While I’m busy wrapping up my holiday, I am very proud to have my beautiful friend Diana Murdock hanging out at the blog today. Not only is she an amazing author and mother but she has a very interesting history that not only includes alcohol smuggling but organizing hurricane relief fundraisers and cookie baking for seniors. I know, amazing! As I’ve gotten to know her over the last nine months, I’ve been blown away by the raw honesty of her posts. She tells it like it is, and I love that about her. Diana has an excellent novel out, Again (I loved the two interwoven stories in this one) and her new release is coming soon, watch for it! That’s enough of me, here’s Diana…
Cyber Friends – It
Ain’t Is What It’s Cracked Up To Be
In years past I’ve been known to complain that technology is widening the gap between people and making our interactions increasingly less personal. After all, I’m a touchy-feely hugger. I need physical, face-to-face contact. But like a good little sheep, I fell in step with everyone else. A couple years ago, when my then-husband and I worked at home in different rooms, we would email each other rather than get up off our butts and walk across the house. It was convenient. I got the concept, but I still felt so isolated. Kind of like sitting on my own little island sending up flares hoping someone would see me. And because of that, I never saw the value in on-line communication.
But now? Hell, I’m all over it.
I hadn’t really thought about my change of attitude because it was such a gradual shift. Fueled by Kristen Lamb’s We Are Not Alone (WANA) teachings, that attitude has now grown into such a deep appreciation, I’d climb to the top of the highest on-line mountain and post and retweet it over and over again how much I appreciate my cyber friends!
So when Elena asked me to guest post for her while she was away, I didn’t hesitate. I wanted to help my WANA sister in a big way. Because that’s what friends do for each other, cyber or no.
In the last six months I have met the most incredible people. Actually, I’ve never met any of them face-to-face. I only know them through pictures and posts, but I do feel I know them, I mean, really know them. Six months of daily emails, tweets, smiley icons, LOL’s, and tons of support tend to open the door to familiarity.
Some may still insist that cyber relationships are impersonal and they are as potentially misleading as on-line dating, but the truth of the matter is that although everyone has the power to delete, backspace, write and rewrite our messages and posts, we can see who’s at the other end of the keyboard. There’s no hiding who we really are inside. Our writing reflects who we are, no matter how perfectly poised the words may be. We can’t help it.
And it’s through these words that we connect, sift through, and ferret out those peeps we choose to hold closer to our hearts than most. It’s just like in the days of old: You meet someone at a party or at school or work. You talk, maybe have coffee, and by the end of the day you’d know whether you’d shake their hand or pull them into a hug. (It doesn’t hurt that we can go trolling around profile pictures and Facebook pages and albums to see who someone really is. And don’t deny you haven’t done that!)
Sure, technology has made the personal touch a luxury, but it has also picked up the four corners of the world and gathered them together in the middle so we are able to broaden our reach.
Personally, I have friends in Pakistan, Wales, Italy, United Kingdom, Ecuador, and Canada (and other countries, I’m sure). I’ve discovered friends in my old stomping grounds in California and a few in the states surrounding Idaho. When my cousin passed away not too long ago, his friends in New York and I befriended each other to lend comfort, and though I don’t know them personally, I do know I can count them as my friends because of the shared love for my cousin.
As for the handful of peeps who my soul knows and embraces, through the words that we have exchanged, I can say without a doubt that I do know them and feel comfortable enough to open up my life and heart. I trust them and I know they trust me.
Do you have some of those? Try Skyping one or two of these special friends and tell me if the both of you don’t just fall into step as if your last conversation happened only a few minutes before. Yeah. Friendship, love, and trust can be nurtured on-line.
For me, and many others, cyber friendship can be the most viable way of socializing. Sure, we all have our friends we hang out with once or twice a week, or family on the holidays, but on a daily basis, how else can we connect with as many peeps as we do when our daily lives are filled with working, writing, raising children, chasing our pets, trying to find family time and personal time? On line, we give each other the boosts, nudges, validation, and high five’s we need to get through the day.
We’re adaptable creatures. I think we’ve all been able to wrap our heads around the fact – without guilt – that we can carry on conversations with ten different followers on Twitter and comment and like another ten on Facebook all while multitasking our normal daily activities. We all get it.
As a single mother who works ungodly hours, raising two very active boys, with a WIP about to bloom, there’s no way I would have any hope of a social life, let alone have an opportunity to meet fellow writers, soul sistas and brothas, and overall just really cool people.
So Kristen, you’re so right…We are not alone. Not ever.
Thank you, Elena, for inviting me over to your place! It’s been a lot of fun to get out and stretch my legs in your neighborhood!
I can not think of a better way to finish up with my blog babysitters than with this post. It’s been an absolute privilege to get to know such amazing ladies who have become an important part of my life. Thank you, Diana for an awesome and perfectly fitting post.
If you wnat more of Diana, check her out
On Twitter @Diana_Murdock
And at her blog dianamurdock.wordpress.com/