If you’re reading this post, you’re either a blogger, a blog reader, or both, and that means you invest some amount of your time in connecting online with others. We’re connecting now, right?
Although online relationships can be satisfying and a great source of support in our day-to-day lives, I also want to encourage you to build meaningful, face-to-face, God-honoring friendships.
As someone who’s been blogging for over three and a half years, I understand the temptation to “live” online. My online friends don’t know how messy my house is or when my roots need retouched. You don’t see the extra pounds I’ve put on this winter, me yelling at my kids, or the look of disappointment on my husband’s face when I stay up to finish a post I’m writing instead of going to bed.
You see what I allow you to see, and I promise, it’s been Photoshopped.
I share the same interests with my online friends, ones often misunderstood or under-appreciated by those around me. Still, there are times when I want to walk away from my online identity, delete my blog, and run away.
For example, discovering awful search terms that someone entered and somehow led them to my blog, when it made me sick to think that someone interested in that kind of content was on my site, looking at my family; crafting a post that I think is really good, but doesn’t get comments; going outside my comfort zone to ask for a conference sponsorship, and not getting a response.
Online interactions may be long-distance, but they can still leave you feeling exposed and vulnerable.
I don’t know what I would do without my real-life girlfriends, the ones who are here to share my day-to-day joys and my sorrows.
Here a few of my thoughts on face-to-face relationships…
Develop friendships that build up your family, not tear it down.
In Proverbs 14:1 we’re told that “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” My best friends and I love a girls’ night out, but we also get together sometimes as couples or families.
Our husbands know that we support each other’s marriages. Four of my dearest friends and I are about to go on a mother/daughter retreat where we hope to strengthen our daughters spiritually and deepen our bonds as friends and family.
We all need friends with whom we can ponder the deep questions, share our hopes and fears.
My strongest friendships are with church sisters, the ones with whom I share a precious bond of faith. It can still be scary baring my deepest thoughts, but I trust them and we come from the same worldview.
Friends allow you to let your hair down and just be silly.
The photo above was taken on the way out-of-town for a girlfriends’ weekend last year. We were all a little giddy and actually talked our waitress into taking our photo on stage with the husband/wife band at the small mountain restaurant where we ate. I’m sure we’ll laugh about it for years!
As a blogger, I seek a comfortable balance between my online and face-to-face friendships. I have doubts that my girlfriends and I will ever discuss search engine optimization, social networking, what to wear to blog conferences, or a host of other issues and geekery that I adore discussing with you online.
On the other hand, they’ll be there for a girls’ night out when my week has been lousy and my pageviews are low, whether or not they understand what that means.
I treasure you both.Leave a Comment