Monday, December 8, 2008

A little bit of Internet Introspection

Today, Mina posted something that really touched my heart and I have so much to say about her topic, that I felt an entire post was better than a pages long "comment" on her post about "Insecurity" ***Forgive me ahead of time if this turns into a "Stream of Consciousness" type post, I have SO many thoughts to share.***

I find it interesting how perspective changes and truths are revealed as we grow into adulthood. But what I find even more interesting, is how-given the right circumstances-the internet can bring out the best in people.

We've all heard the horror stories about internet predators, on-line scams, and various e-addictions. Those things exist, they are real, but thus far, they have not been a part of my life. In my life, the internet has been a true blessing.

Mina talked about the insecurities she had growing up, and how those insecurities gave birth to behavior that now embarrasses her. I know some of the behaviors she's talking about, but I forgive her. The truth is, I spent my child-hood thinking that she was more talented, more outgoing, and more popular than I could ever dream of being. I have to admit, that when I started seeing her readership go up, I started to feel some of those old insecurities again, but quickly realized that her voice is different than mine and she reaches people in a different way. THere is no reason to feel insecure about her or anybody else's blogs growing in readership. In fact, its something to celebrate and to compliment. I love how the internet, specifically blogging, connects people. It shows us how our lives are similar, which can be particularly valuable at times when we feel alone in our challenges. I love how we can find those who uplift us, who make us laugh, who have it worse than us, make us roll our eyes, inspire us, or cause us to go through just about any other human emotion you can think of.
The internet and I have a relatively short, but valuable relationship.
I wonder who else has found a job, an apartment, and a spouse online in a single 6 month period? (we didn't marry in that 6 month period, we married a good year later, but we did find each other in that 6 month period!) I know others have long-term friendships, I think it was Whitney who finally met a friend of 7 years recently. I too have an internet friend who'm I've never met face to face, of approximately 7 years. We keep in touch regularly and are happy for each other as we travel through life. Many of the friends I've "met" here in the blogging world in the past few months feel like "real" friends already. Kind comments, shared laughs, the occassional snark make it all feel real. Which begs the question-if you haven't met face to face, is the friendship any less real? I suppose it depends on the second party's perception of the friendship, but I would say, an online friendship can be as valuable and real as an in-person friendship, and I'm thankful for that. My internet friends have been a big part of my having discovered my "voice"...or rather, my dang personality!-which come to find out, some "real-life" people even like!

I grew up in a hilarious household. But it was always somebody else's job to be funny. It was Lisa's job to be smart, serious,and athletic. It was not my job to be funny. But, I've discovered I do have a funny bone in me. Its my own brand of humor, and its lost on plenty of people, but not everybody. Some people, it seems, actually even kinda like my brand of humor, and laugh with me, even when I'm not actually TRYING to be funny...yes, that's you Joanna, and you totally made my day when you laughed at me last week about something I said which I didn't even mean to be funny, but turned out funny anyways. Being told "You're funny" is like the ultimate compliment in my book. I would rather be told I'm funny than be told I'm pretty, smart, or a waste of space on this precious planet. But the point isn't that other people think I might be funny, the point is, that on the internet, where I say what I want to say, and think what I want to think, I've discovered that people like me for me. Not everybody likes me, and that's ok. The great part about that is a: I don't have such a long list of followers that I can never ever keep up with them all, and I can actually develop somewhat of a relationship with those who visit frequently, and B: This attitude has carried over into my non-virtual life. The attitude of "not everybody likes me and that's ok" has really served me well here in my new home-town. I have found it difficult to make friends here. I don't have an explanation for it, because I actually found making friends in the last town we lived, quite easy. I don't know what exactly is different, but it doesn't matter. Instead of falling into old habits of thinking that I must not dress right, must not have the right talents, or must not live in a nice enough house to please everybody, I just think "well, I just haven't found the right friends yet." It makes life alot easier to feel ok about who I am, and be able to be patient about finding the right friends.
I'm currently serving in the RS presidency. I have found it to be a challenge. I really stink at small talk and I often worry that I speak far too plainly, and out of turn. But when I do, I am always approached by somebody who says "You said exactly what I needed to hear today". So, as it turns out, my relatively new-found ability to be bold sometimes even serves others well. If I could figure out a way to make "small talk" on the internet, I would probably practice that here a little too, but hey! There is absolutely NO REASON for small talk here, and I guess that's part of the attraction for me.
Its wonderful knowing that at any time, in any circumstances, there is a community of women just a finger's tip away from me that have similar lives, similar values, similar difficulties, and similar joys. And that brings comfort. I know that sometimes there is a little "image management" going on behind the scenes from blog to blog. Its pretty easy to guess when a husband and wife have had a major blowout ( hubby either breaks into the blog to post a mushy "how I appreciate my wife" post, or wifey logs in to name the Top 10 Things I Appreciate Most about My Husband". ( If its yours or his birthday however, I'll just assume you're being nice and not trying to cover up your name calling from last night, LOL)or when a new blogger is still trying to find their voice, but overall, I find this to be a joyful community to be a part of.

And so, at the end of this very jumbled post-of-too-many words, I just want to say to each of you, "Merry Christmas" and "thank-you" for reading, responding, and being a part of my life. ( You Too, family members☺)


in time out said...

this is such a nice too about the RS Pres..what a calling.

i will have to check out Minas post. thanks for sharing.

came by to tell you that you won my best excuse game, so your blog, with Miss Anne and Kay's Thinking Cap, will be at the top of my blog for the month. thanks for the excuses.

have a happy day...♥

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

How sweet! Thank you for being so awesome! ♥ Hugs :)

Jillene said...

WOW!! What a BEAUTIFUL post Lisa!! I FOR SURE consider you my friend!! I love your blog and I always love when I see your avatar on mine!! You are an amazing woman!!

I too am serving in the RS Presidency--2nd Counselor and I too feel much the same way that you do.

Kristina P. said...

I completely agree. And I have become real life friends with many of the women whose blogs I found. I really do value the relationships I have online.

Erin said...

I love this post. I have really enjoyed the friendships I have made through blogging. Thanks for sharing your insights with us.

Tink said...

Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability! You're an awesome lady. Hey, I have a friend who started her blog the same time as me and she has over 150 followers compared to mine of 40. Ha! So I guess she has the more sizzling personality. But our purposes of blogging our different. You're an amazing woman with lots of talent and sense of humor! I've always enjoyed visiting your site. It's a true uplift! Thank you for all of the sweet comments you always leave on my site when you visit! Have a great day.

rachel said...

Wow- I loved Mina's comments today and I love yours as well. You have such wonderful perspective and I so appreciate your honesty. I think I'm one of those newer ones trying to find my voice still. I am glad you are my friend :)

Lara said...

Absolutely lovely post!

Being a SAHM, can often be so isolating, and I think the internet and blogging world (before I blogged I had a close group of message board friends) have helped me to stay sane.

Heatherlyn Colt said...

I found your blog post from Mina's. I appreciated both your posts! Wonderful. Anyway, you asked about people having met online. My husband and I met accidentally online on ldschat. We weren't looking for dating or anything. We met on November 7th and were married December 1 that same year. There might be more to it. But we just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and are soooo happy. So . . . maybe this online meeting someone and getting married thing is just very 21st century. (I did get the correct century, right? I hope . . .)

So said...

What a thoughtful and lovely post. Isn't it interesting how we can all be so different and yet appreciate each other so much.

I am like you, in the respect, that I often feel that I speak too plainly.

Thanks for this post and for sharing you with us.

J. P. said...

All of you INTER-friends have no idea of how just the tip of the iceberg this post is about how AMAZING my wife is!!!! :)

I am glad she is coming around to my way of thought! ;)

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her!!! (all the #'s)