Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Social interaction in the blogosphere

I was always good at making friends. Superficial ones. Forever popular (I worked hard at it) and yet a closet dork who wanted nothing more than a good friend to really know me. Not the me I was outside, the me that lived inside. A common dilemma. A very ordinary condition.

Having children is a great way to escape fake friendship (it is also a way to get more and more involved, but I am not a "mommy and me" kind of mommy so I didn't have to worry about that.) And husbands, especially the kind we like, they help too. They take up time and energy that used to be spent on phones and in crisis mode with girlfriends. I have enjoyed this part of grownupdom.

And yet.....

I seem to have stumbled on a new sociological finding. One of great and relevant significance. Interaction in the blogosphere. Not facebook (the term friend there must have been created by a really angry unpopular little boy) Facebook is the mecca for all things fun and fake and showy. Useful for networking and looking at pictures of children belonging to your childhood friends. I like looking up old boyfriends and noting that I aged better, is that mean? Probably. Sites like facebook and myspace are peeping tom sites. Driveby's . "Freind Collectors."

Not so our blogs. Here is where we lay ourselves bare and hope that we can strike a similar cord with the people who graciously visit and spend their own precious time reading our words or looking at our pictures. It is not a passive act, blogging... it is active, and intimate.

I, the grown up with no time for real people friends (Mary Frances and Sarah M. are excluded here because they come to my house, walk in, and hold me close even if it is against my will) seemed to have made a nifty group of online pals. I am ever grateful, and authentically interested in what you have to say and how you say it.

And I am finding that there are different ways that people connect through their blogs, just like in life. They make groups, they flock together, they find one another and secure themselves in a social niche. I feel some of that happening to me... again, totally normal. No explanation necessary. Human behavior. But for me, the anti social one.... extraordinary.

Thanks folks. For real.


  1. I'm exploring blogging connections this week in my blog too. It's such a great way to support and encourage each other!

  2. I had a friend from the age of 3, she knew the inside me. Sadly she died unexpectedly when we were 36. I will never have that friendship again. I do have my blogging friends, they are growing daily.A wonderful group of... supportive (bossy), motivating (bullying) bloggers ;0. I value their friendship.

  3. I think this post really sums it up. I do Facebook and Shoutlife, but I have found way more friends, true friends through blogging. It's sort of amazing that we can feel this rapport with people we've never seen and may have know for as little as a few weeks or a few months. But it's there nevertheless and I love it! By the way, congratulations with your step-by-step success with submissions. I look forward to hearing what comes of it :D

  4. When you live in a small community, sometimes its hard to find someone that really "gets" you. I've found friends on-line that understand me, support me and offer an ear when I need to vent. I was a nay-sayer for a long time saying that on-line interaction would be the death of social interaction. But I'm taking that back. I've found true friends through blogging and networking.

  5. Awwwe, this is so sweet! :) Great post. And I also go through Facebook looking for people I've aged better than, lol. ;)

  6. I have found a very real sincerity in the blogosphere. The blogs I connect with the most are the ones that aren't afraid to tell me how they really feel, and from those, I've found some very beautiful friends.
    Sure, I fall into my niche (I love reading blogs about other writers) but there are many that have nothing to do with niches and only to do with heart. Heather of the E.O. is one such bloggist. (http://theextraordinaryordinary.blogspot.com/)
    Ironically, she has a similar blog name to yours.

    That said, I follow along on your blog because of your heart. I'm glad you share it genuinely. Thank you for letting me be along for the ride.

  7. What an amazing post! I've been thinking the same thing - all the friends I'm making in the blogosphere just blows my mind. I was such an outcast in high school! I always felt so alone. Yet here people actually care about what I say, and it's a wonderful feeling. I email a lot of people, talk to some on the phone, chat with a lot, and even meet with some who are close! But even if it's just through comments, I think a connection can still be made. So thanks for your friendship, Suzanne! We're fairly new to each other, but I hope it continues. :)

  8. The fantastic thing about blogs is that individuals can become who they most want to be and say what they most want to say, doing away with the baggage of preconceptions and social capital that are involved with physical interpersonal interaction. You get a chance to reimagine yourself and redact yourself and enjoy yourself.

  9. That's my favorite thing about blogging--meet so many wonderful people I wouldn't have known otherwise. :D

  10. Danyelle: Me too
    Sarahm: Back at you
    B.Nagel: I LOVE that! "...redact yourself and enjoy yourself"
    Lady G: YOU BET!
    LT: You are welcome. I look forward to your posts!
    Mandy: ;)
    BJ: Thanks!
    Cindy: I agree about the rapport
    Glynis: That is a big loss. We are happy to have you!
    Jody: You blog gave me the impetus to write this blog post! Thanks!