I don’t have many friends. At least not in the traditional sense of the word. I like to be at home with my husband, I travel for work, and I’m busy with school. Many say it’s important to get out and interact with people. But what if that’s not what I want to do? I don’t like bright, flashing lights. I don’t like crowds. I don’t like lots of noise. I can reach outside my limits, but I’m not going to push myself and be miserable. I have two friends I actually meet face-to-face, and even they often forgive me for backing out.
I have lots of friends. Here it comes….online! I’m happy with this. A recent book I read, Trust Agents (see my book reviews) is listed under business/marketing, but it is a read for good human connections, also. Brogan & Smith ( 2010) discuss the level of transparency people are able to have online. When posting on my school discussion board, Facebook, or even on here, it is much easier to get my thoughts out than it would be face-to-face. Although there are exceptions, among internet friends people are more willing to open up. I look forward to getting online in the evenings to see who reached out to me during the day. I am able to share pictures and videos and parenting sayings/tips with coworkers that I wouldn’t share from work. I am able to connect with friends I’ve lost touch with. I am able to complain to a classmate and ask for clarification/encouragement about an assignment (one of these days, we’re going to meet). I have someone in South Africa praying for me in our Christian mentoring group. I am following a student from Australia and watching him meet his goals. I send pictures and messages to my kids, now that they’ve grown up and left the house. I can be open and honest with these people.
How interesting that the people I don’t see face-to-face everyday are the ones that are supportive and nonjudgmental. I wonder what we can all learn from that!
Thank you, friends!
Brogan & Smith. (2010). Trust Agents. Using the web to build influence, improve reputation, and earn trust. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.