Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nice to Meet You

I've been contemplating lately the nature of these virtual relationships we develop through blogging. Foolery mentioned her awkwardness over referring to these relationships as "friends" when she's with the friends/family she actually physically interacts with - and I can relate to that. I've gone through all sorts of linguistic gymnastics to share the wit and wisdom I gain from reading other blogs. So why is that?!!

Being a highly social extrovert, I'm friendly with everyone I meet; add "Southern" into the mix, and you get someone who's not afraid to strike up conversations with strangers at the store or on the street. But, whenever I meet a new friend, someone who becomes more than just a casual acquaintance, there's a feeling I get -- we "connect", you might even call it a form of "attraction". What's interesting to me is that I can get the same feeling from even just a few "comment volleys" with fellow bloggers. Once, I simply read a comment on, my friend, Mrs. G's blog, read the commenter's description of herself on her blog, and just felt like I'd found a long lost sister. [Really!! I even hesitated before typing "sister", but that's actually how I felt.]

Reflecting on this phenomenon, I realize that it affirms my faith in God. I'm what you might label an agnostic, who is highly religious. Words are immensely inadequate to describe my (or anyone's) spirituality, but I'll try. I mellowed from full-blown, in-your-face atheism [not all atheists are like that, but I sure was] to agnosticism in my mid-20's, then had what many would call a "born again" experience. I made it through my "fundamentalistic" phase and now find myself joyously contemplating complex questions and doubts in the protection of an abiding certitude.

Back to "blog friends" (hasn't someone coined a cute word for that yet?! I mean, other than Sarah). This ability to connect that transcends our physical reality (we utilize none of our physical senses, unless someone posts a photo or video) surely indicates that there is more to the human reality than just our physical being - we are spiritual beings as well. And that's the place where we connect on-line, no matter what we call ourselves.


apathy lounge said...

Friends. Yes. Even if we haven't met. That's the word for it.

Mrs. G. said...

I like friends-honestly, I can never have too many good ones.

Connections are what make us human.

Mrs. G. said...

But we should totally meet.

dharmamama said...

Yep, I think friend is the word. ;)

MamaMo said...

Mrs. G - meet you?! I'm planning on living with you... at the Women's Colony. :-)

So great to have such substantial friends - thank you all.

Ok, Where Was I? said...

In all my insecurities, I worry that I cross some boundary if I use "friends," even though that's how I think of many of the people I've met online. I love to see their names pop up in the comments section and read their posts every week. And I love when you find a new one that you instantly click with--Mrs. G is one of them for me. I'm all in on that colony too.

Christine said...

It took me a long time to get used to calling my online friends "friends" witout some type of qualifier. But that's what they are.

It's hard to explain to people who don't blog, or read blogs at all, how deep and real the connections we make online are.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I say "blog friend," or (if I know them in real life which I am very lucky to have made several friends that way) "friend I made through blogging."

Yes, they are definitely friends and very often kindred spirits.

Debbie said...

Yes, we definitely have Sarah in common...she is one helluva funny lady!

I've been saying blog buddies and I truly think of them as friends. They make me smile and laugh and sometimes cry. I haven't been blogging long, but I am really growing from the relationships I've formed.

Isn't this fun? And oh, BTW, you have been tagged by me today :)

Don't worry if you don't do it...no biggie. I'm going to head to Mrs. G!!

foolery said...

Hey MamaMo,

I hadn't read this yet (my ever-widening blog circle is keeping me hopping). I particularly LOVED this sentence: "I made it through my 'fundamentalistic' phase and now find myself joyously contemplating complex questions and doubts in the protection of an abiding certitude." That had me reading it again and again.

I definitely feel I have made friends through blogging and various other on-line activities. Some of those relationships call for the qualifier "blog friends," others I'm pretty sure are "friend-friends." The awkwardness comes from not being able to read someone's body language to know if they feel as connected to me as I feel to them, or if I just come off as a big needy dork, ha ha.

Also, it's near impossible explaining Blog friends to non-bloggers. Their eyebrows go up and they get that "I'm concerned about you lately" look. It's easier to keep quiet.

Sorry to write a book -- great post!

-- Laurie @ Foolery