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You say stranger, I say friend....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friendship isn't a big thing, it's a million little things.
~Author Unknown 



Over the past several weeks I have had many conversations about what constitutes a "real" friend.

Many people think the relationships forged online are not real.  How could you be that close to someone you have never "met"?

I really don't think the mystery is all that elusive.   When you blog, you bear your soul so to speak.  You feel comfortable in your space and you share your life, your inner most thoughts, your inner most fears, the things that make you angry, the things that make you sad, and all the things that bring you joy.

How many of your face to face friends do you share all of that with?  My guess is slim to none.  There are always reasons that we tend to withhold parts of ourselves with face to face friends.  Susie might overreact, so we curtail the conversation to avoid her tantrum.  Julie may be too sensitive because her husband cheated so we don't talk about that around her.  Meg might take it wrong if I say I spanked my child because she was abused as a child.  Tess always blows things out of proportion because she is a drama queen.  You get the idea.

We know all these things about our F2F friends so we hold back bits and pieces of ourselves.  When we "meet" people online, they meet us without all those pretenses.  They read our about our daily lives and decide to become invested in them by reading everyday.  Those who aren't invested don't come back day after day for more.  But those who do visit daily "know" us. 

They know our humor.  They know our snark.  They know what makes us angry and what makes us sad.  They know our failures and our triumphs, regardless of how trivial or momentous.  I had a very good bloggy buddy tell me recently that she was much closer to her F2F friends who read her blog, for many of the reasons I have already mentioned.

So to me, it makes perfect sense that we feel so deeply for our own(other bloggers).  We know the good, the bad and the ugly, and we choose to care about them anyway.  That's usually what most people define as family.  You know everything about them and love them anyway.

So tell me Smackers.  How do you define "friend"?

Friends are relatives you make for yourself.  
~Eustache Deschamps

36 comments:

MiMi said...

It's true! I'm closer to some of my blog friends than my real life ones.
Actually, my BFF is someone who I knew in h/s but moved away. We re-found eachother through BLOGS!!! Now we're besties.
But the friend who I used to think was my BFF, well, we're not anymore.
And there's more to it than the fact that I just realized that I don't share anything with her. I don't trust her with it. Not that she'll tell, but that she won't understand and will judge.
I tested her (rude, I know) and she proved me right. I can't trust her with stuff. She doesn't know that, but I do.

Salt said...

I agree with you, friend. And I mean that literally. To be honest, I like many of the people I know online better than some of the people I know in the non-blog world.

I almost said "real life", but to me the blog world to be "real life" anyway. It's not like we're making things up here. We put things that happen to us in real life online every day and just because it's on the internet doesn't make it any less real, just like the friendships aren't any less real.

middle child said...

A sticker my daughter gave me when I still had my space.

"If you fall, I will pick you up. If I can't pick you up, I will lay down beside you."

Two Normal Moms said...

You said it so well. You can reveal it all and your online friends come back anyway. It's funny, I've reconnected with an old friend online that I haven't seen in 24 years. We are closer than ever. I almost don't want to meet face to face, because I don't want to lose what we've gained!

And the sticker middle child quoted... priceless!!

Ally

Moooooog35 said...

How do I define friend?

$4.99 a minute.

The Blue Zoo said...

Awww, I wuv you too!

I love my bloggy friends. I dont really like a whole lot of people. But I like bloggers. =)

Buffee said...

For lunch I wanted a cajun chicken biscuit from Bojangles. AND a milshake from Sonic. I didn't have time to go get both, so I asked my friend, Valerie, to go get the milkshakes while I went for the biscuits! She said no problem! That's friendship! lol!

But now my FAT ASS hates her! :)

Mrsblogalot said...

This was beautiful and it was defined perfectly. Blog friendships rule!


I'd also like one of those stickers please (-:

Imaginative Me said...

I am liking blogging world friends better than RL. There are many trust issues I have with people I meet and have a hard time really opening-up. I love this post!
I define "friend" as someone you are able to be yourself with, no secrets, no veils, no faking it.

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

I know exactly what you mean. When I bring up an online friend to someone in person they always act like that person's really a stranger, but truth is, over time the bond between people can grow so strong on the internet.

Dee said...

Excellent post, and I agree. Most bloggers don't have an air of pretense. They just write what they feel. It makes them easier to get to know....

Nancy C said...

I am challenging myself to be as open and fearless in my day to day life as I am online. But, for all of the reasons you listed, I struggle.

I will say that I never discuss politics online because it's too easy for people to get upset. I will talk about that F2F. Thoughts?

Shell said...

I completely agree with your definition. I'm totally me on my blog. I say things that I wouldn't say to people irl(gee, I bet you'd never guess that by the name of my blog)

SurferWife said...

This is all very true. I look forward to logging on to hear what you guys have to say before I pick up a phone to call a friend.

jessalyn said...

i so agree! the friends i met blogging got to know me in a totally different way than face to face friends. it's a different bond...

Meeko Fabulous said...

It's so true! I can tell my bloggy friends anything. The blogging community is a lot more accepting of things that IRL friends sometimes.

BigSis said...

I've found that we connect based on multiple items we have in common in blogland. In real life it tends to be one thing that brings us together at first and then we build a friendship. So, we really have more in common with bloggy buds.

Danielle said...

You said it perfectly. I choose to be friends with those that know me and still love me. I am hard to love sometimes. Blogging weeds people out quickly. You get to see who stays around for the real!

My Mercurial Nature said...

Two of my favorite things: Bluntness & acceptance. Those both seem to come with blogging, and they're both incredibly important parts of friendship. If I have to hold back, if I can't be myself, and if I can't be accepted...how can we be friends? Blogging opens a great door and the friendships made therein are just as true as any other, if not moreso.

Alicia said...

i loved this mama! and its so true. i've formed so many amazing friendships through blogging and i can't imagine life without them! and just because i haven't 'met' some in person, it doesn't make an ounce of difference. to me, a friend is someone who knows me inside and out, flaws and quirks and loves me anyway...

Mae Rae said...

this is tricky...i don't think i can define.

That One Mom said...

Hey there biznatch! You're one of my favorite cracked eggs! And if The Man can pull his head out and schedule our summer visitation with his son, we can schedule when we become F2F friends! Woot!!!

The Queen said...

You said what so many of us feel. I have adopted my family and all of them are from on line... and I love each of them as if we had grown up together.. My sister found me one Easter while blog hopping.. My youngest daughter.. well Ian sent her my way... and the list goes on.. and so does the love... I love my family now!

Tamara aka Cheapskate Mom said...

Awww now I got a tear in beer.

This was so sweet. SO TRUE. Whomever said bloggers can't be real life friends, must not have many real friends in real life.

Hey say that fast 5 times!!

**Hugs**

Momma Fargo said...

Very great post. I agree. However...I'm sad that we don't meet most bloggers in person!

Mad Woman said...

It's like your last quote says...Friends are the family I choose for myself. I have one friend IRL that I can tell everything. BUt I find I'm closer to my bloggy buddies than I am most of the people I actually "know".

Friends are special. And I'll have your back if you're my friend. And ZGirl? You're on my list!

Busted Kate said...

Couldn't agree with you more.

Friends don't judge me, or wish I was different. Friends like me for who I am. Friends stick up for you, and stay consistent. I've made some of the best friends I could imagine through my blog (and Twitter, and BBM!), and I'm grateful EVERY DAY for this blessing.

And I'm sooooo grateful for my girl B! You are always there for your friends, and that's a lucky person to be friends with indeed!

Ed said...

Right on, sister.

RIGHT.THE.FUCK.ON.

You know how I feel about this.

vinomom said...

This comes up so much in Blogworld! I wish we didn't have to defend our friendships so much!

I definitely DO feel that my friendships online and through blogging are real, but I think there are aspects to Blogworld Friendships just as much as the ones you mention in Real Life (which are oh-so-true, btw)

Maybe not everyone, but as a blogger you can certainly choose what you want to put out there. It may be conscious or sub-conscious. I am not sure if all of us see the whole picture of one another. That doesn't make the friendships any less real, though, because just as you say, we hide or avoid certain things in our Real Life encounters as well.

Very Interesting Post!

Dual Mom said...

A friend is someone who takes the good, the bad and the ugly and loves you not in spite of it, but because of it!

Bev said...

Great post! I agree entirely - I've made some excellent friends online over the years, and to me, they are real friends. Yes, most of them know more about me than the IRL friends who are "too busy" to read my blog each day!

gayle said...

I completely agree with you!! I love the way you have written this!!

Michelle Pixie said...

I think you nailed it on the head. My friends know me completely and still love me! They are honest and loyal and don't have hidden agendas. That is a true friend to me.

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

I'll say it again, aside from my wife and kids, I talk to my fellow bloggers more than anyone else!

Anastasia said...

That is an amazing quote! Its how I've always felt about friends.

GB Girl said...

Well said Momma. I have a much better connection with my blogger peeps than most of my f2f friends. There are a handful of f2fers who read my blog and I really feel like they 'get me'.
MB recently made a comment about my blogger peeps, saying that they weren't my real friends. I felt sad when he said that. Then I realized that he was completely wrong.
You guys see me in all my glory - snark, sass, strange rantings, insecurities. Hell, you guys know my real weight!
Enough said!! :)