Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bloggers Can Be Friends Too

I have written a lot about my friends, how awesome they are, and how I don't know what I'd do without them. I've always believed that quality is much more important than quantity when it comes to friendship. There is no question in my mind that I would always choose a small group of close friends over a large group of people who I'm not as close with. My best friends are from across the country, and we met at different places and stages in our lives. Elementary school, middle school, high school, college, summer camp, summer program, internship. We have been roommates, suitemates, hallmates, and bunkmates. We have partied, laughed, cried, celebrated, consoled, traveled, danced, learned, and shopped together. I have countless wonderful memories with my friends, and I am so grateful to have them in my life.

Since I started blogging, tweeting, and networking across the Web 2.0 world, the concept of friendship has crossed my mind often. One common criticism of sites like Facebook and Myspace has been that they cause a disconnect between people, and prevent them from learning how to have real relationships with one another. This argument could definitely be made for teenagers, but as for us 20-somethings, I don't think it applies. Blogging has allowed me to connect to some wonderful people who I may never have met otherwise.

I don't consider myself "friends" with every person who reads my blog, but I love learning about people and finding out how much we have in common. I realize that forming an actual friendship takes more effort and requires one-on-one conversation, and I've been lucky enough to find that with a few special people. For example, without the digital world, I would never have known that a really awesome girl named Grace out in Colorado shares my love of reading, among other things, and we would have never started our online book club, Blogging Bookworms. And, I wouldn't have gotten to know cool people from across the country (Chicago, Nashville, California) and across the world (Canada, Indonesia).

So, take advantage of the great big digital world that you're lucky enough to be a part of. Make the extra effort to get to know some of your fellow bloggers. You never know, it just might blossom into a wonderful friendship!