Posted by: DD | April 21, 2009

STONE COLD SOBER, AS A MATTER OF FACT

~ Guest post by Aunt Becky

This morning when my own blog somehow got a Case of The Monday’s (on Tuesday. Dumb blog doesn’t even know the days of the week.) DD offered me the use of her own blog so that I could once again fill The Internet with my pointless drivel. Because my Twitter account only allows me to say stuff in 140 characters or less which is not NEARLY enough blathering for Yours Truly, I was most pleased to do this. Plus, DD is kind of my own personal hero, so I kinda got hot and bothered thinking about posting on HER blog.

Which, because I am not clever enough to come up with a topic on my own, brings me to the topic I’d begged her to give me. Can you be honest-to-God friends with people you meet on The Internet?

It’s tricky, yo. But after thinking about it for 30 seconds as I refilled my eleventy-ninth cup of coffee I think I have my answer: yes. Even after the posts I’ve dedicated to how self-serving and self-important blogging is (put down the pitchforks, I have my own blog, so what does that say about me?), I can honestly say that I have met a handful of people I would actually call my friends.

Back in January and February when my daughter was born with a part of her brain hanging jauntily out of the back of her head, a condition called an encephalocele that we weren’t aware she had, I took to my blog. Somehow the act of writing down my feelings and putting them into a cohesive form rather than the scattered bits of worry floating around my head made things ever slightly better. And The Internet, prayed for me, with me, and around me when I needed them. 

In some tangible way that I’d not expected, having the collective prayers of people from The Internet made having to put my newborn through brain surgery was made slightly easier. Many times, the people in the computer were more present for me than the friends I’ve made outside of the computer. And because I was able to pull my feelings into a readable (okay, that’s debatable) format, many of the people who know my blog were able to tap into the real me. They didn’t have to see my frazzled hair or blood-shot eyes, they didn’t have to come over and witness for themselves the balls of dog hair floating about my house to know who I am.

The blogs with whom I have personally connected are of the same ilk. Maybe they don’t sit around talking about deep and meaningful stuff (preferably they don’t) but on some level I can relate to their owner. Maybe they make me laugh, maybe they make me think, maybe they just make me like them. And in some way, I feel like I know them.

I’m not saying that everything that The Internet says is true. God knows that everyone has left the worst parts of our personalities (let’s hope) out of their blogs. I mean, I hate to tell you this, but my waist is not ACTUALLY 24 inches. Hell, it’s even possible that my favorite bloggers are simply PRETENDING to be who they say they are when they are really midget transsexuals living in Decatur. But it’s possible that the friends outside of the computer I’ve had for 15 years are actual midget transsexuals living in Decatur too. Maybe they just hide it really well.

Stranger things have happened. 

What do YOU think, DD’s Internet?

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Responses

  1. Am I all stalker-like for being the first to respond? I swear I do other things than just sit around and wait to see what you say next.

    But that actually leads to your point. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, as I try to connect with the world as a SAHM of 3 kids. I can’t actually go anywhere during the day, and I don’t know where I’d go anyway. So I’ve discovered (just in the last few months) all these blogs. And yours has been a big one for me. I read what you have to say, and so do tons of other people. And then they comment, and so do I, and often I then go and check out the blogs of your commenters–all these fascinating, amazing women (and a few men). My husband says to be careful because you can’t trust anyone you meet on the internet. Well, we were all strangers once–whether we met on the internet, in a bar, or in church. What matters is whether we connect, whether we make one another feel like we matter. I was honored to be able to contribute to the group effort of supporting you through those scary times with Amelia, and whether or not you noticed me personally, I felt like I was helping a friend.

    Sure, it’s easy to pretend to be someone you’re not when you’re online. And you should be careful what you believe and what you reveal. But people are people, no matter how you find one another. And friends are friends.

  2. I have had the joy of knowing for sure that it is possible to have real friends from the internet.

    7 years ago I was in college and bored. I also happened to have finished reading a book series called The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and was interested in talking to other fans about it. Now, I am married to someone I met there, my brother is dating someone from the forums and my daughter is named after one of the characters. Half of our wedding party consisted of members as well.

    Internet friends can definitely be real friends. 🙂 Even if its someone pretending to be someone else, that person is still a real person probably hiding behind their own mask for one reason or another.

  3. I agree, you CAN meet true friends on the internet. In fact, I’ve met a few very close friends through the internet while sharing my experiences with preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. While I was on bedrest and my son was in the NICU, the internet was praying for him right along with me. Friends whether internet or IRL are friends…end of story.

  4. I am definitely a midget transsexual. With blue hair.

  5. shit, I’m busted.

    only my hair Oompa Loompa green and my skin is orange.

    seriously though, it takes a lot for me to be friends with people in real life….I think if met some of my bloggy buddies for real – it would be easier because the whole ‘getting to know you’ period is over.

    you get my snark?

  6. I am a member of a number of online communities, most music and technology related, and have people I would definitely call my friends. In fact, with my upcoming trip to Germany I am actually going to get to meet a few of them.

  7. bwahaahahahahaha- Love the first comment-poster…

    I, on the other hand DO have time to be all stalker… well, for now I do…

    and this doesn’t tell me wth your last post was about- I’m CONFUSED…

    Love the guest blogger btw. And YES internet friends are possible. I’m going to be the maid of honor at one of my best friend’s weddings this December. We met online on a forum, and have met in RL since. She was the first person I spoke to outside of my family about Jellybean’s death. She was the one who listened to me bawl on the phone for an hour- not talking, just listening to my disjointed ramblings and sobs. I’m the one she calls in the middle of the night, when she can’t sleep from worry about her fiance, who’s in Iraq right now. And we make each other laugh. Always, no matter HOW crap things are, we can make each other smile. She’s like my same-sex soulmate. And if it weren’t for the internet, I would never have known her.

  8. On a side note- she lived in Nebraska when I met her…. 😀 funky coincidence no???

  9. I TOTALLY think of my interweb people as friends.
    I would love to host a backyard bbq and invite everyone that I stal….check up on everyday.

  10. Hello Aunt Becky, how did I not know you sooner?

    Well, hell yeah, you can have internet friends. The scary part? Some of my internet friends now know more about me than my real life friends and family. I feel like I am living in The Matrix. Really. No really.

    Crazy, eh?

  11. Yes. You can have friends from the internet and sometimes they will help you through some of the rough crap that we all have and every little bit helps. And heaven forbid something truly terrible happens, they will be there too, hopefully I never find that out personally.

  12. I think that fellow bloggers are my friends. And maybe that’s really naive. Maybe I am too trusting and should sensor myself a little more…afterall complete strangers are reading about intimate moments of my life. Yes, my cat pooping in the cornor of my living room is an intimate moment!!!!

    Perfect example: a girl I didn’t know from Adam reached out to me during my pregnancy and when she heard I went into preterm labor she was by my side for months. she herself had two preemies and her constant support and caring spirit got me through some really tough times. There are a lot of good natured people in the world and it’s nice when people can relate to what you’re going through.

  13. I think sometimes it’s easier to connect when you don’t have to worry about being judged on your appearance, or your inability to make small talk, or your shoes or whatever. It’s easier to say what you really mean when you can go back and delete it and try again and again until it sounds just right. Then, if you happen to meet someone from the internet in real life, you already have a level of comfort that takes time and effort to achieve otherwise.

    Also, because we’re all instant gratification suckers on the internet, you can surmise that most people who leave supporting comments for you are actually interested in your plight. Otherwise, they can skim and go on to the next shiny thing the internet offers. Sincerity is really difficult to find in this life, but I see a lot of it in the blog world.

    FYI, I met my first real boyfriend on the internet (sort of) when I was in high school. In 1986. My friend was chatting with his friend on a pre-internet billboard and we all eventually met up one fateful day.

  14. I have definitely connected online with bloggers – whether it would translate to offline I don’t know as I have not yet any bloggers in person (except one who i met online in a different space). I have met some nonblogger online friends offline but mostly in the same kind of context we “met” and those friendships haven’t quite permeated the rest of my life.

  15. I think that I always love you:) Your attitude amazes me. (in a good way!) And I have totally missed you too. Feeling a bit ‘spread thin’ lately, but still around.
    I am looking forward to my first blog friend irl meet this summer, I have met a number of women I befriended on yahoo groups before my blogging days and have created deep friendships with a number of them, so I think blogging can lead to the same thing.

  16. Yesserie..I have become friends with people I “met” while blogging.

    These are people that you just know if you sat down for morning coffee with them, you probably wouldn’t shut up till dinner.

  17. You are my BFF right? That’s what I’ve been telling everyone, well anyone who walks by me anyway.
    And so what if I am a midget from Decatur. We’re people too, ya know?

  18. There is no doubt that many of my friends in the computer are real friends — oftentimes moreso that the in-real-life ones.

  19. Yep, I totally think so. There’s no need to be anything other than who you are, because at first it’s just a blog. Then if you do meet in real life, it’s like you’ve known each other forever.

    We now travel with a friend and her family that I met online and she’s one of my closest friends in the world.

  20. Very true. I’m actually a 72 year old fat man with a comb over. But I still love you. And your 24 inch waist.

  21. I WISH I was a transsexual midget living in Decatur. Unfortunately I am just a giant hermaphrodite living in Topeka.

  22. I’d like to think so…that I could be friends IRL. My blogging is nonexistant bc I can’t find time to wipe my butt let alone blog.. and I can’t seem to organize the myriad of thoughts running around in my mind either.

    I agrree with what commenter ‘a’ said up there. Maybe it’s naive but I like to think people actually care enough to read and comment, when they do.

    For me, just reading the blogs that I do is my way of feeling connected. No one in my world has ever dealt with infertility … the loss of a pregnancy…. gone through an adoption, let alone transracial adoption. No one in my world is a liberal… or a non-Christian… or believes in concepts like white privilege or the hundred other things that make me feel like a complete outsider in my own community and my own family. The truth is, if I’d never found the ‘blogosphere’ I would have assumed something was very wrong with me and spent thousands on therapy. Now I know, I’m just living in the wrong place 😛

  23. Now I can’t say that my blog has much to say that is remotly insightful it tends to be more on the side of drivel. And since the friends I have in Internet land are my cousin, her two best friends and you… well I have to say then you guys probably know me best seeing as how you are the only ones to actually leave me comments on all my drivel and nonsense that I do write;)

    Does that make me insane??? most likely I have three kids under the age of 5…I’d have to be insane by now right?? Have a great day;) (or night as it’s 11pm when I’m writing this;))

  24. My answer is a resounding yes.

  25. Totally… I’ve even met one AND LET HER STAY IN MY HOME WITH 3 OF HER KIDS! She was traveling cross-country and met up with a few of us (our little forum clique) along the way. We were both so incredibly happy to discover that neither of us was a pudgy, balding, 60 y/o perv in a wife beater with a sideways smile. Nevermind that I was/am a pudgy, 30ish perv in a wife beater with plenty of hair and the good sense to wear a belt, and she was a skinny 20ish babe, we already knew each other, our kids hit it off immediately, we made coffee and talked smack for hours.

    That having been said she did have a bad experience meeting another girl we considered and “online friend”… and yet another woman turned out to be lying through her teeth about having a preemie baby in the hospital. So, you know, good luck with all of that. 🙂

  26. What? You mean we’re supposed to hide our worst qualities on our blogs? I’ve had it all wrong…

    Ah, you know how I feel about blog friends. I take most at their word, because what’s the point of pretending on line if you’re not getting paid or anything?

    Some of them I’ve talked to on the phone and plan to meet up with this summer. If they turn out to be freaks, you know damn well I’ll report back 😉


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