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21st century friend   —   The Social Experience

What is friendship? In this modern day it seems hard to define such a thing, with the explosion and popularity of online places like MySpace, having and maintaining a "friend" seems to have taken on new shape. When I lived in New York my friends were the people with whom I shared my time. Year after year we would build upon our bond with conversation and mutual experience. These were my friends and I hardly knew any other kind. Moving to Portland, things have changed. The people back East that spent so many years shaping and defining my life, are no longer near enough to play an active part in my day. With time, efforts to keep in touch lag and soon months have passed without so much as an email. One event that throws a wrench into what would otherwise be a black and white situation is the blog. Here we have an online journal of sorts, wherein I come to publicly write of my life and thoughts in an effort to share myself with those who know me, and at times, those who don't. So, the people who are regular readers of this online baring of my soul, are they friends? Or perhaps to state my case more clearly, with the absence of shared experience, phone calls, or emails, does the act of reading my blog alone make for a friend? I think the answer is a complicated one.

Reading ones blog gives the illusion of participation. On a weekly bases you can visit this site and read of Alexander news, thoughts, feelings, experiences, view photographs, follow links, learn of what I'm reading or listening to, and read what I thought of a movie. All of the knowledge you would otherwise get from an in-person visit, perhaps even more. The problem is that it's completely a one-sided happening. Sure, there are times a reader will leave a comment, serving as a small reminder that they remain an observer, but otherwise what we have is a person who feels completely up-to-date and in ways a part of another person's life, while the other person, the blogger, is left in the dark on the going-ons of everyone else's lives. Because let's face it, not very many people you know maintain blogs. Does one remain a friend by the simple act of caring enough to read your blog? And what of those friends who don't read your blog? Is it the equivalent of sitting next to them in a bar and while you're chatting away they sit there listening to the music and staring into their drink?

I suppose I don't have the answers of which I seek. I also suppose it doesn't much matter, we blog to be heard and if the hearing is done then we've succeeded. I guess I just miss hearing about what's happening with the people I spent so many years caring about. How's the new marriage? How's the music career? Who is new in your life and what's that love like? So many alley's of information being neglected and missed altogether. I know there's the tireless argument of effort and who's making it and who's not, but consider my blog an email to you, and now that I've showed you mine, let's get started on showing me yours.

Posted 4.12.2008 2:22:13 PM

JenniferRabbit wrote:
you're totally right :( Forgive me.

The only thing is that this is public and my bitching about my husband can be read by all (not all that great). I'll try and make more of an effort you deserve.

Posted 4/13/2008 6:42:10 PM
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