(If you understand that [naked] title reference, you’re probably as old as I am – or just a little weird.)
Not too long ago, I read a comment on another blogger’s site to the effect that you cannot be friends with people you’ve never met. I’m not buying that.
When I started my blog just two years ago, I had no idea what I was getting into. Sure, I had a built-in readership of sorts, thanks to my daughter, Cordelia, who navigated those waters ahead of me. Cordelia was always willing to help me through that newbie blogger stress that we’ve all experienced:
I need a title? Can’t just call it “My Blog”?
What’s a header? And how do I get one?
Can I comment on someone else’s blog – or will they get mad at me?
How do I keep my blog from looking b-o-r-i-n-g?
And my personal favorite:
Should I stick with the basic WordPress, or sign up for premium? – ‘cause you know I’ll be Freshly Pressed next week, and those thousands and thousands of readers might expect more.
Anyway, to get back to the blogger friendship question.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve learned that it is not only possible to make friends with people you’ve never met, it is, in fact, inevitable once you’ve become a blogger. We start off merely reading each other’s posts, then advance to commenting on those posts. Through the comments, we learn the true personality of another blogger.
Sure, we all have personas we try to present, but it’s nearly impossible to carry those personas into the comment box. (Well, except for spammers, but we know how to handle them, don’t we?)
From the comments, we sometimes advance to email communication with another blogger. Often, we befriend another blogger on Facebook, Twitter, or one of the other social media. Sometimes we guest post for each other, or collaborate with other bloggers. And then, if we are very lucky, we might actually get to meet another blogger face-to-face.
Having already gone through the reading/comments/ email/social media phases, the meeting phase is so much easier – we’ve already made friends with each other, now it’s time to put faces with the posts and comments. No one cares whether the other blogger is tall/short, fat/thin, hirsute/bald , or has neon green skin with purple polka dots – who cares what the other blogger looks like, we already know how that blogger thinks.
Often the blogging relationship becomes comfortable enough for bloggers to kid each other, and sometimes we feed on each other bounce ideas off of each other.
Sometimes we learn that another blogger is going through a stressful time – loss of a pet, an illness, divorce, death of a loved one – and that’s when the emotional attachment becomes evident. We hurt for the other blogger, and we lend as much support as we can. How many times have you read the comments section after a post about a loss, and felt the love in those comments?
How many times have you wanted to give another blogger a physical hug instead of just a virtual one? I know I have. If that’s not friendship, what is?
It’s so hard when your new friends are scattered all over the world. If I had the money, I would rent out an entire resort and fly every blogging friend I have there for the biggest meet-and-greet ever. And I bet that most of my new friends would come.
Then there are those bloggers who have simply gone away. How many of you are missing Doobster? Don’t you wonder where he is and what he’s doing right now? I know I do.
Maybe that’s the surest sign that you’ve made a friend – you miss that person when you no longer hear from him or her.
The Question: Can you make friends with someone you’ve never met?
My Opinion: Why not? Don’t most friends start off as strangers?
Images by Cordelia’s Mom