Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Of Blogging and Friendship

Disclaimer: Much mush ahead. Proceed at your own risk. It could get ugly

I've been blogging for a couple of years now and what has surpised me most about blogging, and to a lesser degree forums, is the friendships I've developed.

Friends I've met
Friends I've talked to on the phone
Friends I've never done anything but chat and email with
Others who I only know through their blogs and who have let me into their lives that way

That aspect of blogging caught me unawares. I never imagined, when I began, that a sense of community would be part of the package. And, to a large extent, that sense of community is no doubt what keeps me coming back. I'd venture to say I've made more friends through blogging and the cyber community in the past couple of years than in real life.

It's strange that way.

Last week I found out - after wondering why I hadn't heard from her in a week and where she'd disappeared to - that a dear friend had been in a bad car accident. A drunk driver hit her car head on as she was coming home from work. We're talking jaws of life accident. We're talking almost an hour to get her out of the car accident. We're talking at first they thought they might have to amputate her foot accident. She almost died.

My friend, she's like that. She never does stuff half way. And for the record, she's still very beat up, but on the mend. It's going to be a long haul.

When I heard (through a forum we frequent) my heart stopped. Fear, sadness, anger and guilt at not having known sooner hit me. And even now, a week later, when I think of it I just want to cry.


This person I never met and who I've only talked to on the phone a handful of times, she has become one of my best friends. We connected through the Net and I'm a better person for knowing her.

Through the internet. You know that horrible invention that bypasses all human contact, that nasty thing that is killing all sense of community?

I beg to differ.

So to all those people I've "met" through the evil Web, all of you who touched my life with your stories, your advice, your humour, you all have a part in making me who I am today whether I have met you in person or not. Thank you.

And thanks to the Divine Ms. M with whom I had dinner last night and who inspired this post.


furiousBall said...

I hope I've given you some examples of what not to do and maybe made you laugh in the process

Suzan Buckner said...

wow, I hope that your friend is alright!! I am so sorry to hear that happened!

I am jealous of Ms. M..heheheh.

Hagelrat said...

hunny, great post and well said. The online community has been a huge help to me at times and has brought me huge joy.

Rachel said...

I would be a very lonely person if it weren't for the internet. The forums, the blogs, the chatrooms, the clubs and meetups, the dating sites, all of those have greatly enriched my life.

we may not KNOW each other, but we do know each other more than mere aquaintances possibly can. Sometimes in-person communications are incredibly superfical and shallow.

Great post.

Gwen Buchanan said...

You are so right Jazz.. It has filled a void that nothing else has been able to...

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

It's true -- there are people out there that I've never met, yet hold dear... Well said!

Dorky Dad said...

You're absolutely right. The people you meet online are still friends, even if you never see them in person. Sorry to hear about your friend, by the way.

Gnightgirl said...


I lost an internet friend of 11 years to cancer, 2 years ago. There were periods when he was forced to stay home that we'd talk every single day, for months on end.

I never met him in person, and still I miss him sorely. I often have the urge to write his mother and tell her so, but I'm somehow paralyzed with the "I never met your son..." part of the note.

Anyway, I've meet a lot of nice people thru the net, many of them in person. Great post.

Jazz said...

Fuball - you always make me laugh

Suzan - she should be ok eventually, an we'll go to dinner sometime.

Hagel - despite what any naysayers might have to say.

Rachel - that's true. There are some internet people I feel I know better than real people in my life.

Gwen - I've met and become good friends with people as far away as Australia via the internet.

Kimber - I'm obviously preaching to the choir.

DD - And yet so many people don't believe that. Maybe it depends on the person.

Gnightgirl - Go ahead and write it. I never met your son but I still miss him every day. We met online and....

paula said...

Wow...Sorry to hear about your friend's accident! I wish her a quick and full recovery.

And ditto what you--and everyone else said--per the online community. I wouldn't be where I am (in so many ways) without it.

somewhere joe said...

That aspect of blogging caught me off guard too, in a good way. Its narrative intimacy, its pace and depth, fosters new kinds of relationships and neighborhoods that are pretty much unrestrained by time and space, the exigencies of circumstance. I like it.

geewits said...

That was terrible news to get! I wish your friend a speedy recovery. I really love my blogger friends and constantly bring you guys up in conversation with physical people, like, "Oh, I have a blogger friend that does that, too." I get some funny looks sometimes and my mom seems to think by "blogger friend" I mean "imaginary friend" but I don't care. It's our little (huge) world and we like it!

Jazz said...

Paula - You hear abot these things, but it's awful when it hits someone you know.

Joe - yep. in a really good way.

Geewits - Funny, I talk about fellow bloggers like "real people" and get strange looks too.

XUP said...

So true. So true. Like you I never expected to get this involved in strangers' lives or they in mine, when I started blogging. What a great bonus.

Urban Animal said...

Great post. Online communities are as important and as "real" as anything else. It's not because you can't touch it that it's not real.

Although some online communities/people have hurt me badly and left me somewhat jaded, it has also helped me in more ways than I ever imagined possible.

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I wish her a speedy recovery.

Ian Lidster said...


Suburbia said...

I was just grazing through your blog and this just said all my thoughts for me (though I haven't been blogging as long as you by any means). Just wanted to comment really:)

PS Found you at Girl with the mask

citizen of the world said...

I totally agree. The internet has brought me some wonderful friendships. I could never have predicted that.

Lhia said...

In case any of you were wondering...its me who had the accident.

Jazz... I don't even have the words for what this post means to me. Sorry it took me so long to respond.