Thursday, September 26, 2013

Best friends already


There's this scene in Notting Hill, where Will's sister, Honey, meets the famous movie star Anna Scott for the first time.  She's totally giddy with excitement and says,
 

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"...this is one of those key moments in life, when it's possible you can be really, genuinely cool - and I'm going to fail just 100%. I absolutely, totally and utterly adore you and I just think you are the most beautiful woman in the world and more importantly I genuinely believe, and I've believed for some time now, that we could be best friends. So what do you think?"
Sometimes I feel that way when I read blogs.  I find a new blog and after a bit of reading, I come to a well-reasoned conclusion: this person and I would definitely be besties if only we met in real life.  We were totally meant to be friends!
 
Which is ridiculous.
 
It seems superfluous to point this out but here goes anyway: people's blogs are not the same as the people themselves.  Even those bloggers who are super-revealing about their lives and want to present themselves as true-to-life as possible are still only able to give you an edited representation of their lives.  It is never the same thing.
 
And yet it's really tempting to forget this and think you "know" the person at the other end.  And I'd like to say I think that's a really dangerous thing.  And I'm not talking about stalkers or online predators of some kind.  I actually mean the nice stay-at-home-mom-type blog and the Christian-wife-and-lifestyle-type blog.  It's these kinds of blogs that we by nature tend to warm up to and then go and imitate.  We see a great parenting idea, recipe, craft, solution to life's deepest problems, and we think, "Oh, wow.  She really gets me.  That's exactly what I need to do."
 
In times past, we would have talked to a person.  A person whose life we knew (at least to some extent), and whose family, habits and decisions we'd observed over time.  And we'd weigh that all up before we took their advice or copied their decisions.  Bring back the person, I say.  I find some of the whole internet influence pretty scary - I think most of the time we don't realize how deeply we are being etched by people who we only think we know.
 
But not my blog of course.  You and I: we'd totally be besties.  What do you think?

15 comments:

Jean said...

Totally. Besties. For certain sure. ;D

Tasmanian said...

You are even better in real life.

Deb said...

Oh, we are tight alright: we use the same shampoo!

Deb said...

Awh, you're too sweet.

Meredith said...

Phew! Very glad to read the last line. I was beginning to panic. We're besties, aren't we??

But yes, I agree. In my early days in blogland I was less circumspect in what I read and what I took on of what I read than I am now. Having said that, the flipside is that sometimes there aren't real life role models to speak to and in their absence - and also knowing that a minister can't set aside too many sermons a year on what it means to be a godly wife, mother, daughter etc, I found that I have learned a lot from other woman from their blogs. But yes, discernment is certainly needed. And lots of it. And we certainly need to make sure we don't lose ourselves in the Internet and forget to be with real people.

Now about that best friend thing...

Deb said...

Yeah, Meredith, we are totally besties!

I agree that the internet does provide access to brilliant ideas and role models that I wouldn't have gained access to otherwise (I'm looking at you, Jean and Meredith). But I think it's also been a temptation for me to then turn to the "easier" online mentors than go out and forge the more "difficult" friendships with real life mentors. The women I know in real life will always seem more flawed than the mentally-airbrushed mentors I read about on the internet. I don't have to sit next to any of them in the pew and see their little habits I might find irritating. Likewise, my online friends only ever know part of my life so they can't call me out on a pattern of behaviour that they see playing out in my life that I haven't first realized and revealed. I think there are probably more mentors around us than we think but we no longer go the second-mile to find them. And I think often I find it easier to hang out with online friends than get ruffled and put out getting to know real people. So I need to do some repenting there.

Doesn't mean I will stop hanging out with my online besties though!

Deb said...

And I think there's a minister thing that goes on with this too. Online ministers seem so together and cool. We forget that if we were actually in this man's congregation, and if it was small enough to get to know him personally, we'd soon see him as a flawed human like every other minister we've met. I'm not saying some guys aren't better at their jobs than others. But we do need to keep bringing some reality into our perspective and remind ourselves that what we have is not "all" of that person and so any comparison to the poor bloke who is faithfully filling our local pulpit each week is not comparing apples with apples.

Meredith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meredith said...

I agree totally. Nothing replaces real relationships with those in our own church community and sitting under the preaching of a local minister.
Now let's have that cup of tea.
Mxxx

Deb said...

White with none, please.

Meredith said...

Well that just proves we are best friends. That is how I have my tea as well. Shall put the kettle on and warm up the pot right now.
Mxx

Sarah said...

Haha I've thought the same when reading some blogs (I think it's called the 'girl crush'). I've also read some blogs and decided that if I met the blogger in real life I would NOT want to be their friend.

I know from Facebook experiences that there can be a great divide between someone's online and real life persona. I asked a friend who I met via blogging if she thought I was the same in person as I am on my blog and she said yes, so that's good I guess. ;)

As long as we are not creating idols out of fellow bloggers, the Internet can indeed be a great source of information and encouragement if we are discerning and still work at cultivating in person relationships.

Now, when are we all going to have a big bloggers meet up and see what we are all really like? ;)

Deb said...

Yep, you're spot on when you say there's a lot of encouragement to be found (when we keep our perspective on fellow bloggers). I love the people I've "met" in blogland. I keep away from Facebook because blogland takes enough time away from my unplugged life as it is.

I'm think we'll have to meet up in Adelaide to make it fair for you westies. Although, Melbourne might be fairer to for the NSWelshies and QLDanders.

Sarah said...

I love both Adelaide and Melbourne so either is fine by this westie. :)

Deb said...

Melbourne it is then!