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Day 19: My Online Support Group (Blogs and Podcasts)

I both praise and curse technology, and I've see all the Facebook posts about how moms need to put their phones down and take care of their kids. I know it, and I do struggle with clickfests that start with an innocent Facebook scrolling session and end in reading an entire blog archive, 3 Buzzfeed lists, taking an '80s lyrics quiz and following 5 new people on Instagram.

I often use podcasts to keep me motivated doing house work. I just scrubbed the floor listening to the Fountains of Carrots podcast and I got to thinking about how grateful I am for online support of my vocation.

A friend and I are in the midst of Operation: Phone Detachment, in which we are are trying to be more mindful about our phone usage and not letting it detract from forming real relationships and living our lives fully. Knowing I need to use my phone and the Internet in moderation and with thoughtfulness, I do find comfort and entertainment through podcasts, photo feeds, and especially blogs. I love to read, but don't always have the mental or physical energy to dive into a book. There are so many great blogs out there for any interest or lifestyle. Check out some of my favorites on my list to the right.

I have gravitated toward blogs and podcasts that I feel can inspire me in some way - as a Catholic, a mom, a wife, a homemaker, a volunteer, or a sister and friend. On days I feel like I'm all alone in a particular struggle, I've been able to find a post of a real person dealing with the same struggle, and who has shared her success or failure and is in e-solidarity with me. I've heard some homilies on podcast that have blown my mind. And, I'll be honest, some days I've just needed the laugh from the viral pet or baby video de jour.

As much as I'd love to commune with my friends and their kids every day, it's not possible with North Dakota weather and kids on all sorts of different schedules. So the friendships and support I have found online play a role in my contentment and motivation to keep fighting the good fight - whether that be against the culture, angry toddlers, clutter or anything else. My church's mother's group Facebook page is a light in what can be the dark world of Facebook, and I'm grateful to have it when I need a fix of my friends and I know I won't see them until next week's meeting.

For me, moderation and good will are certainly the goals I strive for in my online interactions, but I have gained so much knowledge and comfort from some of these interactions that I know overall, they have made a positive impact on my life.

And in case you're interested, here's the podcast I just finished up, and I really enjoyed it. It was light, entertaining and perfect for floor scrubbing! Fountains of Carrots: Episode 38. 

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