Online Friendships

It’s odd to me that I feel more close to other bloggers than I do my own family.  Then again, it’s not that surprising, since I pick which blogger to read or not.  Then there is the honesty on the blogs.  People pouring out their stories, ranting about life, being real.  It makes me think of the Beats sitting around in a little coffee house somewhere in New York and the kinds of things I imagine them discussing.  Real life.  I suppose that’s what an artist does (though I use that term for myself very loosely); examine life through whatever lens is available and reiterate it in whatever art form, like a blog ((?)not sure if blogging is an “art”).

Back to the honesty thing.  Can we be more honest from a distance?  I can tell you anything I want about myself as if it is true and you will believe it.  But you feel the truth of it.  I could be a six foot tall biker and you’d never know, or would you?  Can you feel the lies in the blogs you read?  Do you sense the exaggerations?

I have dream-like figures of the bloggers I read, based on the mental picture (and some real photos) I’ve created based on what I know about each of them.  I can even hear some of them.  I’m sure you have some sort of picture of me as well.  How accurate are these pictures I’ve created?  Well, I suppose it depends on how much is revealed by the writer.  Perhaps it is a measure of skill in the writer to write so succinctly you can see them speaking, their mannerisms and habits.  I have a vivid image of one of my bloggers.  She is just so sweet and kind in her words, so tentative in her writing she draws me in.  But is she really a sweet lady or a biker that smokes big cigars? I’m not saying I’m a guy or that I’m six foot tall, but you can’t be sure, can you?

That’s when trust comes in I guess.  We all trust that what each of us writes is honest.  Though we may never meet or even skype we create an artist’s community, where no subject is forbidden, and no judgments made.  Trust and honesty are the keys to good writing and good friends.  Aha.


22 thoughts on “Online Friendships

  1. We can never really know someone, it’s often filled with expectations and projections.
    That’s why I love writing poetry, it’s the closest anyone will get to truly knowing me.
    Which is not the reason I write poetry, however, I have come to see that the real me is within my poems.
    Often, my poems clarify something for me as well because when I write poetry, it comes from a part of me that is deeper than the day-to-day routine.
    I don’t write anything that is like a personal diary, though – a trend that I notice comes from facebook and transfers over to wordpress; too boring, I love depth and more layers of meaning than “status updates”.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I agree, you can never truly know someone, but when you meet a person face to face, is it easier to know what is true about that person? I don’t really dig the “status updates” blog entries either.

  2. i used to tell my patients that they can lie to me and i would never know but what will that get you? if we share something personal there is an expectation that our blogger family will accept us and validate how we are feeling. as far as being a biker dude? does it really matter? maybe that is another part of the acceptance.

    1. Does it matter? I guess probably not. Despite how someone looks on the outside you never know what’s going on on the inside do we? The cigar smoking biker may have a soft, delicate side when he writes. It does make it interesting.

  3. I think one can an idea and feel of a person from the words and the way they write. But in truth why would some one want to write a load of lies, they are only cheating themselves, etc and people do catch on to it and lose friendships and followers..

    1. I guess that’s my question. The truth comes through the writing. Or does it? I think I could pick out the lies in a post, but could I really?

      With some writers their word choice and dialect comes through clearly, while others don’t reveal quite as much.

      I wonder how accurate our mental pictures of other writers are.

      1. That’s what I mean. I think I feel the truth of the people I read; I can only trust it is genuine. I don’t know of anyone who’s been duped, but I think of the BTK mass murder in Kansas. Had a nice family, member of the church. No one ever suspected him as being a murder. Could someone do the same online? Not murder of course, but cover up the fact that he was a deranged individual? If it can be done live, I assume it can be done online as well. Could you tell he was a maniac by his writing?

  4. Lately I’ve tended to take things at face value. I just take what I know and stop at that. I don’t try to imagine how the bloggers I know live or look or anything else, but only use what they’ve given me. They could be honest or they could be lying to my face, but at least I’m not digging a deeper hole for myself. Assumptions often tend to get bad. =/

  5. You’re right ..we do form images and impressions of those we blog with…I have a trusting nature and so I do believe what people write. There is perhaps one blogger that I am skeptical of but because of my nature I still will believe it is authentic writing. It’s funny you should write about this because I was just recently thinking that we do get ‘attached’ through blogging to certain people and things they are going through….Diane

    1. Yes. It’s not like we have a mental picture of someone’s height, weight, etc., but you do form some sort of image of some the more vivid writers. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I project some sort of image on someone which is probably not fair. I just wonder about a lot of stuff other people don’t, I guess.

    1. I think its a characteristic of writers. We want to explore the whys and hows of things and extrapolate new ideas from old information. STill I can’t help wonder what mental picture of myself I put out there with my blog. Assuming this is the genuine me, I should be able to say/do the same things in life as I do in my writing, right?

  6. I think It is much easier to ‘put ourselves out there’ in our writing because we’re not so hesitant to say how we really feel…as in a face to face encounter with someone and having to deal with maybe reactions that we perceive as negative or even worse…’phony’ and having those awkward moments…just a thought…Diane

  7. You’ve hit on some of my favorite things about blogging! In just a year of blogging, I’ve found some kindred spirits and folks who might well turn out to be lifelong friends (as well as a great deal of entertainment and food-for-thought). More and more of my blogging-buddies are making plans to meet each other in person, and I hold out hope that I’ll also meet some of my favorite people face-to-face… Though I’m thoroughly enjoying our friendships already!

    Such an interesting question about honesty-in-blogging… It’s true that we could be whomever we chose in this venue, which makes it all the more astonishing how many people are full-on, no-holdS-barred REAL in their blogging. Of course, there are also varying degrees of anonymity available—some people (perhaps wisely!) choose blogging-handles that don’t identify their real-world selves… (I’ve occasionally questioned my own choice to be so unabashedly who-I-really-am, full name and all, knowing that the blog is open for anyone in the world to read… But for better or for worse, I’ve let it all hang out there!)

    I’m glad you found me so I could find YOU! 🙂

    1. Thanks for dropping by. It would be fun to have some face to face meetings with some of my favorite bloggers. Find out if my images of them are even close to their actual personalities. lol

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