How to Build Your Online Support System

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i have spent The last 15 years of my life have been traveling full-time or living outside the US, and that can be very different. Whether you’re traveling full-time or feeling disconnected due to the global pandemic, you can find plenty of resources online to build a support system to keep you professionally, personally and financially afloat.

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With the abundance of potential resources out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start or whom to trust. I follow these guidelines to find my people and my way in the online world.

Picture what you want, first

Do you want to connect with people who can help you in your career? Do you need an educational psychologist for your child? Perhaps you want to find someone who understands your concern about leaving home after a pandemic?


Once you have identified your needs, you can begin to analyze the resources the Internet has to offer. Sometimes a single source offering a specific service will best suit your needs. Other times, crowdsourcing the expertise of strangers is a better option. Whichever online platform you choose, the first thing to know is what information will best serve you and how to use it when you have it.

Where and how to find resources

Whether you need a life coach or therapist, or someone who can teach you how to write a book, your first step is probably the website of that person or business.

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That’s fine, but you can’t rely solely on the information they provide to evaluate their services. Testimonials and highlighted customer reviews are designed to be flattering, and in some cases they are even outright lies in order to make themselves look good. I once got a testimonial with me on someone’s website. The testimonial was genuine, but it was not for the service he offered, and I never gave him permission to use my name.

Therapy and other mental health services, by contrast, have been easier to find online since the pandemic, as many therapists have expanded to treat people via telemedicine. you a. can (and should) check from professional licensing board To see their credentials and experience before setting up an appointment or getting in touch.

If you’re related to a person or service that interests you but still have questions, use Google to fill in the blanks. Ask and speak for references. If you can find a similar relationship that can confirm the resource, even better.

Social media is wonderful for finding opinions on businesses and communities about specific issues or your needs. Ask Twitter for a reading list and you may find a book club. Complain about your experiences on Upwork and you’ll get both compliments and complaints about the service, as well as tips for finding what you need. If you’re looking for parenting advice, you’ll find a wealth of ideas (or other Parents Who Will Appreciate With you).

I found my writing group on Twitter. It started out as a general joke about ex-pat life and writing. Then one day, my Twitter connection Jess Evans Mentioned that his writing group of four was looking for a fifth. We have been holding weekly meetings through Zoom since then.

Instagram and other platforms make it easier to find people who share your interests based on visual content mental health in favor of Art And Eat Feeds to level up your cooking game. You can find your people using hashtags, and then grow your relationships as you follow, comment, and interact with other people who also follow your favorite Instagram accounts.

Instagram too let people know who you are and the services you provide. I post pictures of my life with tips on writing. It connects me with other writers, puts me in touch with my clients, and also brings new clients to the writing mentorship group I’ve created.

Services such as Reddit, Quora, Slack and Discord all offer semi-curated spaces that cover a vast array of topics. You can ask questions or search through previous posts to see what fits. Responses aren’t as immediate as in real-time social media, but the answers you get will often be from professionals or amateurs with real-world experience.

Another benefit of message boards is that they can create space for marginalized communities bound by similar interests. People Reddit’s . post on trans Or Coming out Board photos and funny stories to share or ask for serious advice. NS nomadic traveling tribe The Facebook group represents the needs of travelers and influencers of color and “to show the world that travel has no racial, gender, religious, economic or interest boundaries.”

You won’t always know who’s posting, however, so many people use burner accounts. Like everything else, do your research to make sure the information you’ve found is valid, and if you think there is any. trolling You go away

Private messaging in small groups on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Slack & Discord is a great way to deepen relationships with people you’ve met online and know you can trust.

i got lola akinmade And lily lebwit girma Through the online traveler network. When we realized that we all wanted to write books, we created a WhatsApp group for daily accountability during National Novel Writing Month. Since the end of that month, we have kept in touch, and every November we reconnect to write new books like this.

ask for help and be generous

Yes, the online world can suck at a time. It is also a great place to share your experiences with others and learn from their experiences.

When you give your advice and ideas to others, you build relationships. In addition to my writing group, I also found my first editing job and met my agent through a mutual love for Trevor Noah.

However, not everyone cares what you have to say. It may sound clunky, but it’s actually a blessing. People who resonate with you and support your interests deserve your energy. You can ignore everyone else. And remember, never fight with people online. It’s not worth the time or effort.

Several studies at the University of Rochester show that makes familiar connections. Connecting with people in a friendly and non-creepy way is a great way to get to know people before they approach. So by the time your job application or request for advice arrives in their mailbox, they already know your name. While this won’t seal the deal, it will make your email stand out.

set clear boundaries

Boundaries online are important if you want to protect your time, your privacy, and your emotional energy.

Begin by evaluating each interaction to see how much value it adds to your life. The writing group I mentioned gave me feedback on a book proposal. His input helped me create something that my agent loved enough to sign me as his client. Our weekly meetings encourage me to try new things with my writing. The benefits of our group are obvious to me and to other members, but that doesn’t mean the way our group works will work for everyone.

For example, my experience in Facebook groups has been the opposite. The constant fighting between the members let me down after every tour of the groups I’m a member of. I still visit occasionally to find interesting links or resources, but I no longer interact.

would also like to maintain your level privacy. While it’s not possible to be completely hidden, you can limit the information you post online. I love sharing the details of my writing and my creative life, but I rarely mention my kids, and I never share my specific space.

On social media, I only interact with people who have a loaded profile, which includes a picture of themselves and a more well-rounded digital footprint that includes websites, photos, and details about their lives. It’s not foolproof, and it might mean I missed out on connecting with some other interesting people, but the level transparency An in-person online show often shows how much you can trust them.

Finally, be sure to balance your online interactions with face-to-face time in the real world, or at least stay away from offline time and the flood of information on the Internet.

If your online interactions lead to useful connections based on common interests, great. If not, setting boundaries keeps you from being distracted by FOMO, and keeps you engaged with the things that matter most to you.

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