11 September 2007

Real friends

This morning I was poo-poohing the idea that people on the internet can be your real friends. You don't see them, you don't talk to them, the relationship is fun but shallow and artificial - kind of like a long-distance romance. You never have to deal with them when their car breaks down or they have the flu.

Funny how this stuff works.

This afternoon I looked at the website of our local paper and saw that there was an accident at a worksite where 2 people were killed. One of my favorite bloggers' husband was there and I knew it because she had posted about his business trip.

I started shaking and my head started spinning. I was frantic, thinking of her and her little girl. Though we had met in real life a couple times, I didn't have her phone number - we had always emailed.

I emailed her but didn't know if she would answer right away.I finally got in touch with a mutual friend who could confirm that her husband was alive and well. VenturaMom emailed me back and I finally began to calm down.

Several hours later, I read another blog-friend's post about how her husband had been treating her. I grew as indignant as if she had been my own sister; I wanted to go punch the loser out.

I dunno. Either these people are real friends or I have a stupid overactive internet life. I'm not sure which.

And in other news, is there a better word than "blog-friend"? Frog? Bliend? Help me out here.

22 comments:

mar said...

sometimes i wonder how crazy i am that i keep as much as, or more up-to-date, with my blog-friends as those irl. that's where the phrase 'so this online friend told me an amusing anecdote...' and i rarely like to elaborate on that with a lot of people who wouldn't understand. it's like the grief thing; it doesn't have to be tangible to the rest of the world to grip your emotions the way it does.
i like bliend, but i don't think it quite expresses both words distinctly enough. and i'm pretty sure frog has a widely accepted definition already. :)

jessica said...

I now (easily) have more "blog friends" than in-person friends. The result of people moving, people changing, and all the stuff that just happens with "life."

And sure, I probably won't ever have to hold your hair if you've had too much to drink (thank GOD), but, whatever - you're still my friend.

Fog City Mommy said...

blog friends are amazing. I was invited to First Year's wedding, I have spoken with Mad Chronilces in Austrailia and I do believe that you and I were totaly lushes together at blogher 06!!!

I consider you a friend! espcially since you think my molding car is disgusting as well!!! lol

Kvetch said...

I love it -- Bliend. Which obviously sounds like Blend. Which so. totally. works.

You genius wordsmith you.

super des said...

I just refer to them as friends. If someone's like "I don't know them" then I'm like, oh they're my blog buddy.

A friend of mine (irl) just wrote an article about how facebook was taking over and all these people knew her friend had ended a long relationship, via facebook. But my friend was like "I gave her a REAL hug and I talked to her on a REAL phone." It was kinda a different spin. I'll link to it when it's published.

lizgwiz said...

We've been using "blend," but I think your spelling is better.

And yeah, I think you can really be friends with people you've never met. Weird, but true.

Grace said...

For me, anymore, there really isn't a distinction. My friends are simply my friends, whether we hang out in person or not. I don't use "IRL" anymore, either, because what I put out on the Internet, both on blogs and message boards, IS real life. And people I communicate with primarily online are my real friends just like those I actually see are.

In truth, I spend more "time" with my message board and blog buddies than I do with people I know in person. That's just how my life and my personality works. I've decided to embrace it rather than fight it.

one smarmy mama said...

What I've learned about the internetz versus real life is this.....

I'm kind of weird. So, there probably aren't going to be a lot of people AROUND ME who are LIKE me and who really GET me. That's ok, I just think it means we tend to cultivate real life friendships in a way where we maybe give up a little more of ourselves than we do online. I don't think it's a BAD thing, it's the way it's always been done.

But with the internet, you are free to engage people who you TRULY just like. You don't HAVE to like them or be nice to them or interact with them. And, honestly, you really don't NEED them.........but it's almost more of an enjoyable, almost selfish form of friendship.....it's TOTALLY willful, totally indulgent.

I read a blog that annoys me? I stop reading it. Heck, I may flame it in my blog. But I run into a mom I don't like so much, maybe another parent in my kids class? I keep my mouth shut and deal and act nicey nice for the sake of, well, being nice.

We're so much freer in these internet friendships because we CAN be, and something about that feels delightfully decadent and indulgent........

PunditMom said...

Good question about what to call each other. I can't think of a clever name off the top of my head but how about "people-who-keep-me-sane-because-
they-are-about-what-I-write- and-visit-me-more-than-my-family?"

wordgirl said...

Blog friend does tend to qualify things... and I think we're often afraid to overstate our case by calling the friends. But they are just that.

QT said...

I always refer to a blog friend just as a "friend". If the conversation goes deeper, I explain, but no use going into the whole "She has a really funny blog, etc." unless it is warranted.

MsLittlePea said...

I say 'blog friends' because everyone I read/reads me lives in another town. I know exactly what you mean, you don't have to know someone personally to care about them....

Girl con Queso said...

I like bliend. I'm adopting that. And I agree with what one smarmy mama said. That.

mothergoosemouse said...

My online friend-making started with a message board in 2002, and we took it offline and met in person - 20+ of us - for the first time the following year. The husband of one of those women actually recruited my husband for a job, leading to our move to CO, and now she's one of my closest IRL friends.

So if you'd told me in 2001 that I'd be making friends on the Internet, I would've thought that was crazy. Not so much after all!

Christina said...

I keep up with my blog friends more than I do my in-person friends. Hey, my blog friends write more, so it's easier to stay in touch! :)

ByJane said...

if it weren't for you and my other friends that I met on line (I tried to get people to use blends, but no one was buying), I would be one sad, lonely chickie.

Alex Elliot said...

I feel like I know more about my blog friends. With my friends in real life who have blogs, it's easier to keep up with what's going on with them.

TB said...

I love the fact that I have blog friends who I'm as close to as my irl friends. I love the fact that I've gotten a chance to meet many of them in real life.
And the best part is I'll probably never have to help one of them move ;o)

slackermommy said...

The kindness of the blogosphere never ceases to amaze me. I've made great friends through blogging. Many times I turn to them rather than a friend in the flesh in times of need. There's nothing better than putting a post up and within hours getting 20 virtual hugs.

Nanette said...

I call my blog friends "friends," but sometimes I refer to them as their blogger name to clear up confusion for my hubby as some of my best blogger buddies have the same first name as co-workers and other friends.

NotAMeanGirl said...

I call them friends. They often know more about me and what's going on in my head and my heart than family or friends I know face to face. It drives my mother insane that I call them friends since "You've never MET them". She doesn't get that online friends are often more open and more honest about themselves than any friend you meet face to face... sigh.

Staci Schoff said...

It's interesting because in some ways you can't really KNOW a "blog friend" and then in other ways, you know things about blog friends that they would probably NEVER tell you if you were chatting with them at the post office.

You do know a limited part of people from their blogs, but sometimes it's such a fascinating or beautiful or funny part -- how could you not want to punch their asshole husbands in the face?

Back to top