Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The Internet - how big IS it?

The internet is a small place - don't you think? You don't??? Think about it... Once you've narrowed it down to your area/s of interest don't you find yourself in the same place again and again? I do. I come across the same people all the time, when I'm googling, surfing or blogging, there they are - the Internet people. A strange breed...or are they? Well, I used to think so...until I joined the ranks.

Most of my real life friends don't know that I even HAVE a blog. When I first started blogging, I sent a blanket e mail out to all my friends & acquaintances. It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Guess what response I got - nuzzles, nix, nothing...in e mail format. My husband nearly choked on his morning tea at the office (yes, I kept it a surprise until I had it up & running) and his secretary was as amazed as I was that I was capable of setting up a blog the same week I sent my first e mail. Blogger set up is a piece of cake, but I visit Blogger more often than I do the school run now. At the time I thought I was the bees knees, it being my first foray into cyberspace.

Blogging continues to perplex me. I have a love/hate relationship with my blog, that no-one, bar other bloggers, can relate to. It's personal, it's public. It's interactive, it's reflective. It's confusing!!! But I am in love...permanently I'm sure. I keep trying to curtail my cyber activities, but the truth is, I don't really want to. Deep down, I have found my home. Does that make me a misfit? I want to know. I feel part of something. I love that feeling. I also feel detached - I hate that feeling. I love my life - I love my virtual life - I get them confused at times. Are they really separate? Are my feelings valid or am I overanalyzing?

Apparently none of you are my friends. I can see the strange looks I get if I refer to my blogging in conversation. People don't believe me when I say I know you! I've found it easier just to shut up...The misconceptions about the Internet are similar to the ones regarding the Aids Virus. For years, cyberspace has been the place of freaks & deviants. Puleeze! Catch a wake up call fogies...I'm totally normal, except that I am one of you. A blogger. I'm not naive enough to think that there are no nutters "out there" - they are "out there" in the real world too. But, provided you use your good sense & judgement, the Internet is probably a safer place to be than the streets of my town any day!

The truth is, you all know more about me than a lot of my acquaintances. You know what I like & dislike, what my hobbies & interests are. You are often the first people I share my good news with. I try to spare you my sorrows, but I do that to my real life friends too. I hate that expression - real life - it implies that my cyber life is surreal. You guys are real too. Even those of you who have never left me a comment & never joined my "followers" widget in my sidebar. You are a part of my life & I am a part of yours, even if you choose only to listen & not to speak. That's okay. That's your choice. If I can be of assistance to you that's okay with me ;-D

So now, I ask you again. Do you think the Internet is a small place? I do. My little bit of it anyway.

11 comments:

topkatnz said...

don't hate me cos I am not a 'follower'!!LOL... haha ... yes we are real friends ... internet friendships are often more open and honest than face to face ones ... and yes, some internet friends I might spend more time talking to than other 'real-life' aquaintances ...

Jenny said...

Of course the internet is real ... and so are all the people on the other end. I used to tell my kids I was meeting up with my online penpals when I was meeting up with friends I'd never met before.

Jenny in Durbs said...

The internet world we use & the people we interact with are real,bloggers have feelings they can be hurt & touched at the same time by comments and are open & honest. Very supportive & real at the same time. I am an "infant" when it comes to blogging & internet but I really will not give it up and LOL if I don't have access to my blog world & regulars I check on - I am not as happy as normal. So heres to blogging & our own small space.

Stefanie said...

I love that through the internet my circle of friends have increased - to people I have seen and met with, or called on the phone (nudge nudge wink wink) but then I also lurk and follow the celebs blogs and live vicariously a little too.
Small world indeed!

jax said...

Brilliant post! As you know I am not a blogger and I follow yours daily as it is such an awesome way to catch up with you - with our crazy car pool lives we only have time to meet once a week so this is fantastic! I don't "stalk" anyone else - don't have time. Of course it's real and yes, it is a small world indeed!

Andrea said...

I really enjoyed that post Helen, I have found myself thinking the same thing and often "sit down to coffee" with all of you, my blog buddies, as I catch up with your lives and I make sure that no more then two days go by without checking in....so surely that makes you my friend....if not, maybe I just have a weird definition of the word friend, but to me it is people who care enough about you to care what is happening in your life (blog buddies do that), care enough about you to offer advice or comment when they can, and stay silent and just listen (or read) when they can't (blog buddies do that), celebrate your happiness or mourne your sadness with you (blog buddies to that)...so hey to me you are FRIENDS and I don't let it worry me what the people in my "real life" think.

Again, great thought provoking post ;-)

xxx
A

topkatnz said...

That was an excellent comment Andrea ... hear hear!!

Desire Fourie said...

Sjoe, 21 posts since my last visit ... and that was definitely less than a few weeks. You are so right ... my family and real life friends also just don't take an interest re blogs even thought they know I have a blog ... strange thing this hey and I think most of us are in this position. The internet is huge, but small at the same time. Thanks for this inspirational post. Hugs from Desire

Jessica said...

Haha - great reflections. Blogging is confusing and I was addicted to it. Life just kind of got in the way and I don't have the time to read other people's right now. Just FYI, we're trying to sell our house and get settled in a new one before my husband leaves for his year-long military mission. His softball season has started up and he plays three nights a week. My son has T-ball. I'm trying to do school at home ... so I'm pretty swamped. It's so stressful that even if I had the time, my mind isn't in the proper frame to go blog-surfing :)

But, I do enjoy your blog and I hope that you are doing well!

Helen Tilbury said...

And so you were & still are Jenny!I wish it didn't worry me Andrea - but it is so difficult to explain to people who have no idea what a blog even is. They think it is a waste of time! I suppose I think some other things are a waste of time that others do, but it is still annoying & frustrating & makes one feel like an outsider at times!!! What can I say Desire - I talk to much, LOL! I am trying to do some quick little posts here & there, like every morning, just a thought...but don't expect comments on every post so don't worry. I am happy with the occasional visit! I completely undersatand Jess, your plate is very full with your little ones - & I had no idea you were going to home school as well. I could never do that - well, I could, but I certainly wouldn't enjoy it. Just because I need a bit of time for myself, much as I adore my kids. Thanks everyone for your valid comments. So glad I am not the only "freak" LOL!

Jeannine said...

Go, MAN U !!!!!!!
My name is jeannine (aka Spirit-Alive). have you ever heard of Altered books? I am super into it !!! I teach middle school art and my kids love it...mostly the 8th grade girls (ages 12-14). it is like scrappibooking, but more artistic in nature...we do faux-finishineds on pages of an old, existing book....do calligraphy, scrapping, all sort s of stuff. sometimes we work from the text's subject, other times we make our own. Mine is becomming a book of paintings and quotes. It is a BLAST!!!!! Love your blog and just joined in. ~jeannine~