Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I've only known three people in my Real Life who have blogs. Two of them just recently began blogging and how wild it is to read what they're feeling, especially when I'd not even heard from one of them in 25 years and the other, only through occasional emails (heavy on the occasional part).

I wish many more of those Real Lifers kept blogs of their own, for I love knowing the intricacies of what people feel and believe. Okay, perhaps it's because I'm nosey. But I've also noticed that many people--not the majority, ok?--are able to write down (type) how they feel more easily than they're able to speak their thoughts aloud.

I am one of those people. In my blog these past 5 1/2 years I've appeared way more bold than I am in Real Life. Some of my friends, though, might disagree with that, they being the friends I feel most comfortable around, therefore enabling my words to flow. Yet mostly, here within these 1500 + posts, I've written thoughts and beliefs which, for decades, I kept to myself largely due to the fact that everyone else seemed to prefer speaking about their broken-down appliances, their frustrating boss, politics, their children's report cards/sports teams/brilliant teachers, the weather, the pastor (and his mistakes), where they went on vacation or their neighbor who does stupid things daily.

In the midst of those topics there seemed little room for what was heavy upon my mind, namely, most of my previous blog posts. So I often stood in corners, alone, or in groups and felt alone, or stared at many a dinner plate while conversations swirled around me. And ached to speak of what mattered to me.

Blogging has enabled me--and tons of other people--to do that. Yet I still hear --often--others saying that our online relationships are not real and how it's only when you have two (or more) actual, warm bodies in the same room that you have a real, legitimate connection.

To which I say bah humbug! Just think of all those clandestine relationships of authors and others down through the decades who communicated only in letters sent to secret post office boxes (not that I'm condoning such affairs, but rather, I'm just saying...). Or the letters which were exchanged between family members in the 1840's and beyond when people moved West, both before and after the advent of the phone, never to see loved ones again this side of a funeral. Were all those relationships not real?

I'm thinking it's the folks who so easily speak their minds to anyone present who will listen (or to those trying to escape, even) who belittle those of use who have found most of our kindred spirits online. You know, the bold ones. Most likely, in their minds anyway, they have friendships which they've labeled as Real or Online/Disposable as well as a heavy case of "If something isn't as I understand it, then it just can't be so."

Well, here's to the rest of us who cherish all our friendships whether they consist of warm bodies in the same room or online and a whole world away. And here's to us who waited whole decades to speak freely from our hearts, now sharing our ideas and who we are with the world after having finally discovered the perfect way and means to do so.


Elizabeth said...

Beautifully said Debra! I certainly cherish my on-line friendships and you are one at the top of the list!

Annie said...


I wholeheartedly agree with all you've said. And I DO consider you a real life friend, despite the fact that we've never met.

Think of it...Paul's letters to the Corinthians, Galatians, Romans, etc. were circulated and copied over and over, often to new believers who'd never even met him. People like you and me. But his impact through those letters changed the world.

Just a thought.


Annie @ the View from 256

Judy said...

Oh, I SO agree.

Although, I do have to admit that I have issues with people who know me who read my blog, but don't tell me that they do. Then, I feel spied on.

But, I've been kind of tired and picky lately.

Tracy said...

I find it much easier to write what it is I wish to say than to speak it aloud. Perhaps because I have time to contemplate what it is I wish to say?

I think online friendships are very much real. I've been friends with a lady in Maryland since 1999. We've chatted on the phone & by email, but have never met in person. She is one of my dearest, most trusted friends. :)

Beth said...

You are in my head Debra! Only you speak much more eloquently. I have 10 of my very closest friends that I met online almost 16 years ago on a homeschooling forum. We've stayed in touch through an email loop all these years. These are certainly NOT disposable relationships. I'm glad you posted what you did. I agree!!

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Well, I am sort of someone in your real life.........At least, we've met, and a lovely day it was!


Not very fascinating, I fear! But there it is.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear, Debra!! Very well said!! :) I concur with everything! And yes, it really *IS* so much easier to write thoughts than to speak them - for many of us it seems.

Sara said...

AMEN! we're like penpals! i know you'll appreciate that analogy!

Laura said...

I agree completely! I am blessed to count among my "real" friends quite a few "blogger" friends that I have yet to meet face-to-face.

I talk to my close friends on the phone and by email all the time, who used to be face-to-face friends until we put big states between us as we grew up. I consider them real friends. But it isn't because we've managed a hug or two at some point, but because we care about each other, we pray for each other and we have fun together. Distance hasn't changed that.

I can say the same exact things of my friends I've met online with the tiny exception of the hugging part.

Great post, Debra!

All My Yesterdays said...

Oh, I agree about the new friends we find here. I had something I felt a need to share a couple of weeks ago. I had more comments and felt more comfort and understanding from my blog friends than anyone I know here in the *warm* world. And I'm meeting new people all the time.
Great post...thanks!

Jordana said...

I have a few good, local friends that I've met through blogging, but as far as I know I don't have many other off-line friends with blogs.

Now the real question -- do you tell your friends about your blog? I will, if asked point blank, but I squirm as I admit that I have one. Not sure why.

Laurie said...

I love the way you describe your feelings about conversations with others, how often nothing of substance is being said so you don't join in. I feel that way all the time!!! It is great that blogging has given you your voice. Maybe I will get there some day. I find my writing voice, the one I had as a young girl, is long gone.