Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What I Have Learned This Week: Blog Friends Are People Too

Its Tuesday. 


That beautiful time of the week when I get to chatter all about what I have learned this week. 

Lucky you.

As you know, I fasted from social media last week. I learned a lot. In an attempt to take a very broad and detailed topic, and condense it, I give you bullet points...

  • Taking a blogging break is hard when writing is your means of connection. Not only with others, but that place within my heart that cannot be tapped with spoken word. 

  • Private journal writing will be ignored when the heart is disengaged, fed chocolate, and artificially pumped up with marathon re-runs of reality TV on the Oxygen channel. (It was a bit of difficult week emotionally {see this updated post}, made worse with hormones and a stash of Easter chocolate that I raided).

  • Taking a weeks break made me understand the importance of relationships. Both those in-real-life, and those that are bonded through written word. The blogging community may seem intangible and "not real" to those who aren't in it. But when you really engage in the life of someone else, be it in-real-life or through the written world of a flesh-an-blood blogger, real community happens. For me, it has happened at just the right time, in just the right place. 

  • With that said, I learned that often times we don't get to choose what our close knit friends look like, where they live, or how often we get to see them face to face...but I've been given an opportunity through blogging to know people that really desire community and are willing to take a risk and participate in community where they can get it. Blogging has served a great purpose in my life-- one that looks completely different than what I thought it would, but is fulfilling nonetheless. 

  • This week I was surprised by, and learned from, loneliness. I missed the opportunities to encourage others in my online community...and the opportunity to be encouraged. 

  • And finally, all those judgmental thoughts I had years ago about people who meet people online has come to bite me in the butt. There is a generous handful of amazing women that are my dear friends here in Bloggerville. Checking in on their blogs, and reading their comments when they come to mine, is like meeting with dear neighbors for a chat in the cul-de-sac. Its different than any of the relationships that I have had, but, its also been a blessing, at times a lifeline, in this stage of life. 
Bottom line? I learned that God has given me good friends in an uncommon place. A place I would have scoffed at four years ago when I started this blog. But a place that I am so grateful for today.

Check out what others are learning at Musing of A Housewife.


21 comments:

Heather said...

It is a hard lesson to learn and awkward when you try to explain it to the outside "real" world.

Most of my online friends are really, really pregnant or very busy with new babies and suddenly I am lacking the community I have come to rely on and often take for granted (I go through very antisocial times where all I want is immediate family--which happened again very recently). And then the other day I visited with some old friends (brother and sister) from high school (ran into them on Facebook and found out they were both in town--these were part of my inner circle of friends in high school) and was surprised and shocked, even, to find that we had absolutely, positively NOTHING in common. So much so that she made fun of people who spend a lot of time online (hubby and I BOTH work AND play online and most of our relationships ar ethere), called all of my blogs "work" and didn't understand that none of them are work at all--to me that is, and varous other comments that showed how far both of them were from my world. (Both work in the big city, live with their significant other but are not married, have no kids, and only one is doing what they want with their life--the other has no clue what they want to do and have been out of college for 5 years. Neither is content with where they are or what they are doing. Totally different world.) And of course I am saying all this here because you said what was on my heart and it all connected why it has been bothering me so much.

snoodlings.com said...

I was a scoffer, too. I decided to blog on a whim and still sometimes wonder what I'm doing, but I don't wonder about the incredible women I've met in this process. It was a completely unexpected bonus to this "whim," and I am grateful. I consider you one of those incredible women I've had the opportunity to "meet." Thanks for putting yourself out here in cyberspace; I think my life is richer for it.

Gretchen said...

First, I'm so sorry for your friend's/your loss.

It's amazing what God will use in our lives to make them richer. I know, like everyone else, I can go overboard on the "what's up in bloggityville" mentality. But these relationships have come to matter to me as much as any, I'd venture to say. And I'm quite thankful, too.

I dare say it's also cool that God used your rest in this way.

Carpoolqueen said...

I consider my blog time my "meeting the women at the well" moment. We don't have a central gathering spot anymore to share the news of the day, and Blogland is a great place to meet, chat, catch up, and return to our day.

So glad you're back. And if you need recommendations on something other than Oxygen, I recommend General Hospital.

Lindsay said...

aww so sweet.. I love meeting you for a cup of coffee in the cul-de-sac! I always love reading about what you learned each week :-)

The Fritz Facts said...

I am so sorry for the loss your friend is going through.

Learning from my bloggy friends has been my greatest reward. I have had so many things shown to me, and it all makes a wonderful impact.

Tiffani said...

I knew we were "family" way back when in Bloggyworld and we first started getting to know one another...you and Mer were my first blogger friends...but it sealed the deal when you put aside your unplugging last week to check on us w/ JuJu...THAT is family, for sure and I love you for that!! *sniff

I agree with all that you said...it is TRULY a gift in an unexpected place...sooo happy to be a part of it all!

livinginagirlsworld said...

This bloggy world is pretty amazing. I think it has made me a more tolerant person overall. There are so many amazing people out there who may have a few different ideas than I, but we can still all play nice and have fun together. I love it!

Jewel said...

What a great post and what great comments! I'm still kind of new to the blog world and for a long time have just put stuff on my own blog as more of an outlet. I have grown to love this way of connecting also though. I love the written word and feel like we let our guards down a little here going beyond being what people expect and being more transparent. That's what I've seen anyway.

Oh and are you talking about Top Model? I was not feeling well one day last week and actually watched that for a whole day. I felt horrible when it hit me when they were down to five people I thought, "Oh my gosh, I've been watching this show for 7 hours!! How did that happen??"

Musings of a Housewife said...

I'm glad you had a profitable social media fast. And yeah, it's weird to people who aren't a part of it, but it is very real. And awesome! :-) Another reason why I encourage people to attend a conference and meet face to face the people they've gotten to know online. :-)

The Real Me! said...

Oh how I love blogland! It's everything you said. It's such an outlet and I have met some amazing people that I now call friends!

Hillcrest Cottage said...

Cool...loved your post regarding community. We were made for community. seriously, no (wo)man is an island.

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I could have written this same post word for word, Kellie.

I am honored to call you friend...and am amazed at what God is orchestrating. :)

Shelley @ My Treasure Hunt said...

I agree, it used to seem weird to make friends online! Now that is what we have all done through the blogs and how awesome is it?!! Thanks for sharing!~

JanMary said...

You have been in my prayers this week, following your friend's tragic loss.

I find it so hard to explain to others what I experience in the blogging community.

I love the people I have "met", and even though I only stopped blogging for a few days, I could not believe how much I missed it.

Thanks for a great post.

Chel said...

Well, we're delighted to have you here with us in the bloggy world.

jen said...

Glad you are back.

And I agree!

tanyadennisbooks.com said...

This is an interesting counterpart to a post by Callapidder Days this week. She reviewed a book called "Flickering Pixels." One of the points in the book (and her review of it) was that social media "creates an 'illusion of intimacy with people we’ve never met' and, in turn, tends to erode real intimacy in our lives." It was an interesting post, quite the opposite of what you're written here. I agree with both of you!

The blogging/twitter/online community is REAL and we foster real relationships. They just take different forms from traditional relationships.

At the same time, I've found myself neglecting my "real"/traditional relationships because I feel that I've already done it. In other words, I blog about my life and my kids and my thoughts and what I'm learning and just assume all my friends and family read it and know. I forget those who don't have the internet or don't read my blog and thereby fail to share my life with those people.

Balancing both worlds well requires an attentive juggle.

Elizabeth said...

You spoke my thoughts so eloquently! I defend my love for blogging, or more specifically my love for the women I've met via blogging, because others do not understand. My blog friends are my real friends in this season of my life. No doubt about that. And I am so blessed to know them. I know for sure that God orchestrated this blogging thing in my life with a purpose and a plan!

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

Oh Kellie, I agree with EVERYTHING you said!!!

Terra said...

Oh, I don't think I could take that break. I have a need to spill or my brain fills up and overloads! I do love all the people I have met online and that has been a blogging Bonus for me.