Last year I began writing about friendships, in particular womens’ friendships. This was sparked when I read the book The Girls from Ames. Great book if you haven’t read it. I wrote a part 1 and a part 2, if you need to review(I did) and now I’d like to talk about a new wave in friendships…….the online friend.
If you are reading this and we have have never met and we have formed any type of bond through blogging, you are a bloggy friend, an online friend. Isn’t it great? We may be miles and miles apart and yet we have found a bond, a link, a kinship with each other and we’ve shared ups and downs and perhaps even very personal things we aren’t parading around our local friends.
My first foray into any online group or friends began when I was pregnant with my son in 1997. I was an AOL member and they had diverse message boards. I found a group of women who were also expecting babies in January of 1998, it was a large group of women, and we supported each other during those months. It was like nothing I could even imagine. One woman delivered her child dangerously early, and we rallied around her and we even had an online baby shower, sending her gifts and all meeting in a chatroom while she opened the gifts. It was a great sense of sisterhood and love. As with many online friends we wanted to meet, and several moms who were geographically close to one another set up play dates and meetings, I was able to do that. My friend Ginger is less than an hour away, we met when Nick and Mikaela were tiny, and while we don’t see each other often now…………we keep in touch and I’d do anything for her. We met other local moms too. Over the next 4 years we had “conventions” two or three that I can recall, and mom’s and babies and families met and got together. I took my whole family to VA just outside of DC for one such long weekend. It was great!! We knew each other, we knew each others kids.
As with many group dynamics some people were better friends with some and not others. I admit that there were those I did not care for, we’d butted heads on some topics and hurt words were written. There was a major split after 4 -5 years, but I remained involved with one group until @ a year ago…………and most everyone went their way. I do have one very close friend from that group, and while miles away we are very close. I could bare my soul to her(and have) and she would still be my friend.
I tried another online group @ 7 years ago when Nick was in Kindergarten. Some people came and went, some people didn’t get along, but for the last couple of years we were all good.
Just recently there were harsh words….and hurt feelings, and many people including myself decided to leave. This was hard, but it was time.
Friendships of all sorts have to be mutual and each party has to be kind, even is disagreements.
I love women,and the bond that they give each other. I love the friends I have near me and online.
sooooooooooooo, after this long diatribe, what are your thoughts, do you bond with others online? Have you met many (or any) people from the internet? Would you like to meet me?