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,
"...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?