My Mom’s world provides for, pretty much, isolation.
Not wanting to send Mom into any particular den of online wolves, I do still feel that some online communities might possibly provide an outlet for her – a way to connect with others similarly isolated, but with similar interests.
Throughout her life, Mom has known only face-to-face and telephone engagements for socialization.
However the opportunities available to her through participation in “online forums” could be transformative.
As she ages into her 80’s, Mom’s capacity and tolerance for individual engagement with others lessens.
Yet, her thriving spirit still requires (some form of) engagement!
How might I introduce and encourage and support this for Mom?
(Mom is at this point also nearly deaf and nearly blind.)
Mom’s ideal world has actually been built for her now. It already exists, in the real world. She just doesn’t know it.
But I do!
In a real, experiential sense, Mom’s anxieties relating to personal friendships have become obsoleted.
The former conventions and obligations of maintaining relationships in the “real” (physical) world not longer necessarily apply.
Connection with a particular person (or even a group of individuals) online can be a deeply satisfactory “one-off” exchange, without the former need for courting and and maintenance of an ongoing relationship.
A person who is essentially (otherwise) a recluse, can find companionship and community in well-managed online forums.