Friday, July 28, 2017

blog friends are real friends

I ways feel a little silly when talking to friends who don't have blogs or don't read blogs about my blog friends, (aka friends I've met because they have blogs or friends I've connected with as a result of the blog.) I know the rest of the world is more heavy into social media but since I'm new to the smart phone world I would say I still stay more connected through the blog than through social media, maybe with the exception of Instagram since getting a smart phone, but I still much prefer writing a blog post than posting on Instagram.
Here's the thing: I know blogging is a little weird, I know that connecting with people via the World Wide Web can seem impersonal and strange, and if it were taking the place of one on one interaction with people in real life that would be weird, but for me it has been a huge blessing. Especially during the earlier, lonely years of motherhood it came to my aid in a huge way, and because motherhood is still overwhelming and can still be very lonely, it still does.

I started my blog after I had Bernadette, I was really itching to write, but I had just had my second kid in 19 months and it wasn't realistic to get a paid writing gig at that point. I was really extroverted and wanted to see people, particularly other moms, to commiserate and talk and laugh about the craziness of motherhood, but I was too overwhelmed and tired to take both tiny kids out of the house daily. Enter the blog. It fulfilled all of those desires and then gave back 1000 fold with all kinds of encouragement, solidarity, commiseration and friends! So many friends!! Katrina and Alexandra both became 2 of my closest friends in Indiana and we met through blogging, Grace and I had met IRL but became better friends through blogging. I got to meet Dwija, Kelly, Jenna, Nell, Bonnie, Anna, Jacqui, and now am friends with Rosie, all through having a blog.

Do I think people should replace friends In Real Life with online friends? No. Do I think people should replace book reading with blog reading or micro-blog reading (long Instagram statuses) No. But I have read so many edifying posts (some of them even Instagram statuses!) by so many wonderful women which have built me up and filled my cup. I've  had so many good interactions with online friends which have comforted me and brought me joy and yes, they are just blog posts and yes they were just online interactions but good writing is good writing and good friends are good friends whether they're online or in real life. I have been blessed by my good online and in real life friends and good online writing and hard copy writing equally.

This has all come into greater focus for me because I am hosting a conference at the end of next month (the same blogging conference that I met so many of the above listed women at several years ago) and so far nearly 40 women, most of whom I have never met in real life, will come into my home and will go from being only online friends to friends In Real Life and I am so excited. In so many ways this is my "Thank You" to the blog community for all it has given-- it is thrilling to be able to put so many faces to names and blog posts and prayers I've prayed for women who have posted asking for prayers and people who have prayed for me through some really hard times.

I am not trying to convince you to have a blog or start up an Instagram account if you don't have one, I know it's not for everybody, I'm just here to say that the support and goodness that come from online friends and blogs is real and it's good and I am just really thankful for it. And if you do have a blog and you're in Virginia area (some are coming down from NY!!) the deadline for the conference is this Sunday, and I would love to have you.


4 comments :

  1. Remember when those grown women peed on the grass at that park? Good times!

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  2. Ahhh!!! I wish I was still in your blogging region! Blogging friends are totally real friends.

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  3. Ana this post so perfectly describes how I feel about the blogging world. I've almost given up blogging a number of times, worried that it just isn't a "normal" way to connect with others. But it has brought me so many blessings over the past six years. I have good friends (online ones, not IRL unfortunately--yet!) as far away as Australia who pray for me and my family. It has really been a joy to me to be part of this online world, to "talk" to people with whom I share so many interests and values--people I never would have known if not for blogging. I've had the pleasure of meeting Rosie and Katrina IRL, briefly; I am looking forward to meeting you and the other ladies at the end of the month!

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