Sunday, 16 March 2014

Friends

Me with some my best friends - two of my sisters. 1967?  I'm on the right/

This post was inspired by a school assembly last week.  Pupils were being warned again about the perils of Facebook.  In the hands up which opened the assembly some kids claimed to have over 1000 'friends'.  My daughter has around 200, all of whom she claims to have met.  They were asked to remove from their list of 'friends' anyone they did not actually know properly - those friends of friends etc. The head ended the assembly by saying that for her friends were people she had met in person.Which got me thinking.

A friend is someone whose company you enjoy, who supports you when you need it and listens to you.  So in the last year since I've been writing this and reading other blogs I feel I've made some new friends.  I look forward to the posts from my favourite bloggers and am delighted when some of them have read and commented on mine.   I know that sometimes bloggers meet up for real - I recently enjoyed reading this post from Avril at School Gate Style who met up with other fashion bloggers in London.   I wonder whether the friends I've made on here would be as I imagine if we met and what they would think of me..... .

One of my favourite blog discoveries in the last year is written by Yvonne Watterson who is from the same area of Northern Ireland as me, an English teacher and mother of a teenage daughter. She now lives in Arizona but still has close links with NI, writing for the local newspaper in Antrim.  Her posts are proper serious writing dealing with issues and ideas, yet personal at the same time. I was shocked and saddened to hear how she lost her husband in November, around the same time I lost my father.  She wrote about her grief in a very moving yet dignified way and my heart went out to her.  She has now decided to have a break from blogging to write a book.  I'm pleased for her but will miss her regular posts.

Yvonne announced her decision to have a break from blogging.  But recently a couple of the bloggers I read regularly have not posted for a long time and I'm hoping they are ok especially since there were hints that all was not well in some cases.  I miss them as I would a friend who's gone away.

So that's why I don't agree with our head 's view that a friend has to be someone you have met.

6 comments:

  1. Like the head teacher, I thought friends were people that I had met in person - until I started writing my blog that is. I have made some friends online that are close to my heart for a variety or reasons and I look forward to a new post as I would look forward to a cup of coffee with a local friend. My world has expanded, and I have made friends with women who I might not otherwise meet. Have a lovely week. Cx

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    1. Thanks and glad I found your blog too. Loved hearing about how you extended your headache so you could spend all day reading

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  2. I am guessing the head is only concerned about the children's safety, and that online, maybe the friends you have properly 'met' are the real ones for now (I don't know how old these kids are)... but as an adult you have greater powers of judgement and discernment when it comes to friendships, especially on line, and I do completely agree with you - that real friends are made through blogging and social media. X

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    1. The kids were 11-16s and I agree with her advice to them. Would be fairly horrified if my teen was communicating with a stranger and she has reassured me that all her 'friends' are 'real'. I'm kind of monitoring by talking to her and trusting her.
      Looking forward to receiving your book!

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  3. What an interesting post. I think if you write a personal blog however silly or trite it may be - I am, of course referring to my own blog here - you do reveal a certain amount about yourself which allows other people to judge you. I read blogs by people who I suspect I wouldn't immediately like in real life however their blogs have allowed me so see aspects of them which I connect with so I would be much more kindly disposed to them. A few years ago we had a blog meet up in NI over Christmas and I did like most of the people I met. I think the problem comes when people use social media to misrepresent themselves for their own personal gain and as you don't have the same cues that you do in real life it is much easier to do this.

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  4. Your blog is probably the one I turn to first as it's so honest and funny and I love hearing about the everyday details of your London life. Also I am fascinated and nosy about your family and all those sisters since I am one of five. You remind me a lot of my NZ sister who has a similar sense of humour and writing style. I've kept all the letters she's ever sent me because of this.

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