Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Explaining the Bloggy Connection

Driving out of my neighborhood this morning, I noticed a tall coagulation of various antennae in my neighbor's yard. Immediately, I took this to assume that he is a ham radio operator. I've known a few operators in my geeky career. I smiled to imagine this man donned in headphones, in the late of the evening, carrying on various conversations with people he'd never met...

Then it occurred to me that as a blogger, I'm doing basically the same thing.

Just as it was difficult for me to understand the fascination with amateur radio communications, I also find that some in my life can't fully grasp why I love blogging so much.

Take, for instance, the heart wrenching post from yesterday. (Thank you all so much for your supportive comments!!) I've never met Coachdad and may not ever have the opportunity to meet him. But I've read his words for a few years now. I've sent him many good wishes along his journey the past few years. He's read and shared with me here also. He felt comfortable enough with me to share such a poignant place from his past and his current life... and we really don't even know each other.

Then again, maybe that's the gist of it. Maybe we DO feel more comfortable sharing because we feel a sense of safety behind the keyboard. Is it a false sense of security?

A few in my life, Gentleman Jack included, show concern that someone will get an idea that they "know" me and will attempt to "get closer" to me. The thing is, I run that risk every time I give my details to the guy who changes the oil in my car, don't I? THAT guy has my address, phone number, license plate, full name, knows what I look like and more than likely, what my children look like too. Shouldn't I be more afraid of him?

The same could be said for support groups. I think support groups are just as comfortable because we're not actively involved with those people in their every day lives. We only hear what they are willing to share. Just as with blogging.

We're all sort of like pen pals, aren't we? We found something in common that lead us to each other. We talk about our lives but the feedback is definitely quicker than the days of pen, paper and a walk to the mailbox, isn't it?

This blog is where I process thoughts, emotions, feelings, or occasionally a good or bad day. It starts a conversation and I learn more about you, the reader, when you comment. Suddenly, we have a community of like-minded individuals who feel like, if they have a confession or deep secret, they can take part in a community of people that may or may not judge them. If they are judged, they never have to see these people. They can simply... stop writing.

I remember the first time I went to visit a fellow blogger. It's funny now but then, both of our families were concerned for us. Hers because I would be staying in her house with her child. Mine... because I would be depending on a "stranger" for a transportation and a place to stay. Haven't you noticed though, my fellow bloggers, that you just know who you'll click with and who you won't? We enjoyed meeting and spending time together so much that I also visited again when she got married.

It's difficult to explain the trust the bloggers feel for each other. The depth of friendship is different than those who know us in real life. We share here what we don't share outside of here, in some cases. Then again, I may not know how you decorate your house or what your voice sounds like... but does that mean I don't really know you?

And though you know many of my thoughts... have you ever considered that you don't really know me at all?

I could just be sitting at my computer in the late of the evening carrying on various conversations with people I've never met....

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