When I was in high school (it feels like forever but it wasn’t so long ago) I was utterly disgusted with what was becoming the first internet focused generation. Yes, I used MySpace and AIM and such, and I still use Facebook. But I was not obsessed, there was nothing compulsive about my use of these sites. I did not feel that I had to spend my life interacting with people I knew and didn’t know via the internet. I was more than happy with my personal interactions taking place in person. So much of my age group’s social interaction was entirely digital, and so little of it was physical. There was no substance to it.
Like I said, this bothered me greatly. But high school is gone, and college is done too, and as naive as I certainly must be, I’ve dipped my toes in the professional world. I am no longer a child. I started blogging because I use writing to help my mind process things in my life, whether that writing is public or private. It is also my primary way of remembering – my memory is terrible, and I only remember things if I’ve written them down. This ranges from to do lists to remembering how I feel about huge life events. I won’t remember it if I haven’t documented it. So this blog was born, for those and other reasons.
With blogging I encountered something I hadn’t foreseen at all. Friendships. That sounds silly, I know. I know that people read blogs, and that people share and like and comment and interact in all sorts of ways. I suppose I just wasn’t looking for my blog to be really read, and when people started reading and commenting I just didn’t expect it. But now there are bloggers all over the world who I interact with regularly, and who I would consider my internet friends. Is this the same thing my peers were doing back in high school? Is this just something I didn’t see properly and understand before? I don’t know. I think it’s different.
But in a way it’s like crowd-sourcing your friendships. I mean, it makes sense that all the people you see daily and are friends with will statistically speaking have differing interests, priorities, opinions, etc. than you do. And it makes sense that if you’re writing about something that the whole world has access to through the internet, that those who agree or are similarly interested would be the ones to read your words and respond to you. Maybe my ‘internet friendships’ shouldn’t come as such a surprise to me.
Really though, who knew strangers could be so supportive of little endeavors of a person they will never meet? I love that. Maybe I’m a little jaded for a twenty-something, but I just didn’t expect any of this at all, especially in less than 8 months of blogging.
So. Maybe you consider me your internet friend, maybe you don’t. Kindred spirit – is that a better term? Well anyway, I admire you from afar, and I thank you for your presence.