Barbara's Random Thoughts

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Friendship and blogging

Last night, Elise mentioned that she'd been checking my blog to see what I've been up to. Two things occurred to me simultaneously: 1) I should write a blog post, and 2) I should actually hang out with Elise soon.

This got me thinking about blogging and social interaction. I remember reading something on Elise's blog once (you're inspiring me today, Elise!) where she said she was attempting to promote normal social interaction--so if you wanted to know what was going on in her life, ask! That made me laugh, but I agree--the blog is not a substitute for actual, in-person friendship.

Last night, I started thinking about how blogging doesn't replace friendship, but can add to it. I think given a larger context, blog-reading can be quite cool in supplementing actual normal social interaction.

My friend Melinda was my roommate during a semester-long study abroad program in Florence. That semester, we were together almost constantly. Our class schedules differed by only a couple of classes, we shared a room, we went to the same Bible study, we hung out with pretty much the same people, and the traveling we did was usually together. I remember thinking how great it was that we could skip all the small talk about what we'd been up to and start deep, important discussions without wasting any time.

I am always a bit thrown when someone refers to something they've read on my blog, if it's someone who doesn't comment regularly. I kind of do a double take as I realize they're more up on the details of my life than I know. And yet, it's a little bit like that semester when Mel and I spent so much time together. We didn't have to fill in any of the background of each other's day-to-day lives; we already knew the context. Blogs can do a little of that filling in the context--of events and experiences, and thoughts as well. And that's a pretty cool addition to friendship.

I still haven't really said anything about what I'm up to. Oh well.
| posted by Barbara | 10:15 PM