Guest Post: Meeting Blog Friends – by Roni Bennett

Published: July 23, 2011 | Last Updated: July 23, 2011 By | 3 Replies Continue Reading

I read Ronni Bennett’s post on friendship and blogging, which certainly resonated with my experience. She graciously agreed to allow me to repost it here. Are any of you bloggers? Have you made friends blogging? – Irene 

 

Meeting Blog Friends

by Roni Bennett

blogging bug image
Anyone who’s been reading Time Goes By for any length of time, knows
that I am a big advocate of blogging for elders. It’s fun and
interesting to do, it keeps our minds exercised and active, puts us in
touch with the world outside our homes and – probably best of all, we
make friends at a time in life when there are not as many opportunities
to do so as when we were younger.

 

I think people who don’t blog or who are not blog readers don’t
appreciate that last important aspect of blogging. We become real
friends with some of the people we meet online.

 

It’s my belief that no one can write day in and day out without
revealing a great deal of themselves, their values, interests, passions,
humor, etc. In fact, I think we come to know more about one another
through regular interaction with our blogs than we would with new
in-person friends we probably wouldn’t see more than once or twice a
month.

 

I include regular commenters in this – those who don’t keep blogs
themselves, but contribute their thoughts and ideas frequently enough
that the rest of us come to know them well.

 

But there is one hitch with blog friends: as the friendship grows,
there comes a time when you really want to meet them in person. An
advantage of the internet is that we come to know people in far-flung
place we could meet in no other way; but that is also a disadvantage.

Sometimes, however, our travels take us to other cities and we can meet. It has never disappointed me.

 

Three weeks ago, Jan Adams who writes the Gay and Gray column for Time Goes By and blogs at Happening Here was in Portland and she came to visit for lunch one afternoon.

 

As often happens, I was having such a good time I forgot to take
photos, but I can tell you that Jan is very tall – at least to this 5′
2" person. And as has always happened when I’ve met blog friends, it was
like we have always known one another.

 

Sure, we exchanged some historical information – how we got where we
are these days and chose our careers and bits about our families. But
mostly, it felt like Jan lives nearby and we were just catching up.

 

Marcia Mayo, who blogs at Well Aged with Some Marbling,
lives in Atlanta and comes to Portland each summer to visit her
children and grandchildren for a few weeks. If I recall correctly, we
were just getting to know one another last year, but this year we met on
Tuesday. Marcia came to my house in Lake Oswego and we had lunch at a
little British shop in town that serves high tea.


One of the first things I noticed about Marcia is that she bears a
resemblance to the actor Shirley MacLaine and is sometimes mistaken for
her. Oddly, we share that. There was a period of 10 or 15 years when I
was often asked for autographs by fans who refused to believe I was not Shirley MacLaine. Marcia and I had a good laugh about that.

 

As with Jan, it was like we’ve always known one another. I can’t tell
you all the things we talked about – we covered a lot of territory and
there wasn’t time for all the questions I wanted to ask Marcia and
follow up on other things we discussed.

 

And like Jan the day after she and I had lunch, Marcia is leaving to return home to Atlanta this week.

 

Like I said, the downside of blog friends. But we can continue long
distance with a new kind of connection that spending time in person
adds.

 

Although it has happened a couple of dozen times now, I’m still
amazed at the comfort level when I meet people I’ve known before only
online. It reinforces what I said above, that we cannot write day in and
day out without revealing a great deal about ourselves which makes it
easy to find those we are simpatico with.

 

I just wish I could pick up the phone and arrange to meet again for
dinner or a hike at a nearby woods or a movie or just spend some more
time in person with one another.

 

 

About Times Goes By and Roni Bennett

Time Goes By is wide-ranging blog covering social issues, work,
retirement, age discrimination and ageism, politics, media, health,
family, Medicare and Social Security, love and sex, entertainment,
humor, grief and mortality, culture, technology and more – all as
related to aging.

 

 

Roni spent the the last decade of her
career working on websites beginning as managing editor at CBSnews.com
through other sites on sports medicine, restaurants, finance and
business research. For 35 years prior to that, she produced for such network television programs as 20/20,
The Barbara Walters Specials and other shows at NBC, PBS, CBS, Lifetime, etc.

 

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Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Times Goes By is a gem of a blog. Very intelligent posts about what life is like when you are an “elder.” The music entries are my favorite weekend reads, too. I urge everyone to check out this blog.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Very true, i’ve met many blog friends through my various websites who live the other side of the world and i’d love to meet them. But that’s the thing – it’s broadened my outlook. I know that if I went to New York I could drop my blog friends there an email and have someone to have a coffee with – same with Sydney, Tokyo, or even Honolulu!

    It’s something i’m really fascinated by and have been studying a lot writing my new book (http://www.wegetnoticed.com), as there is an argument that it’s casual acquantances such as blog friends who have the largest impact on who we are, yet at the same time it’s an ‘artificial’ form of socialising. Personally, I find it very rewarding, however.

    Marcus

  3. Janet DeVito says:

    It is so true. When I actually meet “in person” women that I have had blogging relationships with I am always surprised that it feels like we have been friends for years!! I organize and host Girls Getaways ( http://www.GirlsonaCruise.com )and I must say that through my meetup groups I have had many women come on our cruises in hopes of meeting travel companions. We often talk extensively prior to the actual cruise and it is truly wonderful to take that next step of actually spending “face to face” time with women that you have communicated with on social networks.

    It gives me great faith in women in general and makes me realize how strong the need for friendship and connection is.

    Janet

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