Sometimes I hate to love my virtual life

There, I said it. I have a love/hate relationship to virtual social networking – my virtual life. I love blogging. It’s my existence in the virtual universe. It’s my discussion to.. whoever will listen. The thing is that many of my real-life friends don’t blog. And while they might occasionally read my blog, they rarely leave a comment, but they might call me “hey I read about this and that, and just wanted to say..” And we might talk an hour. So even if the conversation isn’t traditional – we still communicate, and that’s great! Then there are those friends, relatives or co-workers, who never admit they read our blogs, but thanks to visitor tracking, we bloggers know you are there, peeking into our lives. That’s ok too. Because at least if you ain’t communicating to me – I am still expressing my views to you. Maybe someday you will open up too. The best about virtual social networking is – you get to know people who you would never get to know in real life – not even if they lived on your street. We all have our prejudices, even if we would never admit it (or want that), they inhibit us reaching out to some people, who we think “we don’t anything in common”. While virtual networking lets us to restrict what we show and tell, and it lets us to present the kind of picture of us, we would like to show, it also gives many people the freedom to say aloud what we really think. Or, do you ever blog about things you would never dare to say aloud? (I know I do) I just started blogging last summer. And while my friends are bloggers, and we are all devoted to blogging, and many of us wouldn’t dare to admit, blogging is so old school. At least in the traditional way – now people twitter, aka micro-blog. Like any internet junkie, I wanted more. The discussion forums, the e-mailing, the IMs, and blogging made me want to try MySpace, Flickr, Maya’s Mom, and I started sharing my shopping finds in sites like Stylehive or This Next and my favorite blog posts at Sk-rt. And I tried tons of other social networking sites, just to know what it’s all about. I have seen you there too, my fellow blogger. And I’m on Facebook now. Or should I say, I’m into Facebook now. What makes Facebook different is that I re-connect with old high school friends and co-workers from back in the days there too – and make new friends in virtual reality. It is a place where virtual and real friendships interface more than in any other place. I’m still learning Facebook, and now trying to take on StumbleUpon too. I started thinking that virtual reality is just too big for me to take on. There is always a new site, always a new network, and I feel like I’m always behind. Have I have created a rat race of virtual networking to myself? But then again, I met my best girlfriend in the internet a few years ago, and visited her in New York City last year and met her first-time face to face. I reconnected with old school friends. A few internet friends have visited me here in Colorado, and I’m going to meet some of my internet friends in Texas this spring. I have made most of my business contacts this way, and my business wouldn’t exist without virtual social networking. I feel like over half of my existence is virtual. I laugh, I cry, I help people out, I connect, I work, I shop, I do almost everything in the internet. I know you do too – I’ve seen you all over the internet. Is this good or bad? Sometimes I feel it’s really bad – I should quit blogging and just call a friend for a cup of coffee and chat face to face. But I’m at the Mountains, she on the East Coast. Luckily I can send a picture of a cup of latte with some carrot cake and we can chat, e-mail, or comment on each other’s blogs (and I don’t have to clean my house for her visit). Is there anything better? I asked my husband to join Facebook too. “Why”, he asked. I don’t know, I guess I felt like it’s a place where my real life and virtual reality interface, he should be there too, after all he and the kids are my life. “So I could send you cupcakes” or super poke you in the middle of the workday, or send you “what sex position you like” application request or that you could show you are a Skimbaco fan too. I don’t know. Why would I? I should just enjoy that I can bake some real damn cupcakes for somebody who actually is in my everyday real life. I love all my friends on the internet, and I love making new friends (find me from Facebook, btw), don’t take this wrong way. Sometimes it just makes me wonder, if there is something wrong with me because I rather write to your blog, e-mail you, or send you a funny YouTube video just to make you laugh, than join a local mommy club to meet new local moms I could actually invite for a cup of coffee? Do you have a love/hate relationship to your virtual life, or am I just being weird today?
  1. I have very similar sentiments. Most of my “live friends” (as opposed to digital virtual friends) don’t blog and don’t even read my blog regularly. But I have a lot of bloggy friends who are “real friends” in a way even though we have not face each other face to face :).

    I like blogging. I know it’s Old School but that’s how I am. I let others test the waters first – if it’s relatively safe, I dive in :)

    Twitter, Facebook and the likes are not for me at this moment. But blogging? Oh, I just love blogging!

  2. Umm, Katja, you have just described my life – do you by any chance know me?

    There is more to discover online than I will ever have time for, and yet I can’t leave it behind.

    And my offline friends absolutely don’t get it “And why are you doing that blog thing?” is the question in their quizzical expressions.

    It’s nice to know that I am not alone! :-)

  3. You made me smile today, yet again!
    I feel the same way about my virtual life.

    My kiddos often ask me what I do on the computer all the time… I tell them that I am talking to this friend or reading something by that friend, and they look are truly confused … It’s kinda fun to have friends that my kids don’t know!

    I am blessed with such wonderful virtual friends – I’m so glad you are one of them!!

  4. I love this blog thing! I have gotten to know people I know in real life even better through a blog. It’s easier sometimes to write about things than start a discussion face to face. I don’t really care how I communicate with others, as long as I communicate. And if it wasn’t for the Internet, I couldn’t keep in touch with my family as much as I do with the help of the big I. And I’m so darn curious! I love to find out what certain people are up to. It gives me new ideas, new ways to think of things, inspires me to do things, knowledge on things I don’t have a clue about… Nothing wrong about Internet friends. I love mine, you included! I also find that you first read everyone’s blogs and then you realize it takes too much of your time and start weeding out the ones that you don’t really click with. Then you’re left with the kind of people you’d make friends with in real life if you had a chance.
    Ja sitten on ihanaa etta voi puhua suomea ja loytaa suomalaisia ystavia kun itsella ei niita ole taalla lahella. Side Suomeen ja erityisesti tykkaan lukea ulkosuomalaisten kokemuksista. Tulee sellainen olo etten ole ainoa “outo suomalainen taalla maailmalla”. :)

    Let’s keep bloggin’!

  5. It's interesting the contrast between virtual and real…I think the main difference is that the virtual world is made of of words…thoughts that you can express about who you are and how you feel…something that doesn't always occur outside the virtual world and for that it is healthy…I think when you don't have a balance of both worlds is when it can get a bit off-balance. Expression is important and I love this world for that opportunity!

  6. Great blog and so true. It’s easier to find things in common with friends on the Internet than in real life sometimes. Mom’s groups are wonderful too, but they are usually friendships based on our children, but don’t include our other passions. Very few of my real life friends have any interest in working, reading blogs, writing, making new friends, etc…. all of the things that make this virtual world so much fun. And I know it improves our real lives too.

  7. I totally understand.. None of my away from the computer friends are big bloggers or even internet friendly, crazy as it seems!

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