As A Rural Mom, Social Media Matters

Amidst loads of laundry, household duties which I tend to fail at, cooking and co-parenting our three children, my life is hectic. Add in attending numerous activities of a busy teenager son while wrangling two toddlers, a career with a rigorous travel schedule, a hardworking husband and his family business, family, church and civic commitments while squeezing in a tiny bit of social time, my life is all-consuming. In between it all, I am immersed in social media. I make time for social media.
What I have learned is that no matter what the social media outlet is, I have grown as a mom, a professional communicator, a coalition builder, a family meal cook, a rural developer, a passionate farmer’s daughter, a wife to a small business owner and friend by engaging in social media. It connects and it empowers me.
What I didn’t know is that social media would connect me to people like…Val Wagner and about 50 other moms like her who have become my dear friends. This past Saturday night, Val and I drove to meet up for a girls’ dinner, dearly missing a friend who had family commitments and couldn’t make it. 
While driving home, it hit me how much I have gained from social media and why it matters so much to me on the rural North Dakota prairie. 
Val and me in early January at the American Farm Bureau Federation meeting together
Val and her husband Mark along with their four young boys live an hour from me on the prairie. It’s not suburbia out here. There are rolling hills, farms and ranches in between us but everyone seems to know everyone. But we really don’t know everybody. 
If it weren’t for social media Val and my paths may have never crossed. We would have sat in the same bleachers at sporting events, attended farm related meetings or even road tripped to Aberdeen to the same water park in the summer with our kids, with out knowing one another. 
There could have been a legislative issue we both could be responding to as we live in the same state legislative district and we wouldn’t have known one another. Even if we were introduced, we wouldn’t have connected and truly been engaged, knowing one another as strong women if it weren’t for our social media connections. 
This past Saturday night, Val and I spent hours in deep conversation about each of our kids, their individual personalities, our husbands, their intense work ethics and commitment to family, dynamics within our families, the hardships and bonuses of rural life, farming, small businesses, our declining county populations, our schools, teachers and churches. 
Smatter in legislative issues in North Dakota impacting our health care, farms, businesses and then our passion to tell our stories through social media, it was a powerful and dynamic conversation, while sitting in a restaurant in mighty Edgeley, North Dakota.

Val pointed out that regardless of the topic every 5 minutes we somehow always came back to our kids. Because after all, our deepest most passionate love is being a mom to our kids. 

To me, social media matters on many levels and applies to different areas of my life. But as rural mom, social media matters because of people like Val Wagner. She makes me a better mom.
It was social media that engaged Val and me as two rural moms, connecting us as friends. Now I am empowered more than ever with stronger voice for my kids, family, community and state. And best of all, I have a true friend, all because social media matters to me as a rural mom. 

Comments

  1. Well said. Sometimes I feel silly for spending time connecting with social media, but I also know that these connections are far more than virtual.

  2. Nicely said. I too love this community I’ve found thru blogging. (I don’t Facebook or Twitter as I spend enough time in front of the laptop!)

  3. Katie – You brought tears to my eyes…and I thank God for the blessing you have been to me and my family. You are right, social media has connected me to people that have impacted my life in such great ways, and I may never have known them otherwise. I would never give up my rural life, but with social media, my world is so much bigger than my backyard. And thank you, for being such an inspiration.

  4. amen, i totally agree. if it wasn’t for the internet socialization i would be one lonely mountain mama!!

    thanks for this post, so glad to know i’m not alone in this!!!

  5. Well said…

    Great post. Keep the SM up chick!

  6. You guys both rock my social media world too!!
    Emily

  7. Your post makes me think back to one year ago when I was just beginning to blog and use social media and I feel so grateful for all the connections I’ve made that may not have been there if it weren’t for social media. It amazes me every day how I feel so connected with these people across the world that I would not have had the opportunity to ‘meet’ otherwise.

    So glad the two of you were able to get together for a night out. An hour away! That makes you neighbors, right?!

  8. Very well said. Blogging has allowed me to “meet” so many wonderful people and learn about their lives.

Trackbacks

  1. […] meeting her on Twitter five years ago, Val has become one of my trusted “prairie mama” (the name we gave ourselves) friends. (I’m including a lot of links because I have blogged about her before and you can look back […]

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