Wednesday, 25 July 2007

“Friendships” in the blogosphere: A form of virtual reality or something more?

Around two weeks ago, maybe more, one of the bloggers I visit quite regularly, The Comic Rack guy, posted some sort of farewell message to the readers of his blog. As I used to browse his blog quite often it kinda of hit me as odd at the time since he was frequently updating his blog and seemed to really dig the blogging thing(I am just presenting here my original reaction to it). Still this is not about him or anything, besides he has resumed his blogging duties so to speak, albeit posting less frequently(no biggie really, blogging is just a cool past time after all).That message though and my response to it got me thinking… the big question being “What sort of relationships, if any, are formed via blogging?”. It is a fairly wide topic I am sure but one that I would like to tackle albeit not thoroughly.

Relationships in the blogosphere are like a race in Mario Kart. Contestants are not friends or foes just people having a good time communicating (occassionally verbally blasting eachother off as well,lol). Hmm, an undeniable truth or simplicity for simplicity's sake? Read on...(what a way to lose credibility from the first paragraph by using this

Since I don’t want to play it like an amateur psychologist and I hate generalization for generalization’s sake I ‘ll try to present my view on the matter judging from my personal experience on blogging and my interaction with people during these 6-7 months that I have been blogging for. I remember originally I didn’t have any readers that I didn’t personally know. These were a couple of people that more or less drove me to blogging (although I am sure they couldn’t predict what sort of blogging monster they were creating at the time,lol). So, I was writing merrily my posts on various matters and occasionally logging into my blog to see if I got any comments. Truth be told I didn’t really care much at the time if anyone read my posts or not, I was just happy I could express a wacky side of myself and be creative with my humour. Plus, I wanted to exercise my written english on regular basis and I was happy I found the means to do so. Anyway, a couple of months after I began blogging, I saw the first comment of an unknown person in my blog, that was itelli to be precise. So naturally, I returned the visit and the rest is history really… How did it feel you may ask? Well, I found it surprising that someone did have a look around the blog without me having it paraded all over the web to find readers. Funny thing was, he is Greek to and it is kind of funny for two Greeks to communicate in the english language, lol. The interaction with itelli gave me an insight on to what blogging is capable of as a mean of communication and human interaction. Ok, ok you don’t really know the other person at least not in the conventional sense but you get glimpses and glances into his/her psyche just by reading the posts. Furthermore, a lot of people seem to really enjoy the freedom of expression that a blog provides ridden from the confines dictated by the system of rules that determine our behaviour in public places and day to day interaction with other individuals. People seem to genuinely be “more themselves” when blogging without the fear of rejection from others or the possibility that they are going to be labelled as odd if they tackle a subject deemed too deep or even plain weird for every day life terms. So, ok then, we got some people that have at least some common sense of humour and they do agree on a couple of life principles but does that elevate them to any sort of friendship status?

How on earth do I expect to be taken seriously when posting pics like this one...oh yeah that's right, I don't:)

It is a difficult question indeed… If you define friend as someone that you know personally for years, he (or she) has proved himself to be worthy of your trust and has personality traits that you appreciate greatly, then blogging is not a place for friends, just for random acquaintances of people’s echoes of their personalities. However, come to think of it what is really friendship these days? This is probably the one era in human history when people have so many ways of communicating yet they feel more alone than ever. How many times in clubs, cafeterias, wherever really, have I not noticed people restrained to express any real emotion or intent of it towards others, in the fear of rejection and judging always from past experiences. Sometimes, as an outside observer you can see a guy and a woman really liking each other still no one makes the first step. And even when that first step is made how truthful to their real selves is the interaction between them I wonder… So if future friendships/relationships are constructed on semi-hypocritical foundations, that is not really particularly enticing is it… At least with blogging people tend to be more themselves straight away or at least present an idealised version of themselves (and no Deadpoolite is not an ideal version of me, god forbid, but maybe in an ideal word where everything would be fun, he would be, lol) without the fear of having fingers pointed at them like they are the ones sticking out like a sore thumb. So, is it really too far fetched calling “friends”, people that you barely know but have shown a lot of their inner selves to you through their writing? Questions raising even more questions it seems and no definite answers…

Ok then, blogging and human interaction via it is no laughing matter...ahem... yeah right... Oh for crying out loud I am with kitten on this one, laugh as much as you can, you'll be healthier that way (this social message was brought to you by DP the friendly Merc with a mouth and a sense of humour to boot... yessir!!!)

So, time to conclude this little pseudophilosophical rant and try to come up with some sort of amateurish assessment about the issue. Do I really consider the people I interact with via blogging friends? I wouldn’t trust them with my innermost secrets or say anything too intimate at least not without masking it with some sort of funny protective veil thus making it more impersonal. I do not know them enough to have that sort of relationship but as with all things the verdict is still out on that one, as time passes and things evolve… Still, at the other end of the spectrum, I do have a certain fondness for them. I realise we have something major in common which is pretty unique. Day in day out we feel the need to share pieces of our soul regardless how big or miniscule they may be. It can be a detail in our life, something that made us laugh, something that troubled us and we don’t want to share with anyone we are too intimate with. That is really something I reckon… so enough with the labels already, friends or no friends whatever you call it we have something beautiful in common. Maybe it will last for months, maybe for years, maybe it will end tomorrow, either way it is a beautiful ride through the blogosphere, never a dull moment and I am glad I made the acquaintance of so many interesting and diverse people.

So bloggers such as ourselves are a merry little lot... all caddly and polite... no backstabbing, no fighting whatsoever... yeah right... bring on the blogging mayhem, I wouldn't have it any other way! Enjoy the vid:)

Ok, then that is that… more philosophy in the next millennium or so, can’t take it , lol

P.S. One think is for sure, I ‘ve been reading Shan ‘s blog for way too long ha,ha,ha,ha… blame him and his eternal existential dilemmas for this outburst of philosophical mumbo jumbo on my behalf, yes Shan you rock and you know it ! ("Mumbo jumbo…" is that even a proper word, lol, oh madness sweet madness, good to have you back on-board, lol)


Zhu said...

I'm still staring at the picture you posted. Is that how do do group hugs in Greek ? Brrrrr... :D

I have to agree with most of the article. I was the same, when I first started blogging, I didn't care about readers, didn't expect any and that was good enough for me. Then one person commented... then another... then I commented myself... Made things much more interesting.

I think I'm about the same in real life and in my blog (good girl ! I don't have split personality !) but I don't take internet friends as serious as life friend, at least it takes longer.

Great post !

nick said...

I for one tink of them as friends. I feel I try to be completely honest with then. this was a great post by the way.

Deadpoolite said...


Well "Deadpoolite" is a playful version of me so to speak. It just gives me the freedom to joke about some things with over the top humour that would be a little awkard for some people in a direct conversation.

Yeah post is great, post is good, post is amazing... I wonder what handsome bugger wrote it....oh yeah that is me:)


Bottom line is blogging is a way to express yourself. How one goes about is a matter of personal idiosyncracy that is what makes it so much fun.

Yeah this post was fun while it lasted I must admit:) But you know me I cant be too serious for too long (Merc funny reputation bonus points and all, long story friend ha,ha,ha)

Take care!

itelli said...

Shiu... It took me some time, but here I am.

Good thing u said, cos it's been months I've been thinking of sending u an email. The reason why i haven't is because there's only one question in my mind (for the moment): r u half Brit, half Greek? (oh, it rhimes as well!) Or have u spent half ur life there like us? The only reason why i ask is cos I don't know so many greeks using so many english colloquial mannerisms. If u don't wanna reply publicly, u have my email.

Re: the glimpses in someone else's psyche. In the beginning i didn't even know u had a greek blog... I thought u were just someone who's writing about comics and desperately wants to befriend me, albeit in a strictly blogging way :) And that got me into my defensive (almost Kill Bill) mood. I thought I was the only nutter, but here we go, there's more like me out there!!! Yiiii-haaaaa!

Truth be told though, I am luckier than ur other readers, cos with ur greek blog, I get a fuller picture of who u r and how u think (although, to keep this chat on an academic level, I must stress that even that doesn't mean i know u 100%).

All in all, u r one of the selected few in my blogroll, and one of the even fewer that I would like to meet once the wind carries me to central Greece. Actually, u r the fourth blogger from that city that I quite like... Seems like high humidity and devilishly high temperatures have an effect on the blogging capacity of ur fellow regionals :)))

Keep it up. I don't say much. But I do read ;)

Deadpoolite said...


I am Greek-Greek born in Greece and all and I have spent a grand total of 5 years and some months in the UK (up to now because my future will bring me there again I am sure)

Since I am too lazy with e-mails I might as well give you the juice of the matter in 5 points:

1)As weird as it may sound I was always good in English, I always saw this language as a game really and that made me want to learn more about it and work on it.

2)Comics(predominantly), movies and other past times had a lot to do with me picking up a lot of Americanisms so to speak and keep in touch with the language at regular intervals. (I mean for crying out loud when an SMS comes to my cell, the alarm sounds with Bruce Campbell saying "Gottcha didnt I you little sucker", a quote out of the Evil Dead movies. How so typical NOT greek of me:)

3)When in the UK I didn't make the huge mistake that a lot of greek students do... that is to hang out only with other greeks... how on earth are you going to improve your skill in english if you talk in greek all the time LOL!

4)Scientific writing for my studies...let's just say I did a lot of that and there is only so many times that you can use "because" and "this is" in a report:) You need to evolve if you are going to be any good at it:)

5)UK pop culture and sense of humour. I love lots of aspects of it, especially the sharp wit and sarcasm to the point of absurdity. Granted this is not a trait for all times and brits do overdo it but still I like it:)

As long as there are people that read I am going to write. Truth be told I am going to write anyway:)

I am sure we'll meet at some point especially if I come back to the UK later this year. And no I am not just saying that:)

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