30 Nov 2010

Friends and followers

I don't have Followers on my blog. I have Faithful Friends. Occasionally one of these friends 'unfriends' me, and I fret a little, wondering what I've done wrong. Did I know you by name? Did we have a relationship, or did you lurk there, joining as silently as you left? Do I follow your blog? Should I unfriend you as well?

I wonder.

There is a lot of talk nowadays about the value of cyber-friendships, and yet that group of Faithful Friends knows much more about my day-to-day life than many of those whose telephone numbers are listed in my speed-dial.

Amongst my Facebook friends I have both real life and bloggy pals. My bloggy pals are much more likely to comment on my status updates than the real life ones. Why is this, I wonder? Is it because you are more intimately involved in my day-to-day life through the pages of my blog, or are you more computer literate?

I wonder.

Sometimes a bloggy friend with whom I have a daily relationship will announce suddenly that blogging is taking up too much of her time and that she's going to take a break. Mostly that break becomes permanent, and I mourn the loss of one who has become a close friend, even though we've never met. After all, I don't speak to any of my 'irl' friends on a daily basis, and yet everyone would understand if I were sad at the loss of one of those friendships.

Today Jemimah and I travel to Avalon Airport to collect the beautiful Ruby and her two young men. I am terribly excited. Ruby and I both homeschool and we both blog. We attend churches of (almost) the same denomination. But we share much more than that. We share a great love of family. We both have a dry wit and a love of words. We know secrets about each other.

Like most friends we have differences too. She is so wise and I wonder whether she finds me frivolous and shallow. I wonder how my non-Christmas observing friend will cope in our home of over-exuberant Christmas cheer. Will our friendship be strengthened or weakened by this time we spend together? Will our friendship change by transforming itself from a cyber-friendship to one enjoyed in real life?

I wonder.

To all of my Faithful Friends out there, thank you for that friendship. Thank you for pressing the 'follow' button. Thank you for praying that our home would be safe from yesterday's floods. It was. Thank you for caring that our cameras were stolen. Thank you for your kind words as we mourned my dear father's death. Thank you for missing me when we're away. Thank you for encouraging me to write. Thank you for supporting me on our homeschool journey. Thank you for your help. Thank you for caring.

You are certainly true friends to me. That I don't wonder about at all.


  1. I hope you have a wonderful time with Ruby and her family!

    {I un-followed once...your feed was showing up twice in google reader somehow and I was trying to fix it. Now I'm not sure if it has me subscribed under your following widgit or otherwise...will you still be my friend? teehee :) }

  2. Now that does not comfort me one bit, Ruby dear...

  3. Oh Jeanne, have *buckets* of fun with Ruby and her boys.

    I think it's lovely that you share so many "little" things. I feel like I've known you so long, although I've only been following for a few short months.

    *to cyber-friendships* :)

  4. *Cheers, Rebecca*

    Now, when can *we* catch up?!!

  5. How sweet that you get to visit with Ruby, Jeanne! You are blessed. I'm thankful to have met you in this "cyber-world." I remember the first post I read of yours....about parenting children in the pew. Have a wonderful visit with your friends.

  6. That was a very sweet blog post.

    I hope your visit is wonderful.

    God bless.

  7. Be of good cheer, Jeanne. There are very few people I do not get along with!
    I fear though, that you have this idea of a sage and all together gal, which I am not :-( I apologise to all my bloggy friends if I have given a false impression of my ditzy and often overly emotional self.
    We are dizzy with excitement here. Only a few hours till we jump on that plane. It's actually a very dreary day here unfortunately, and my dear dad is in hospital so lots of mixed emotions as I pack.
    See you real soon!

  8. Jeanne, what a thought-provoking post! I wonder about those things, too, from time to time. As you say, my bloggy friends know more about my life than some of my "other" friends. And, since I'm an introvert, I'm more myself on my blog than I am in person (unless I know you very well).

    Here's a thought to cheer you: I've had the sheer joy of meeting in person two friends I'd "met" online. It was fantastic! And it's added a richer element to both relationships.

    Perhaps one day you'll write on your blog, "We are headed to the airport to meet Ellen. . ."

  9. Hello to Ruby and boys! Jeanne, you've not only been a great friend but you've introduced me to so many of your own friends as well.

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!! I have no doubt it will be a wonder-full time.

  10. Jeanne, I know you mean what you say when you post something like this:)
    You are a great friend to me and all your followers.
    Enjoy your time with Ruby!
    I also hope to visit you next year:)

  11. I'm glad I'm not the only paranoid one round here! Why do people join & what makes them unfollow? Did I get that dull? Plain boring? Not holy enough? Hmmm I wonder. I envy you Ruby. We had such a lovely time together & I would so love to be joining you two. I think we would giggle a lot & seem very silly for our age & have a wonderful time. So seeing I can't join the two of you this time you'll have to have double the fun for me! ♥

  12. I certainly appreciate the hand of friendship that you have extended to me Jeanne. I always love to pop by your blog and I'm not sure whether I follow or not as I don't use the Google Reader. I always know that when I do pop in I am warmly welcomed and will find another book to add to my ever increasing list.

    I do enjoy cyber friendships. I am just sorry that I do not seem to be able to participate here in cyberspace both on my own blog as well as others as often as I'd like to.

    Enjoy your visit with Ruby. I am sure it will be a wonderful time. Ruby seems very giving.


  13. I love how often you write on your blog, and from the heart. I have always appreciated when you've left comments on my blog. I would love to meet you, and many of the lovely people I have met online, should our paths every cross.

    I'm a committed online friend to those whose blogs I have followed for a while (eg. when I have left several comments on a blog). I do like to comment often, and even though the techno trend is to be brief and sparky, sometimes friends do talk for longer, so why not online? I don't comment on every post because that would take too long and might bug people, but I do keep these people in mind and care about them.

    I think it's only fair when someone shares their story, trials and triumphs, to be courteous and friendly. I also feel bad when I have times of not updating my blog much, because I miss the interaction with my online friends and don't want to be silent to them.

    Regarding being de-friended, there have been times when I've clicked to follow a blog due to an initial interest in one or two posts, and later find I never read beyond the little summary links, so I quietly say bye, and don't expect to be missed as I never contributed much there.

    A thought-provoking post.
    Kind regards, your friend Vanessa :)

  14. Hi Jeanne,
    Sometimes have a feeling that I will be one of those bloggy gals who will slip away unnoticed. I think it's because so much is going on in life I'm struggling this time of year to make posts and comments. But I did decide it was ok for me to cut back. My husband feels like he has lost me to the computer sometimes and when I tell myself I wont touch the computer til night time, I get on at lunch time and all of a sudden an hour has passed. You have encouraged me with your wisdom and sense of humor and I think I would miss it all too much! I don't keep up with my friends locally as much as my bloggy ones, interesting isn't it. Have a great time with Ruby. Us homeschoolers really do have a great lifestyle.
    Blessings, Renelle

  15. Have a wonderful, lovely and blessed time ladies! Lot's of love to you both! xxx

  16. I have had a couple of "unfollow" and I got all upset and wondered why these people no longer liked me! All very silly. I also get worried when no one comments, I then think perhaps they aren't interested in what I have written, bored, found it dull, silly ......... Perhaps they are just busy!!??

    I also get sadden when a bloggy friend decides to take a break and never returns, I wonder why sometimes. Has something happen. Because many of our bloggy stories are personal I do feel that I "sort" of know these people, different to a face to face relationship, but still important.

    May the 2 of you have a great time. And plea keep blogging as I love reading what you write:)


  17. I don't have any type of follow/unfollow/join/like thingys on my blog because I found that I was looking at them, lol. It bothered me just a little when my blog stats would drop...and I didn't like being bothered by it so I don't have any type of stats. Then again, I'm hardly blogging anymore so I guess it doesn't matter.

    I am bugged by the fact that I have so much to share yet either no time to write it or I can't write it online as I want to protect my children's privacy and so much of what I want to share relates to my journey as a parent, which kinda involves my children, lol.

    Some of my dearest friends are relationships that started online. I'm so thankful for the opportunities that we have available these days.

    Thank *you* Jeanne, for sharing part of your life with us :)

  18. Aww, that's sweet!

    And you get Ruby - you lucky duck!!

    I wonder about the whole online friendship thing, too. But is it really a new phenomenon? People have had Pen Pals for time immortal, and no one seemed to think it strange that you can pour your life out in a letter to people who have nothing to do with your every day life.

    The coming and going can be tricky. Everyone likes to be liked - irl and online. I believe we will never be appealing to everyone, and when Christian faith is part of the equation, you can expect that it will narrow the range of readers your blog appeals to.

    Time could well be a factor someone leaves, in that just as in real life there are only so many people you can maintain a meaningful friendship with, there are only so many blogs you can be involved in. I don't have a lot of time on the computer - four people home with me all the time is... very 'interrupty' , so I am forced to limit the blogs I read regularly and the time I spend commenting.

    It's lovely though, don't you think, to have this avenue open to find people to write to? : )


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