I used to call my blogger friends my “online friends.” In some crowds, I’d whisper it in the same hushed tone someone might use when they say, “Did you know she has six toes?” I feared that my real life friends would look down on me or laugh at me whenever I started babbling about my online friends.
I loved chatting with my blogger friends because they understood me. It sounds totally cliché, but it’s true. We have so much in common. Many of them are night owls. They love technology, especially new gadgets and apps. At the beginning, I only chatted with my fellow bloggers by leaving comments on their blogs or via Twitter.
After I joined a DC area collective blog, I had the opportunity to meet these ladies in person. I was blown away. Everyone was just as nice as they seemed on their blog. And Twitter. And our online chats. Were they for real? At our blogging events, no one gave me a hard time for drinking glass after glass of wine. In fact, they made sure I was never on empty. I’m not lush, but more of a social drinker. Whenever I talked about hanging out and having wine with friends, my moms group ladies would give me a look. Like all I did was talk about sex and alcohol. (Oh wait. Nevermind)
Now, years later, some of my “online friends” and I have become very close. We chat nightly (on Skype).We meet regularly for coffee. Sometimes our kids have play dates. We’ve gone out for dinner and happy hours. No one bats an eye when I pull out my camera to take photos of my food. In fact, we all take photos of our food.
We’ve even been roommates at different blogging conferences. At these conferences we hung out together, but also gave each other space. I knew my friends wouldn’t be offended if I didn’t sit at the same table with them during a session. By giving each other space to grow, we all made new social media friends at the conferences.
The cool thing is, after all this time, we still read each other’s blogs. Plus we hardly run out of things to talk about. Those are the kind of friends everyone needs and I’m glad that I found them “online.”
Photo by merlinprincesse via Creative Commons