Real Life-Virtual Friendships?

Does having a blog strengthen or weaken one’s friendships?

I was talking to a friend of mine (Jill from theholtsite.com) recently. Although we hadn’t spoken in a while Jill commented that she felt like she knew what I’d been up to. This blog had done a pretty good job of keeping her up to date. She also said that another friend of hers had likewise made a similar comment about her blog while they visited at a wedding.

“Did you hear that Dan got married?” Jill asked. “Yes,” I quickly responded, “I read about it on your blog.”

After laughing about these comments our conversation suddenly became quiet. We were already caught up on each other’s lives! What more could we talk about?

This got me thinking about the purpose of blogging. I often tell people that we blog in order to keep our far flung family and friends up to date on our comings and goings. For those that we don’t talk to frequently it works well. When we do get to talk with them we can skip past the daily stuff and go onto more personal matters.

But, what about people we see frequently? I’ve brought up topics with family members who look at me and say, “yeah. I read that on your blog…” and I’m stopped in my tracks. Quickly, I try to find a new topic of conversation. It isn’t so much that it is difficult to find a new topic, just that I’m still surprised when others already know the story I’ve thought to share with them.

Have you found this happening in your relationships? Are you able to balance your online relationship with your real life relationship with your friends and family?

4 thoughts on “Real Life-Virtual Friendships?

  1. nikkiana

    You know… It’s funny.

    The amount of RL people who read my blog is relatively limited… It basically consists of my father-in-law, my sister-in-law and my brother-in-law…. so in general, I generally don’t run into the “I read that on your blog” comment very often (really, only with FIL).

    It tends to annoy Matt more than it does me. For example, I have a tendency to blog things before he gets around to telling his parents. Thus, when he breaks the news, it’s anti-climatic.

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  2. Ben

    WOOT! Our site made it onto another blog!

    I think blogs have more to do with news than about friendships. Your friendship with Jill was not weakened by knowing about Dan’s wedding, any more than reading the paper weakens your relationship with someone else who reads the paper. In fact, I think it gives you more to talk about!

    i.e. “Tell me more about xxxxx that I read about on your blog!”

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  3. Rebecca Post author

    Nikki- I can see how that would be bothersome… We try to make sure that any ‘critical information’ gets passed on in person before it hits the blog…

    Ben- I had pretty much come to the same conclusion that you did. It just made me think of the greater issue…

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  4. michelle

    I only have a few friends whom I see regularly IRL that read my blog, and I always find it humourous when they say “I read that on your blog” or something like that… the majority of my readers are either people I don’t know IRL or else friends/family who no longer live close.

    Usually I find that blogging posts offer conversation starters, which I like. And most people like to have themselves mentioned or see photos. 🙂 But yes, sometimes it does stop me in my tracks when I really think about everyone who reads it!

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