Virtual Strangers or Real Friends?

A couple of months ago, Jane, a fellow blogger contacted me on Facebook telling me that she had seen an update on Twitter from Louisa, another blogger we both were connected to. The update seemed to suggest that Louisa was very upset with a situation at home and wondered if life was worth living.  Jane kept Louisa occupied with responses via Twitter, until Louisa stopped connecting abruptly.

Jane then contacted me and told me about this and asked if I could contact Louisa via Facebook.  Another friend, Ann who had also seen Louisa’s Twitter updates expressed her concern too. I tried but didn’t get a response.

I contacted another blogging friend, Mindy, who lived in the same country as Louisa and asked if she could connect. When she didn’t get a response either – we began to connect with Louisa’s sister and friend via Facebook and make inquiries. It wasn’t until the next afternoon, and many worried inquires and prayers from a lot of other bloggers that we got news that Louisa was okay – a little down but had not harmed herself in any way. We heaved a collective sigh of relief.

Why am I telling you this? Because it involved so many bloggers responding out of concern towards someone we had never met. We were in three different countries – in different time zones too – attempting to reach out to another blogger.

I thought it was amazing how virtual strangers were now real friends.

I also thought that the next time I hear someone tell me that my online friends are not ‘real’ because I’ve never met them, I’ll have some directions to the closest lake ready for them to go take a leap into!

 

Online Friends ;)

 

I’m also telling you this, because all of the people I mentioned in my story (names have been changed to protect their privacy) are part of a fantastic Facebook Blogging Group: Blogplicity. It’s a wonderful online community where we share a lot more than links to our posts. I am grateful to Savira Gupta for inviting me to this group. 

I find Blogplicity to be a microcosm of life – a variety of characters who manage to ‘live’ together.You will find support, laughter, sharing of views, and sheer madness. There’s a lot of give and take there. At times, there are disagreements and some people up and leave, but then that’s what happens in ‘real’ communities too.

If you are a blogger who is on Facebook (if you’re not, why aren’t you?) and wish to join Blogplicity please contact me with details of your blog and Facebook profile and I will pass on your request to the admins who will make a decision about allowing you in.

If you have a story of a blogging connection that turned into a real friendship do write a post about it and link into :

The ‘Blogging and Friends’ blog hop at
Bongo Is Me  
and
Living with Food Allergies and Celiac Disease

May you be inspired – every day!


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  1. Mary Hudak-Colllins says

    Wow Corinne! That is amazing! I know of several instances myself, where a group of bloggers have worried about another’s absence. Between facebook, twitter, skype, etc. we have all connected in one way or another reaching out to the ‘missing’ blogger to make sure he/she is okay. It truly does follow a ‘family’ structure…when someone leaves, or moves on, you miss them dearly and wish for their return.
    We have had bloggers join and leave our group over the years, but each one was a valued member that had something important to offer to the other members of the group. Although we miss them when they are gone, we also have to understand that they are at a point in their life that they may not have the time for our group any longer, or their life is taking them in another direction. Most of group members that have left, I continue to keep in touch with them. Why? Because we built friendships that last way past a ‘facebook group’ and we did it through blogging. That is how wonderful blogging is. It brings people together from all over the world and allows them to connect in a way that without the blogging world, they wouldn’t have even known of each other.
    Thank you Corinne for your inspiring story and thank you for joining in the hop and sharing it with us!
    Mary Hudak-Colllins recently posted..{this moment}My Profile

  2. says

    A wonderful story, indeed. I spend most of my non day job and mother jobs, writing. In the process of deciding to go back to school to learn what I didn’t know about telling a story, and writing the first book, I lost quite a few physical friends. In between of course, there was illness and death in my family – more loss of friends. By this time, I was too far down the road of writing my first book to stop. Writing is a solitary pursuit, which I accepted. I finally gave into blogging about a year ago because I read it was required for new writers to have a virtual fingerprint. I confess I wasn’t keen AT ALL. Surprisingly, through blogging I have met some wonderful writers. Who knew. I am still alone at 6:20 AM on a Friday morning at my desk, but it’s the way it goes. I am still horribly guilty of not connecting enough but everyday brings me a new surprise. The point of all this rambling is you are correct about the community and how you described it. I still prefer sitting face to face but I enjoy having me you, Martha, and Savira here in this place.
    Brenda recently posted..A Mom’s Job DescriptionMy Profile

  3. says

    This is so true what you have written. I remember when you called me just because something bad had happened. Sometimes even more that real friends I thing us virtual friends are more connected. a beautiful and true fact.
    rimly recently posted..A Friday MomentMy Profile

  4. says

    Corinne, you are such a beautiful person — this was such a touching post, and makes me so grateful for your friendship and for all the love and concern you’ve shown me, even though we’ve never met in person. You’re so right, “Life IS better with friends,” and especially when you’re one of them. I heard a quote once that I love: “The only thing as good as old friends are new ones to make old ones out of…” Thanks for your uplifting post, my friend.
    jimi ann recently posted..My Extraordinary Friday MomentMy Profile

  5. says

    Intresting indeed!

    Yes, you are so right in talking about the way how our virtual friends online can sometimes turn out better than the real friends we may have offline. Speaking of myself, I have more online friends now than offline ones, perhaps being a freelance writer, my work is all web based so that keeps me online for most part of the day.

    I loved the way so many of you friends got together and managed to find out about Louisa, which was remarkable indeed. I guess that’s what friends are for – isn’t it?

    Nice to know more about Blogplicity, though I wonder how do you manage to juggle between the already long line of social medias to manage another one. :) Though it sure sounds nice and different.

    Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend :)
    Harleena Singh recently posted..3 Ways to Create Family Bonding TimeMy Profile

  6. says

    I’ve not only witnessed but I have also experienced the care and affection that friends online have for each other. I have few intimate friends whom I could confide my stories with, but even so, I’ve learned to share myself through my blog and have met new people through the groups.

    I really thank you Corinne. I have become closer to other people because of you. I am deeply inspired by your genuine concern to other people.

    I am truly grateful to God for blessing me with friends in the blogging world :)

  7. says

    This was such a touching post….this virtual world does really have some true friends to look out for :)

    I am a blogger and am on facebook with the name Privy Trifles. I would really love to be a part of Blogplicity. I would be glad if I can connect with some wonderful people there.
    Privy Trifles recently posted..As you walk away…..My Profile

  8. says

    Wonderful post Corinne!!! It is so beautiful, and I’m so happy to see that all other Bloggers consider themselves as part of the same family. I know i do, because not only they are part of my family, but I consider them, my real supportive family, the only one I have.
    Your post gives me a lot of comfort. I also have days when I feel really down, and since it is so hard for me to ask for help, I just try to connect and chat with my online friends. It happened this week. A simple message from my friend saying “thinking of you” was enough to make me smile.
    Nikky44 recently posted..A Cry for HelpMy Profile

  9. says

    … I agree it is amazing! I am very grateful to be a member of Blogplicity!!!

    I’m also finding that as in ‘real’ life, we get the opportunity virtually to work through hurt feelings, difference of opinions, deleted comments (*wink*, *wink*, giggle, and a {{hug}}) and still be friends… maybe even closer! What do you think?

    I admire you, your compassion and kindness; meeting you in this great big virtual world has made my little corner of the world bigger and better!
    Amy recently posted..Painting Outside the LinesMy Profile

  10. says

    Corinne, this is inspiring. And uplifting! Who says we have to feel lonely with the many people out there willing to reach out and embrace you into their circle? I will forever be grateful that you reached out to me provided me with so many ideas and ways to blog better! I’m still thinking about your suggestion of writing a book! Blogplicity makes me want to join Facebook! Is there something similar to it on Twitter? Hugs to you! :)
    Bella recently posted..Is it time to call the Dog Whisperer?My Profile

  11. says

    You guys are awesome for checking up on her like that! I sometimes forget that I don’t know these people in real life…especially for people who blog anonymously and therefore let loose more than they would in real life. Blogplicity sounds great….may have to get in touch with you about it soon!
    femmefrugality recently posted..Mend Your Clothes–Save MoneyMy Profile

  12. Savira says

    Corinne… I still remember the phone call from you…. It sparked an interest to want to get to know you even more. You are just amazing in what you do and how you do it.. I have much to learn from you. People I meet in the blogging world are real with exciting stories to tell… I may not see my inner self but I know it is there I can feel it, sense it and experience it just like the many blogging friends I meet….

  13. says

    Thanks for sharing that beautiful story with us. It is amazing how impactful these virtual connections can be. You and others were real friends to the blogger in need. That kind of caring is priceless.

  14. says

    What a difference a friendship makes, whether in cyberspace or in person. And, what an inspiration you have shared here, Corinne! You had me on the edge of my seat, praying that this friend would be fine in the long run.
    A great reminder to us all why prayer is so important and dynamic in our lives. It reaches beyond the physical and into the spiritual, asking God to intervene and to aid when we cannot be there in person for those we love.
    He will accomplish all!
    Thank you for another inspirational post, my friend!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Virginia Rose’s Most Excellent AdventureMy Profile

  15. says

    I think for some people online friends will never be real and never really have much weight in their lives, these people are individuals who would not have taken the steps your group did and would most likely have just turned off their PCs and walked away without a second thought. These people are also the ones who usually send over the top harsly worded emails out to companies and people when they are not happy with a service. The point I am trying to make is that, for some people, they find it very difficult to understand that there is a person behind the computer screen.

  16. Beth says

    A decade ago, I would have never imagined having friends–real friends–who I’d never met. Yet here I am and without trying too hard, I could make a good sized list of people who would be there for me in a heartbeat were I to need them. People who know more about me than some in my “real” life do. Amazing.
    Beth recently posted..Talking to StrangersMy Profile

  17. says

    A wonderful story Corinne. My grandmothers (mom’s and dad’s mothers) never met in real life, but had a close relationship that lasted for years, right through my parents’ divorce. Even though they never met, their relationship was very real. And that is how I feel about the friends I have made online. It’s real. :D
    cath recently posted..of brazilian blowouts and crack powderMy Profile

  18. says

    Hi Corrine:
    Amazing story. I have quite a few friends I’ve made via blogging/Google+/Twitter and previously Facebook. I think it’s wonderful how people reach out and care about those who need help. I’m sure your friend was very grateful that you were concerned enough to reach out. Good for you for not giving up.

    Chris
    Chris Jennings Penders recently posted..Defining SuccessMy Profile

  19. Myrna says

    What a nice post Corinne. I too have made some really good friends by blogging. We’ve never met, but our hearts are linked. I’m glad to belong to Blogplicity. It’s an honor. I’ve actually met and become friendly with some people in Blogplicity and I don’t even participate that often. It’s really comforting to belong to a community where people are supportive. Thanks for inviting me to join.
    Myrna recently posted..OUR YOUNG VAMPIRESMy Profile

  20. says

    Hi, Corinne! ~

    I consider you a good friend. And yet, as I have often found with my friends, your definition of friendship seems very different from mine based on the story you used to illustrate it. I think this is fascinating.

    I don’t consider it my job to track depressed friends down and try to talk them out of hurting themselves. And I wouldn’t subject my friends to such behavior from myself. The difference has nothing to do with online or offline friendship.
    Dangerous Linda recently posted..this momentMy Profile

  21. says

    My dear Corinne,
    Many of us are confuse about what a true friend is or what friendship really means. Like love, it is rather easy to call anyone friend. Personally, as a man who enjoys writing poetry so much, I need my quiet time to express my emotions. I seldom spend any time with anyone. Betrayal usually comes from a so-called friend. Thanks for sharing.

  22. says

    This is a wonderful post for so many reasons. First, I’m glad your friend is all right. Second, you didn’t ignore your intuition but rather rallied the troops to check in on your friend. And third, your friend, I’m sure, felt the level of concern and caring stretching out from all over the globe to let her know she is not alone. Really wonderful. Thank you for sharing this story.
    Galen Pearl recently posted..On Judging OthersMy Profile

  23. says

    Corinne, your post speaks very loudly of the value of friendship whether virtual or not. I have given love and received love, supported and been supported, all by the bloggers at Blogplicity and other sites. There have been days when my heart was dragging on the ground, feeling discouraged and blue, and along came one of my blog friends, speaking the exact words needed to lift me up. That’s a powerful and spiritual connection.

    I had the pleasure of meeting with Jayne, of Suburban Soliloquy, last October. I was in New England because of a family illness and sweet Jayne drove all the way to my home town through a freak October snow fall, to have lunch with me. I hugged her. It felt just right!
    Sometimes I fantasize about gathering all my blog friends up and putting them in one big room where we can look into each other’s eyes and smile, hug, and maybe dance. Anything! Just as long as we get to be together. Wouldn’t that be amazing! But, for now I’m content to visit my online community right here. Sending love to you sweet Corinne. Lovely post!
    Leah recently posted..Purposeful VulnerabilityMy Profile

  24. says

    ——I have met several beautiful, amaaaaazing people from blogging….
    I’ve also seen some face to face!…and it’s utterly COOL.
    I talk to one girl in particular from New York once a month & we’ve become quite close.
    One blogger, Karen, actually flew in last year for my sister’s memorial walk & another blogger I interviewed a few months ago is coming up for the walk on May 20th.
    I SO MUCH Adore this communitity of fabulous women….And I also Adore you, Corrine. <3 Love Love Love. Kiss Kiss Kiss
    My Inner Chick recently posted..~Jean QueenMy Profile

  25. Erin Maureen says

    I remember when this happened, and you are so right – just because you haven’t met someone face to face doesn’t mean that you won’t care about them or try to help them. Cheers to you and all of the quality friends you have in your life!
    Erin Maureen recently posted..Goat TherapyMy Profile

  26. Lynne Watts says

    Blogplicity for me has opened my world to lots of new blogs, experiences and relationships. I think the analogy to a family is quite accurate. Just as there are family members you feel a real affinity and connection with, there are also ones where you wonder how you could possibly be related. What a caring and insightful relative you have proven to be! Blessings.

  27. Diana Pinto says

    Loved the post corinne.I agree with you completely that the friends we make online be it through FB,blogging etc can be a great source of strength. They can bring us fulfillment,joy and blessings and I have personally experienced this :)
    Diana Pinto recently posted..Never give upMy Profile

  28. Janaki Nagaraj says

    You are a wonderful person Corinne and what you and your friends did were quite amazing. I remember the same thing happening with another young blogger from Philippines. And, Blogplicity is a wonderful group, honored to be a part of this.

  29. says

    WOW! What a great story of LOVE, concern, and friendship! I believe that our online friends do share a lot more, one because they have to be SILENT and read before talking. Sometimes when we share in person, people tend to “tune out” or at times talk over a person, so we aren’t truly listening! Thank you for sharing this and being a TRUE friend!
    Lisa Marie Farfalla recently posted..O Tel AvivMy Profile

  30. Dave M. Saha says

    Hi Corinne, long time no speak! I hope you are doing fine and I agree with everyone, that was indeed a beautiful story. I’ve had so many people call my online friends not “real” and all I told them was that they wouldn’t understand unless they were me. It’s always wonderful to have a place where you can share, talk and discuss various subjects and topics with friendly people, and Blogplicity is that place for me. I am very proud to be a part of this group and it’s definitely my favourite group on Facebook. Nowadays I really just log in only to check out people’s new posts. And, I’m loving it.

    Stay well!

    M.
    Dave M. Saha recently posted..There’s a special place in hellMy Profile

  31. says

    That is so wonderful Corrine! I am relatively new to the world of blogging and mainly use it as my outlet to share my point of view. I didn’t realize there are so many gracious people (like yourself) out there and you can make virtual friends! Good to know :)

  32. Irene says

    Corinne, thank you so much for everything, because really, I am at a loss for words. Blogplicity has not only changed my “blog life” but my “life” as whole. I never thought net friends would be this supportive until you invited me to join this group. Everyone in BP helped me in ways more than one can imagine. I’m getting very emotional and dramatic right now and I guess you know why :-)

    Thank you so much for being such a great friend, Corinne! You are truly a blessing <3 <3 <3 :-)
    Irene recently posted..Isn’t It Ironic?My Profile

  33. BonniePanterGayadeen says

    I’m sorry it’s taking me so long to get here…seems I disconnected from everything including the bloghop I so wanted to do… you are right… one night while I was skyping with some blogging friends.. they were concerned….. it took 3 bloggers and 3 countries… and ems was at my door.. thankfully they got here before I did any harm… my cyber friends are the most authentic people I have ever known and without them I would be isolated.. and would have missed a lot of love and support.. thank you for taking part in this blog hop and sharing real life with us.. I love you… As always…XOXOXO
    ps…I HATE liveyre LOL

  34. Inspiring Citizen Rafi says

    I have taken a giant leap of achieving the target of 587 articles is 182.5 days…And how many words will it be Corrine.Any idea..

    The real example you gave shows that we can have real friends online as well..Hope you remember me mentioning in one of your posts that I am having a facebook friend and ever since I started blogging I have got a few good friends like Rahul Kuntala, Thuy Yau and many more..

    Thank you for this lovely post and kindly introduce me to blogplicity. My website address is http://www.inspiringcitizen.com and my facebook profile is inspiringcitizen. I shall send you a friend request in Facebook as well..Thank you once again for your help in advance.
    Inspiring Citizen Rafi recently posted..See How 18 Year Old Ammar Ali Built A Blog Worth $1,16,665 In 12 Months &#8211; A Straightforward Interview With HimMy Profile

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