When it comes to five of life's biggest moments—birth, marriage, birthdays, illness and death—technology expert Alexandra Samuel explains that online resources and social networking sites can help you find the support that will make all of them easier.
"Thinking of you lots," I wrote on my old friend's Facebook wall after a couple of years had gone by without a chance to reconnect. My timing was perfect, she replied. "We're going tomorrow to meet our new son! He's 10 months old and has been living with a foster family. I could really use some mothering advice from you!"

I responded with hearty congratulations and my best stab at useful advice. Over the next few months, we resumed the kind of regular back-and-forth, intimate exchanges that had characterized our college friendship and the years after school when we both lived in Boston. It had been a decade since we'd lived in the same city, but online conversation allowed us to reconnect through the shared experience of a major life transition: the transition to parenthood.

When I think of any significant passage in my own life, it's inseparable from the friends I shared it with. Friends are there to share your celebrations, support you through difficult transitions, and mourn your losses. Social media enable that sharing and support in new ways, across distances that would formerly exclude people who are far away but dear to your heart.

How social media can help you deepen your friendships during any life transition


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