I was trying to explain blogging to someone the other day and I had so much to say that I found myself saying nothing useful at all. It frustrated me later to think back on the conversation and realize that I didn't articulate what I wanted to express.
My friend Jenn who I used to work with introduced me to blogging. She and I also each had beautiful babies in the same year. Sadly she moved back to Manitoba to be close to family and friends. Miss you guys!
I am not that old but old enough that I lived more than two thirds of my life without the presence of a computer. I actually completed four years of university (including an honours thesis in community psychology) without the use of a computer. I guess that's not as astounding as thinking about Mark Twain or John Steinbeck doing their work!
And when the internet came, I didn't really understand and felt it was out of my reach. I watched shows and read articles and agreed that here we had another medium to corrupt our society, create new types of criminals, encourage sedentary behaviour, steal our childrens' innocence.
But then I went back to school and found that I couldn't function without a computer, without the internet. I learned skills that the university of my day didn't teach me. I began to get a little excited. I found myself embracing it despite my best intentions to see it just as a textbook or a library.
It has become so much more than that.
I used to think of friendship in such typical terms. Someone you grew up with, went to school with, worked with, lived in the same neighbourhood as - had some sort of a physical connection with. And so when I started making friends through blogging, I questioned whether this was 'real' friendship or not. I would probably never meet these people, borrow a cup of sugar or share a bottle of wine.
Most of the people I've met in this community are scattered all over the world (all over the world!!). Someone in Alabama likes me enough to give me an award that claims: These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Another person in New York finds it worthy of her time to mention that I have been a friend to her and also awards me a friendship award.
And then there are my friends in Australia, and India and Brazil, and San Francisco and British Columbia and Los Angeles and the United Kingdom - how can I express to you what your comments mean? How much I enjoy reading what you write each day, the pictures you share, the vulnerability you are willing to risk.
I think that along with our advance in technology we have to advance our definition of connection and friendship and neighbour.
I'm thankful for the advances in technology that have brought all of these wonderful friends into my life.