Friday, April 8, 2011

Followers, Friends, and Pen-pals

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, lately. How social networking, well, maybe even just the ease of the internet has changed the nature of friendships, acquaintances, work partnerships, etc. Most of my friends live far away now. I’ve got one in India, two in California – and one of those I’ve never actually met in person *waves*. You see, that’s what I’m talking about. Today, it’s possible to make great friends without ever meeting them in real life.

The way you communicate is just a little different. There’s less room for subtlety. You have to be blunter about your thoughts and feelings, which, I don’t know about you guys, but I find it actually kind of freeing. There’s less opportunity for those silly games people play that were always supposed to end in high school (but never do). You don’t have the luxury of facial clues to tell you how someone’s feeling. You can’t judge tone of voice from an email. So you have to pick up subtleties in other ways. Through an emoticon or two, and through their writing. Perhaps this is a writer’s dream. I’ve always been better at expressing myself through written word than in person.

I’m not really sure what my point is, or if I even have a point. I just think we’re lucky to live in an age where all of this is possible. What do you guys think? Has twitter/facebook/email changed the nature of relationships? How do you feel about it?


  1. This is so true Christine. Some of my closest friends I've never actually met in real life, but we've known each other via online writing groups for almost ten years now. I can honestly say I never would have pursued writing as a viable career without the internet to introduce me to them as a support group because I just don't HAVE 'Real Life' friends or acquaintances that share my interests there.

  2. I completely agree. It's been really amazing finding all these people who share the same interests as I do, the same dreams, going through the same ups and downs. My 'real life' friends don't understand it, and they're not interested in understanding it. It's been a really great experience so far.

  3. I love this post! It IS so true. *waves* :D And I'm SO grateful for it. Since, as you said, we aren't relying on visual expression, and words instead, I almost feel like you get to know a person better and at a much faster rate! Not to mention, considering the art form we're working on, finding others to confide in/relate with is difficult--especially for writers because we tend to take on "hermit" tendencies. The internet has made it possible to meet others that are similar that you never would've known before, and I'm so thankful for it!

  4. I've often felt the same way, I communicate much better through writing than in person, except with close friends or people I'm completely comfortable with. I love that the blogging community connects me with so many writers. Not that I still don't love to sit down and write an old-fashioned pen and paper letter, too!

  5. I blog, and email… but I don’t participate in social networking sites. I am married, and we both agreed it’s not the best thing. Once I get published, or at least, sign a contract I’ll start down that road on a professional endeavor.

    (I just realized how old I sound… yikes, that’s not good)

    I do agree it is an awesome time to live, and technology is an amazing tool.

    I love the blog, keep it up…

  6. I agree! Its crazy how many of us are separated by long distances, but so connected via this thing called the internet. Its a crazy weird but fantastic way to make new friends!

    Speaking of friends... want another? New follower alert!