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Social media. Real time information. Connections with friends near and far. It’s a great communication tool, until well, it isn’t… 

Let me explain— our friends need us to be their safe place when they’re going through some unexpected stuff. When we post bold statements about controversial issues, we may quickly build walls between us. 

This can happen with a variety of social issues, including conversations about the homeless, immigrants at the border and of course, abortion. 

Let’s chat about that last one for a minute more. If you have a friend who is experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and is thinking about abortion, she needs to know she can trust you. After all, don’t you want her to know she can reach out to you for help? 

The way you’ve engaged on social media may determine if a friend thinks she can reach out to you to talk about abortion when she’s wrestling with the decision. What can you do to make sure your friends know that you can be a place of refuge for them when they’re making big decisions? 

We’ve developed a list of ways to build bridges in your social media conversations so you can be there for your friends when they want to have open dialogue about all the things weighing on their hearts. 

  1. Think before you post, and then think again— Yes, you can edit posts or delete pictures, but screenshots… yeah, you already know this, they’re forever. I usually adhere to the sticky quote of “If in doubt, just don’t.” Try to see it through someone else’s eyes, and if you don’t feel great about it, just don’t do it. Keep scrolling.
  • Avoid absolute statements— “I have never,” “I don’t see how anyone ever could,” and “I just don’t understand” are also ones to avoid. If you start your sentences with that, then you’ve pretty much also made the decision on how that conversation is going to end, poorly.
  • Find the common ground— If the subject is a controversial one, full of passionate people engaging back and forth online, find something to affirm in your friends that you’re talking to. Sometimes, it’s as simple as saying, “I really admire your passion…” or “You’ve really opened my eyes to think about that differently…” Establishing common ground with your friends says, “I value you enough to acknowledge your positive traits, even if I disagree.”
  • Avoid name calling— Sounds simple enough, but it still has to be said, because well… we ALL see it happen. There is absolutely no good that can come of it. Remember #1. Just don’t. 
  • Follow positive social media— We all absorb the positive or negative energy around us differently, but it’s been proven that negativity can actually rewire the way we think. I have a sneaking suspicion that positive thinking can do the same! Choose your friends and people that you follow wisely so that you can be a light in someone else’s darkness and protect your own heart along the way.

If you have a friend who has confided in you that she is experiencing an unexpected pregnancy, you’re obviously doing something right! The next thing you can do is get her to a place that can help her understand her options, as she puts a plan together for her next steps. Rockville Women’s Center can help with that! We specialize in helping women considering abortion as their next step. We’re a non-profit women’s health center in Rockville, Maryland that believes in empowering women to make the best decision for their life and their situation. Encourage your friend to schedule a FREE appointment with us today!