Pinterest/Interest

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Friendship and Blogging

I've been thinking about the friends I've made through blogging--virtual friends, yet real people. I feel connected to many of them, more so than just reading about them. They put their thoughts and feelings, sometimes their fears and desires, out there for the world to see. And I try to understand them and know them. But we really don't know each other, do we? I know that if I met them in person, I'd give them a warm, heartfelt hug. It would feel so good to do that, and hopefully they'd hug me back. After that, then we'd really find out if we're friends.

There are just some things that can't be experienced through the Internet, through blogging. You can't touch the person to feel their warmth. You can't hear their speech patterns, the sound of their voice (although YouTube makes that possible). It's hard to know how tall they are, how sincere they are through just the written word and a photo or two.

Some bloggers want to remain anonymous. Maybe they feel they can be more honest and genuine that way. I know that I keep a lot of things to myself, because I'd be embarrassed or I might hurt someone's feelings if I talked about them. But, if I were using a pseudonym, I could be more open. But then, would you really know me? You might know more about me, but you wouldn't know me, that is, who I am. And isn't that a part of friendship, knowing both about each other and each other the person? I think so.

I would like to meet my virtual friends. But it's also a scary prospect. What if we really didn't like each other? Then what?

What are your thoughts on this? I'm itching to know.

18 comments:

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

I've met a few of my blogging buddies. It's always been fun.

Juliana L. Brandt said...

I've also met a few of my blogging friends and I'm really enjoyed it. It's great talking with someone you 'know' so well.

Ann Carbine Best said...

Blogging really isn't a good substitute for face to face. But over the almost 3 years since I've been blogging, I feel very close to maybe several dozen people. Anonymous turns me off. I like to see a photo, preferably one that looks something like the person (I had to take many pictures before I got way that I thought didn't make me look TOO old LOL). If you didn't post your picture and were "anonymous" I don't think I'd feel as close to you as I do.

I haven't met in person any blogging buddies yet, though Denise Covey in Australia says she and her husband might someday come to the states and would look us up. I really do hope that someday she'll do this!

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

Kelley Lynn said...

I'm totally looking forward to the LDStorymakers conference in May where I will meet many friends in person :) The form of communication will be different, but I doubt I will love them any less :)

Julia Hones said...

Using a pen-name does not mean that the writer is not honest or sincere. Fiction writers need pen names because they can be easily confused with their characters and that can be a problem. It's good to know that you are making meaningful connections. You may get to know some people better through their blogs rather than meeting them face-to-face under different circumstances.

Tanya Reimer said...

Hugs!

Elise Fallson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elise Fallson said...

I would definitely give you a big hug if we met in person! (: I've only met a couple of other writers/bloggers in person and it was wonderful, though I was VERY nervous about meeting them, but that's just part of my personality. After a cup of coffee it was as if I had always known them. Sometimes I wish I lived closer to other writers/blogging friends. I often feel a bit isolated here.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Richard
It's much more fun when I know my blogging friends by their given names. While understand that some people need their privacy for one reason or another, I feel more connected to someone whose name I actually know.

I guess I'd be a little apprehensive to meet an internet friend in person, but I'd anticipate a good experience.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I think of this quite often. I think it would be so neat to meet my blogger friends. Sometimes connections forged though writing can be strong connections.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Richard, I too would like to meet my online friends in real. I am sure I would like them.

I would reciprocate your hug by giving you a tight hug back.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Richard.

the best part of my day... said...

I love this, Richard, and I couldn't agree more. Really. One day, I'd love to meet everyone in my blogging community. What fun that would be...happy holidays.

Dmitry Voevodin said...

Поздравляю с Рождеством Христовым! В этот светлый праздник хочу пожелать мира и спокойствия в вашем доме, добра, взаимопонимания, достатка, любви, счастья, душевного равновесия, успехов во всех начинаниях, побольше радости, крепкого здоровья и всех благ! Пусть оправдываются все ожидания и сбудутся самые заветные мечты!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

perfumehk said...

Nice blog
Parfum pas cher

Arlee Bird said...

So far to my recollection I've met 4 bloggers in person (who were not family). They seemed pretty true to how they came across on their blogs. I'd like to meet more of them. Someday perhaps. I'd love to find a local blogging club or something of that nature. In person encounters are so much more intensive and rewarding than briefly making exchanges through comments.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Terminally Ill said...

I <3 u!

Charmaine Clancy said...

I love my bloggy buddies :) And I'm a keen hugger!

I've met a few bloggers in person at writing events, chatting away and then finally clicking that we know each other online. I must admit it usually feels at first like it's two separate people. One of my very best friends in life now is someone I first met years ago by following her blog when we were living in separate states. Chance has move me to her city and we've formed a writers group. I couldn't imagine not having her in my real-life life!

Happy 2013 :)

Clarissa Draper said...

I'd like to meet you but I'm like you, I'm afraid we won't get on or something and that might ruin our friendship online. But, we'll probably get on fine. I love your stories.