Decisions, Feelings, Happiness, Love, Purpose, Relationships, Respect, Support

How to Truly Be There for Someone

My husband and I are like two peas in a pod. We’re so incredibly similar. We love blogging. We’re obsessed with cars. We love the same movies and songs. We laugh at the same jokes. We have the same values. Despite all those similarities, though, we are so incredibly different when it comes to our approach to social media.

I am, to put it mildly, addicted to Facebook. I enjoy hearing about other people’s days, love seeing pictures of my friend’s children and their travels, enjoy having a laugh about an e-card I’ve come across, and sharing inspirational quotes. But my husband hardly uses Facebook and he’s quite clear about his reasons why. He believes if you want to catch up with someone, it should be face to face not through a computer. I think he has a point.

The upside to social media

Social media has done a lot of good for society as a whole. It keeps people connected, builds and maintains relationships for businesses and their consumers, adds another dynamic to how we can all communicate. It has transformed the ways that we can keep in touch.

Social_MediaPhoto Credit: bplanet /

On a personal level, it means that you can see how your cousin is doing after moving interstate, flick through photos from a wedding that you couldn’t attend, or read up on how your sister is coping with her break-up as she pours her heart out online.

Given how busy our lives are nowadays, it’s an easier way to stay connected without the extra effort and inconvenience.

The downside to social media

But reading a ‘happy birthday’ message on your Facebook wall, pales in comparison to hearing your best friend say it with a loving smile on their face. Reading about your friend’s depression and offering advice to them, pales in comparison to holding them close and embracing them with a hug.

As much as we can be there for our loved ones online, it doesn’t quite bring the same comfort that a physical interaction does. It compensates for a lack thereof, but doesn’t replace it.

How to truly be there for someone

All of us have been through a dark period, at one stage or another. Maybe someone close to us has passed away. Maybe we’ve had our heart broken. Maybe we’ve lost our job. Maybe we’re just struggling to find purpose in our lives. Fact is, we’ve all been there to some extent.

And sometimes we need someone to be there for us. To smile and laugh with us. To be our shoulder to cry on. To make us feel less alone.


And sometimes it might be us that needs to be there for another person.

Don’t rely on a Facebook status or wall post to be there for your loved ones. Don’t rely on your Facebook likes and comments to show your friends how much you care. Don’t rely on purely online communication to maintain your relationships.

Pick up the phone, arrange a time, and meet up face and face.

As a mother of three young children, I know how busy life can be. But I also know how precious life is. Don’t waste your days away.

So, if you want to truly be there for someone, make the effort. Think beyond Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Think beyond all those other networking sites. Think beyond the online world. Social media may help you to remain in contact, but don’t let it be the only contact you have with each another.

If you want to truly be there for a loved one, there is no better way than to literally be there for them.

Thuy Le (formerly known as Thuy Yau) is a freelance writer and Youth Work graduate living in Perth, Australia. She loves to share her own personal experiences about overcoming adversity, as she believes that human beings are more capable than they realise. She writes to make a positive difference in the world and to inspire others to learn from themselves and their own experiences. Her writing has been discussed on radio, won writing contests, appeared on The Huffington Post UK and major Australian sites such as, SMH, Kidspot and Essential Kids. She has just completed her first book – a memoir - and is on the search for a publisher.

7 thoughts on “How to Truly Be There for Someone

  1. Great topic that is always up for debate. I feel the pros of social media outweigh the cons. I would bet that many people that I still keep in contact with via facebook would have simply faded into oblivion if not for social media. Furthermore I feel that facebook helps stimulate that much sought after physical interaction with people whom you’d otherwise never meet, or interact with. How else on God’s green earth would Thuy Yau and Angel Rodriguez meet? I recognize that for some people that refuse to get with the times, social media may be a bad thing, and I get that view about “pick up the phone” and so on, but I feel the benefits are way more than what is potentially lost. I love Social Media and I’m glad it is around. Next to the miniaturization of music and video, this is the next best thing.

    1. Wow, such great insights, Angel! That is exactly it – social media helps you maintain relationships that would have otherwise disappeared, and establish connections that may have otherwise never happened. But for those connections we already have in real life, we need to make sure that social media doesn’t replace the physical interaction. Sometimes a text, wall msg, phone call is not enough. Sometimes all a person needs is a hug and a shoulder to cry on. That’s when we need to put the phone down and be there. Life is busy and it does get hard at times, but sometimes a hug is all a person really needs. Thanks for your deep thoughts, Angel – they are always appreciated here! 🙂

  2. I think social media has it’s place, and makes it convenient for those to keep in touch, but still doesn’t take the place of a well timed phone call or person to person get together. I feel too many people use social media in place of personal interaction. Many would just send a text, email, or facebook post instead of actually conversing with them. There are others who are social media whores who use it a bit too much. I admit to utilizing social media but I also have no problem with calling someone in place of a facebook poke.

    1. I think that’s the best attitude to have! Social media has its pros, but we can’t let it replace that real live interaction. Thanks for your thoughts, Phil! 🙂

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