“Would you say you’ve met people you could call your friends online?”

“Of course. I flew out in less that 24 hours to be by the side of a friend whom I consider to be one of the closest I have ever had whom I met online and had only met in person three times before that.”

“Oh, wow. So…but that must be pretty rare right?”

“No, it’s not rare, I daresay every single person who has developed any sort of online community has that one person they’d get to anyway they could if they needed them. I have plenty of friends I’d give or do anything for even though I’ve never met them in person. This is not a unique situation. This is our community.”

Maybe I’m naive. But it seems to me that we all have each others backs. It may be strange to those who don’t live in “our world” (my husband likes to call it my little Internet world) but if a cry for help goes up on the Internet? It gets answered. Sometimes in different degrees. But as far as I can tell?

It always gets answered.

One of my many brilliant readers said this on my post last week about when online communities rally:

People are skeptical of online relationships. But the key word here is ‘community’. Community is “a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage .”

Online is our common cultural and historical heritage. Maybe some folks don’t understand why we can derive from folks we have never met…but why do we put so much emphasis on seeing people. If we were all blind would that make us less of a community because we interacted with people we didn’t see? NO! This community is amazing, can be amazing and yet it mirrors our everyday face to face life, in many ways.

In both online and face to face communities there can be viciousness, anger, trollish behavior,apathy, etc. And in both online and face to face communities we find support, love, comfort and understanding.

The only difference is one community is carried out on line….that is the only difference

Word.

Just because I haven’t seen your face doesn’t mean I’m not going to giggle over your child trying to replace you with a Barbie sticker. Or ignore the fact that you’re hurting. Or deny how freakishly in common we are and oh my gosh we have to get together and eat cupcakes and spy on the celebrities in Bryant Park.

Bloggers I know aren’t trying to take over the world and beat everyone else down in the process.

Most of us are honestly just trying to make it a little more cozy and a little better than we found it.

With swag and product reviews for all. (On the side of course. No community survives without food and/or commercialism. At least not one I know of.)

Have you found your Internet warm fuzzies?

Comments

  1. @Eternal Lizdom, Much like shopping for jeans. It can be scary, but when you find the right ones? The angels sing.

  2. @ali, Uh huh. I know.

  3. @Suebob, I feel the EXACT SAME WAY. Girls at church avoid me like the infertile plague where as online I can barely breathe most days from all of the internet hugs.
    xo
    How are you doing by the way? I’ve thought a lot about you.

  4. @bri, I’ve never heard of the internet making a baby! I LOVE IT!

  5. @Elizabeth, My friend’s mom always called these “bookmark friendships” You can start right where you left off no matter how long it’s been.

  6. @Casey, I moved to northwest arkansas. Bentonville–the WalMart HQ! So nice of you to have a webgal’s back.

    Casey Reply:

    @Josie, Just put out a tweet! I know I have a few in AR! @sugarbritches (@sugarbritchesyo?) I know is there!

  7. @Angie, I see your thanks and raise you a thank you very much and a you’re welcome.

  8. @Bethany, It’s so nice to have friends that don’t think your emotional attachment to your laptop is slightly batty.

  9. @Casey, yeah, kinda, I do. I think it would be the best way for me to get to know you in the MOST INTIMATE WAY POSSIBLE all the way down here in FL.

    Casey Reply:

    @Shana, Done. Just for you. Plus ovaries and fallopian tubes.
    I’M A GIVER.

    Shana Reply:

    @Casey, where do I go to see all the lady parts? Are you sending them to me?

  10. @DesignHER Momma, I wouldn’t trade you for ANYTHING.
    EVER.

  11. @Jen, I tried to set fire to it once. Seriously.

  12. @Casey, Oh, believe me, it is definitely a slight embarrassing history! 🙂 (Maybe not to all, but I sort of blush and mumble when and if I tell people in person.) Half the tmie we just say, “Oh it’s a long story,” and go on, when people ask how we met. I will say that our discussions quickly moved from Alias to life, politics, etc., etc. – which is how the true friendship developed. (We were actually trying to help one of the women survive bedrest for 25 weeks. She did. That was four years ago.) Although we still occasionally talk about the hottness that is Michael Vartan (the real, true reason for women to watch that show…drool).

    Casey Reply:

    @Kim, I so don’t judge. Remember Sea Quest DSV?
    OBSESSED.

  13. @Cherie, No man I have ever met would complain about that.

  14. I love you. I am eternally grateful for the internet because if I didn’t have it, I wouldn’t have you.

    *hugs*

    Casey Reply:

    @sam {temptingmama}, *gag* iz chokin’ on teh warm fuzzeezz!

  15. I met my husband through the Internet. First through Yahoo personals and then we conversed often in Yahoo chat even after we started dating. It provided a good way for him to open up and be vocal without having to endure in person as he is really shy. So he’s not a blog friend, but another miraculous relationship borne of Internet times.

    Casey Reply:

    @Halala Mama, He’s a blog friend with benefits. Heh.
    I met my husband at the mall. How 1989 is THAT?

    Halala Mama Reply:

    @Casey, It depends – how big was your hair and was he wearing parachute pants?

  16. You should know that I have undoubtedly found mine.

  17. One of my closest friends is someone I met through blogging. And I don’t know how I’d be surviving this life transition without her.

    Those people who read my small blog, by and large, are among the people I trust most in the world. They laugh with/at me. They cry with me and they accept me no matter what.

    I only wish that those kinds of communities were more readily available in real life.

    Maybe I just need to convince more people to blog? Has someone taken www. 666 .com? Because I think my MIL would find it quite cozy there…

  18. @Casey, so where are we going to be rocking out in a week and a half-you think that we will find some rockin’ goodness at BlogHer?

  19. Word.

  20. I love my internet friends…Like @Molly, some of them know more about me, my hopes and fears than my friends IRL

  21. Oh I love my internet peeps! One I actually got to meet in person and now we’re such good friends she helped us MOVE. And another I call my Internet BFF and we’ve never met. But yes, I’d hop on a plane in two seconds if something happened. I finally get to meet her at BlogHer and I can’t even contain my excitement!

  22. my husband understands this, but no one else does. they all think i’m obsessed with the internet. blogging came at a time when i was feeling pretty lonely as a stay-at-home mom. i’ve made friends & connections here that have helped me out. and now that i’ve moved across country, those friendships are still there when the others i had IRL may fade away.

  23. Yep, I found my “internet fuzzies”: my husband! We met via blogging, became best friends, realized that we couldn’t like anyone more than we loved each other, dated, then married. That’s part of the reason I have no problem realizing how internet relationships can evolve into deeper friendships, but I’ve also have several platonic friendships solely online that have become closer than some I’ve had in person. It’s amazing when you realize how much you have in common with someone many miles and states and sometimes countries away, isn’t it?

    jess

  24. A great friend of mine who I met online and have only seen face to face a handful of times puts it very well “Just because I don’t know how your eyes look when you laugh or how your mouth looks when you cry does not mean I don’t know who you are. In a way we cut through the superficial quicker online than we do with people we meet in the real world.”

    Here is to teh internets 😀

  25. Indytina says:

    I have the honor of belonging to an amazing community of women, some of whom I’ve “known” online since 1998. We all had the misfortune of suffering a pregnancy loss and came together in a community on ParentsPlace (now part of iVillage, but we aren’t). We have been together through subsequent pregnancies, births, other losses, divorce, hurricanes, happiness…life. We laugh together and cry together. I have gotten to meet a large number of these ladies (I used to travel a lot for work and managed to work in meet-ups in a lot of the locales), but even the ladies I haven’t met I consider to be my friends. Most of them know more about me than my IRL friends. And that’s…okay. It keeps my soul fed. And I’m glad for it.