This post reflects my thoughts on the degree to which blogging creates a kind of community. Oh, I know that blogging should not take the place of being in contact with friends day to day. And, of course, blogging should not take the place of face to face conversation, just as email should not take the place of personal contact.
But, let's be honest, cyber communication has changed the way we communicate. When was the last time you sat down and wrote a LETTER? OK--Christmas letters don't count. Email has made written communication a daily thing, but a very different thing than a century ago.
Even telephoning has changed. True--most of us have cell phones, but depending on your age, you aren't using that phone to make CALLS--please--you are using it to text your friend. Oh, make that--txt ur bff.
(No wonder it is getting more difficult to teach students to write.)
Anyway, what got me cogitating upon the nature of community is that I find blogging has created a cyber community. No, I am claiming no cutting edge observation here--no doubt sociologists are already written doctoral dissertations on how people connect even in a wired way.
First, we have our cyber friends--I, like many people who blog, try to check up on my cyber friends periodically. As we read about their lives and observations, we begin to care about them.
Second, we become invested in their lives. Over this past year, I have worried about the health of cyber friends--Pam, and Cathy. I have mourned when Mary lost a family member. I have thrilled with good news from Delia.
I have gone hunting with Ruthie, traveled with Julie and Ginnie, watched AC play with his first grandchild, smiled at Laura's stories of Luka's antics.
I have been inspired by the gentle words of Nina, by the great work Beth does, by Tom's inspirational teaching of youth, and by Jean's loving devotion.
I could go on. . .there are many other blogging friends who I have not mentioned who are no less interesting, inspiring, adventurous, courageous, and caring. Some of them are along the sidebar of my blog.
And now I am worrying about Philip--usually a loquacious poster, he has been silent for nearly two weeks. I find myself checking his blog every day, even though I have signed up as "following" him, so I get notices if he posts. His silence is uncharacteristic. I hope all is well.
So, it takes a village--a cyber village, sometimes, as well as a literal village.
John Donne captured it is his famous meditation XVII--
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
We are all part of the main.