A Mind Of Its Own

The internet is a funny creature. I know that?s not really a revelation but I read something today that made me think a little harder about that idea. We create all of these relationships online, most of which will remain so and as we write and share – we really become part of each other?s lives. When I refer to people I know online to people in my day to day life, I refer to them as friends (naturally, there are some people I refer to as this person who?s blog I read). And I feel like I mean that in a certain capacity. I?m sharing bits of pieces of my life with the handful of you who regularly read this drivel (mmm, self-depracation for $100, Alex) and for the most part through commenting, email and instant messaging we?ve foraged these small relationships that hold some sort of significance in my life.

I?m not saying that I would drive you to the airport at 6 a.m. or loan you $100 – but if you needed to vent or needed me to tell you a joke – I got you. Certainly friendship means something different from person to person but the fundamentals of it are pretty static (I think). If someone online never responds to you, ignores you and occasionally makes fun of you. overtly or passive-aggressively – that person is not your friend. Not in any capacity. We can not allow ourselves to be fooled into believing that someone we never interact with is our friend. For increasingly more and more folks, blogging is a job. And while it might seem that sharing parts of their lives is done to endear them to you, it?s really done as a means of survival. For as much as I do share, there?s so much that I don?t. Not because I don?t want to, but because I?ve learned over time – some things are best left unsaid.

The larger one?s audience grows, the harder (I imagine as I?ve never had a large audience) it is to really support and nurture those relationships and I get that. But I think in a way, when people help you earn a living – you owe them just a bit of kindness, or a lot really. Blogging is not meant to be insular, if that were the case – we?d all be on livejournal with protected/filtered sites.

I suppose I?m saying all of this to say that the internet sometimes needs a little perspective. We all have to step back and take a look at how things are unfolding and what they really represent and mean to us. You guys make me laugh, and you?re encouraging and kind and amazing on so many levels and that?s why I stick around. I like this part of my life, and it?s certainly evolved into it?s own being, but I?ll take it – because you?re my friends.