Tuesday, May 24, 2016

At long last...

Never enough time!
I posted my teaser post right before I learned that I would have to work Saturday, and that kinda messed my schedule up and I never got back to my blogging idea about authentic online relationships.

It was sparked when one of my Facebook friends, one who I actually know in 'real life' claimed that she was going to be deleting her account after a conversation with her daughter.  Because Facebook is more or less fake and the relationships aren't authentic. While there is a grain of truth to her daughter's claim, she's also wrong.

Just like in real life, you can't group an entire people together based on one bad apple or experience. Not all doctors are quacks, not all men are bad, not all churches are bad. And relationships can be faked in real life just as easily as online.

Being authentic online, is the one thing I always see on self-help lists for social media. Because even online people can tell when you're just blowing smoke. Whether you're an independent author trying to build a fan base or a blogger trying to connect with like-minded people.

I have 'met' several people on Facebook I consider good friends even though I've never met them. Long before I ever decided to self publish. They may or may not return the sentiment.  But you find that in real life too. I love my 'poke wars' with a friend in Portland.  I love the fishing pictures from the friend who lives in Barrow Alaska --- talk about some culture shock there! I love staying connected with high school classmates; some of which I love even more now than I did then. I'm even friends with a couple of my husband's Xbox buddies, one is a teacher and the other is an avid fisher for catfish. I have friends in Australia and New Zealand - sometimes I feel like I get to celebrate major holidays twice because of the time difference - LOVE it!!

At least three of my Facebook friends I met initially through my first personal blog.  Not maintaining that blog is one of my biggest regrets. I met a lot of good people that way. But instead, I have started over and keep pegging away.

C.P., myself, and our friend Penny <3
And I've had the opportunity to meet some of my Facebook friends in real life as well, further cementing the friendship.  C.P. Stringham and I met first on Facebook --- even though she lives about an hour away.  Through a mutual friend...who neither one of us really know in real life. I know I attended the same funeral as this mutual friend, but I don't recall if we ever actually met. Her aunt meant, means, a great deal to me - she was a huge influence growing up and I dedicated my first book to her. I still dream about her.  I've also managed to meet another friend (Penny) through C.P. as she was her friend first.

Facebook also allows me to have a relationship with long distant relatives, and friends who no longer live in the area, or even friends I met in an attempt to go to college in my younger years. I've never met some of my long distant relatives, I wasn't able to make that road trip with my mother years ago.  But we've got Facebook.  Last year when my husband and I were going through an intense financial crisis due to illness and injury, these are the ones who helped me the most. I'm not saying that to put anyone down, as everyone local was going through their own hardships at the time as well. But these friends weren't, or did what they could.

Birds of a feather...need I say more?
Although I have yet to cultivate relationships with anyone through my author page, I keep posting on that as well. Mostly meme's related to reading and writing, and blog links.  Occasionally I'll give a personal update (I'm due for one).

For the time being, we live in an online society.  I for one intend to make the most of it, both on a personal level and a professional as I intend to continue to publish books for as long as I live. For me, this online community is a necessity. If my friend feels the need to leave Facebook, then that's the right choice for her to make.  We all have to make the choices that are right for our lives, regardless of what naysayers might comment.

Relationships, online or upclose, are what we put into them.

What do you think?

9 comments:

  1. Very well put... You know we have a bottle of wine to kick right??

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Online Society is wonderful. It enables to have relationships with those across the world. How else would I know you, Robin, with me being in the middle of England?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I am ever able to travel abroad, I am definitely swinging through England!

      Delete
  3. I love Facebook! Like you said, we became friends "there". I wouldn't be in touch with most of whom I am in touch with without FB! *We need a new picture of us together!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One thing I forgot to mention in the blog is that it puts us in contact with people with problems similar to our own. I find great comfort in the Hypothyroid pages, it's nice to know I'm not alone and that someone somewhere understands what I go through.

      Delete
  4. I couldn't agree more, Robin! Facebook is what you put into it. If you have someone on your friend list you don't feel reflects what you want/need out of a social media app, then get rid of that person. It's simple. As you know, yourself, it has been a great vehicle to reach out to the masses to help sell our self published books. WE HAVE FANS!!! Fans who are now our friends. When my youngest was first diagnosed last year, you may recall the depression she went through. All it took was one post on FB, where I mentioned how she was feeling, and the next thing you know, I had requests for our address. That girl was flooded with cards, letters, and even little gifts for over a month!! The outpouring of love was almost too much to believe. Many of those things were sent by Facebook friends whom I've never met in person. For you and I, it has been a great way to trade writing ideas, share writer's block struggles, and just plain chin wag for fun. Thank you for your friendship and blog partnership!!

    ReplyDelete