worth connecting with others to discuss.
Perhaps the part that I dislike the most about social media "interactions" like this is that they've become a new brand of push marketing. Click-bait and cute puppies beg me to "act now" and suggest, "But wait! There's more!" I guess I've been around YouTube enough to know what to expect when a popular video features a singing kid. Sorry, internets, but I actually do believe what's about to happen next.
In short: Social media often fantastically fails at connecting me with my friends.
To build relationships and community, to link up with people and talk about what's going on in your life, you need something more than a never-ceasing stream of the latest social experiment. With internet tools like forums, you can get to know people, have long and deep discussions, and banter back and forth about life and kids and homeschooling and dishes and laundry. You can connect with people around the world and maintain an ongoing conversation. And if you have questions, you can get answers from people with more experience as a homeschool mom than me. Because I have, like, none. Literally, none.
Have you heard the news? The Sonlight Forums are now free. You just go, sign up, and start connecting with other homeschool moms.
Filmmaker, Writer, Pseudo-Dad
P.S. In many ways, I feel this post is a continuation of thought from my recent Don't Isolate Yourself.
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