#BlogIntroChallenge 12: What have you learned from blogging?

blog-intro-challengeContinuing onward. All the easy answers to this question are taken. Although some of them are true in my case, as well, this is one of those not-so-easy answers. It’s something about friendship.

When I was an academic blogger, I couldn’t really risk being friends with any other blogger I knew. We kept our identities mostly secret (I never told anyone else I blogged with my name, and I suppressed the blog at the point at which my identity could have been guessed by an outsider) because what we were saying was too potentially explosive for our careers. Fandom blogging has been a lot more fun in that regard — insofar as I was more comfortable telling some fellow fans my name. And I’ve actually met several fans — Judiang, Fedoralady (we didn’t write about that meeting at the time because of the person who bullied her), Obscura (I thought I wrote about our first meeting — maybe not — it was a lot of fun and a typical regional moment), two who prefer to remain nameless, Guylty, LadySquid, and Kathy Jones.

Something the Internet can’t do over long periods of time, I think, is create true friendships between people who have absolute dealbreakers that would absolutely have prevented them from being friends in reality, once those dealbreakers reveal themselves. What it does is conceal the dealbreakers, sometimes long enough that improbable pairs become good friends and can agree to push problems that have grown to seem minor into the background. Internet friendship brings to light facets of ourselves that we don’t show normally and which might make us more attractive to the right people if they knew about them. Blogging puts us in touch with new people and lets us suspend judgment about all kinds of arbitrary things that might be obstacles in a face to face context. I don’t think that an Internet friendship can survive true dealbreakers when they emerge, and I have sometimes been guilty of ignoring dealbreakers when they became apparent to me because the Internet made it less necessary for me to pay attention to them. Internet friendships have fallen apart when it became impossible for for me to ignore something (and I assume for some of those people as well), but they have also persisted in ways that they would not have in real life. There are ways in which I can be a better friend over the Internet than I can for my real life friends, just as there are ways I can never be there for Internet friends in the way I am for people in my immediate vicinity.

Knowing the friend I have made blogging as I do now — and many others — all of those people would have been my friends if I had known them in real life — it was that the Internet, and the shared interest in Richard Armitage, allowed me to meet people I would not have met otherwise, and in some cases, allowed differences to become less important. As I’ve learned repeatedly, my virtual friends are real, and this was never more true than in the weeks and months after my mother’s death. You all have taught me a lot about emotional support.

~ by Servetus on June 23, 2015.

3 Responses to “#BlogIntroChallenge 12: What have you learned from blogging?”

  1. Thinking of you as a RL and virtual friend that I am grateful to have. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on so many things, including RA. 🙂


  2. 🙂 that’s a really good thing to take away from blogging


  3. […] that certain kind of Internet-based friendships can’t be sustained under some circumstances (if there’s an expectation that the people meet, for example, other factors come into play). There’s no way to overcome a real dealbreaker if the dealbreaker, once revealed, is […]


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