Sunday, January 10, 2010

Blogging--the New Heartbreaker

Call me sensitive.

Call me too personal.

Call me whatever you like.

I’ve been blogging since 2006. At first I wrote into a vacuum. Then I heard a voice. One. Then two. And finally last year, I found myself in a circle of bloggers with similar values and goals. We shared our ideas and lives. I’ve emailed back and forth with some. We’ve sent cards and gifts. I’ve even met a few.

We’ve become cyber-friends.

And therein lies my concern.

Have you ever read a certain blog, one you really enjoy, and then one day notice the blogger hasn’t written a post in a week? So you check again in a few more days. Nothing. You start to run back through their posts to see if you’ve skimmed over something telling everyone they would be gone. So a month later, you check your blogger list and see: LAST POST- One Month.

You wonder if you should leave a comment anyways. Just in case. To see if they are okay. You might even contemplate an email but that might be going too far. There are those unwritten blogging rules you know.

So you let it go. But if you are like me . . . you still wonder. What happened to that person?

Is it so easy to slip away from the contacts you’ve made? Easier than in real life?

Sure it is. It’s cyberspace. It’s a new kind of freedom for friendships.

But call me sensitive. Because still my heart breaks for the loss.

47 comments:

Journaling Woman said...

Me too, isn't that funny. I wonder and fret a little over them, because somehow they have become a insert in my heart.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I check up on my blogging buddies with an email to say, "I've missed you." or "Just checking up on you.", etc. I've always gotten a reply and usually the reason they are gone is because they've been sick, family problems, editing a book, traveling, etc.

I hope and pray that if I ever post or comment something stupid, inappropriate or misinterpeted that someone will email me and let me know so I can make it right!

Madison said...

So true. I feel like some of these bloggers live next door and I've known them for years.

lakeviewer said...

Just what I was thinking. You don't want to invade someone's privacy, but you still want them to know you missed them.

Finally Free said...

I feel the same way......
One time my internet went down for almost a week. One of my cyber friends wrote a comment that she missed me. I don't know if that's against the rules, but it made me feel loved and missed.
I'm like you, sensitive, and my heart can't help but get involved.


Blessings,
Tammy

mamabear said...

Oh, this is me. I once wrote a check-up comment about every two weeks (for about six weeks) to make sure one busy mom of two little ones was doing okay. She must have felt stalked! Now she only blogs about three times per year. Was it getting addictive and she wanted to drop all contact to get over it? Was there a divorce? I'll never know and that does feel sad. I really cared about her.

I do think it is nice to check up on people. 90% of people probably feel loved and valued as a result of sweet, short notes from concerned cyber friends.

I'm grateful for your sweetness!

Just a thought to add: One of my mom-blogger friends just posted that a mom friend from her church, who has three little children, including a baby, was just diagnosed with cancer and will receive a year of chemo and a surgery. How many more people will pray as a result of the blog post? Cyber news spreads faster than neighborhood news, in some cases. Lots of prayer support is one of the blessings of cyber friendships.

How is your mom doing?

ginny said...

Oh yes indeed it has happened to me. You think you "click" with someone, and then all of a sudden, you are off their blog list, and they don't leave comments anymore. I know we should not take it personally, however, if you are like me, I am very sensitive to other people and their lives, and if I think I can add a smidgen of friendship to blogging or emailing them, then I do it.
Funny you should mention this, as I have been thinking the same thing as you!

Audrinna said...

if i don't post there at lest one blogger who will email me ask if im ok , to me that so sweet because in my world nobody cars if i live of die

destrella said...

I would send an e-mail or comment just to say I miss them. :O)

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Ya know, it is so strange how this form of communication really feels the same as my relationships with my my around the corner everyday friends.

You come to depend on certain things and then when those who you have connected with no longer are there it is a bit sad. I have had a few blogging buddies who have chosen to step away for various reasons. It really does feel like you have lost something!

Blessings
Your friend Robin

Julie Gillies said...

While I'm grateful for all my blogging friends, I try to remember that life happens, Terri. We never know what crisis or situation may be going on. For me, just to keep my once-a-week-post going through the holidays was a challenge.

I think e-mailing an MIA blogger is perfectly acceptable, and would probably be appreciated as a thoughtful gesture. Feel free to e-mail me any time. :)

Karen Lange said...

I too, think about friends missing in action. Sometimes I write, other times I allow myself to get too busy. Which reminds me...there's a couple of people I should check up on...I figure it can't hurt to check up on them (by email); this at least lets them know they're thought of.
Blessings:)

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

That's hard! I definitely check to make sure people are okay. Sometimes life does get in the way. I hope that person comes back on soon for you! :0)

Lin Floyd said...

that's happened to me with blogging buddies so I delete them off my list and then discovered later they were back blogging. We all have periods in our life when other things take over priority for awhile. But I feel if that person doesn't visit my blog anymore maybe the cyber friendship was over...

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

It's odd; you think you're connected to someone and then you realize you're not as connected as you thought, and then it's over. I understand. I suppose I'm learning to see this blogging thing from a "ships" that pass for a season. I've only been blogging for 2 years now, but have seen readers come and go. I find that I have limited time to give to my blogging connections, so I know that others are feeling the "strains" of it as well. There's been many a day I've thought of quitting it all, but I'm still here and am glad for the wonderful connections I've made.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately; maybe I'll pose the question on my blog as a post.

Why do we read blogs? How do we pick? If we didn't have a reciprocal relationship with another blogger (in other words, you comment on mine, I comment on yours) would we really be doing this? It's an interesting pondering. Think I'll go and chew on this one a bit more...

peace~elaine

Andrea said...

Call me paranoid! I always think something "bad" has happened. I have asked my friend mary to be my blog's God Mother! If I die or can not blog anymore, she can post on my blog letting my followers know. She has my passwords, etc. I don't want people to wonder or worry.
andrea

Deborah said...

I know just how you feel. I worry about blogging friends when they disappear and will usually leave a comment every once in awhile to just say hello, and let them know they are missed. The relationships we build online are not the same as in person, but we are dealing with REAL people, and I think it's normal and right to be concerned....and yes it hurts when they drop out of sight without a goodbye, just as it would 'in real life.' But in most cases there's a good reason....they're too busy, or have gone through a crisis that's too difficult or personal to post about.
I guess we need to get used to the reality of blogging friendships.

Jan Cline said...

Yes, it's a strange day and age we live in. Friendship takes on a new dimension with cyber-space. How sweet you are to be sensitive to that nagging voice that says someone is missing. And no, you aren't one of my problems...I don't want to think where my writing would be without you!!!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

With the rush of Christmas and New Year's, I've chalked up those MIA to time with family. At this point, I'm getting a bit concerned.

Thanks for reminding me to send an email to at least one friend.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Tammy said...

I have these same thoughts.I don't always write every week,so I've had blogging friends email to make sure I'm still here.:)

Paul Greci said...

I've been pleasantly surprised by the blogging friends I've made and I've only been blogging for a few months.

AnooCre8ion said...

It feels good to know that you are missed. Many times when I have been away usually because of my broken computer you are one of a few Terri who would always stop by to let me know you miss me and I thank you for that.
I too think about some people whose last post was a while back and I keep checking on them wondering as well what happened.
I guess the important thing to remember is that behind every blog post is a real person.

Vickie

BeckyJoie said...

My friend is a well-known author with several books out who blogs inconsistently because he is busy writing his books. I think everyone has their own rules about blogging. That's what makes it so popular. A blog started as a web-log, like a diary or journal and has evolved into the social media it is today. I do miss reading people's blogs but since I'm often the one who becomes too busy for a while or had two computer crashes in two months, leaving my blog silent, I guess I have no room to talk.

Just Be Real said...

Tiffany what a beautiful post. Blogging buddies are very important to me. Certainly good to feel you are missed! Thanks for sharing dear one.

Sassy Granny ... said...

When someone's dropped by for a visit more than a few times, I add them to my blogroll (and boy, is it ever growing!). That way I pay them reciprocal visits, and voila!, a new friendship is born. I keep track of those that haven't posted in weeks or months, and sometimes send an email (if I have it), or comment on their last, most recent post to let them know I'm thinking of them.

My reasons for blogging vary, which may have something to do with why I collect blogger-buddies. One reason is that I see it as a cyber-extension of the church ... and that has a lot to do with how I make my decisions.

Blessings,
Kathleen

Donald said...

i'm with you. It matters. And who cares about rules anyway? We're making friends with people we never talk to, surely that means new rules of engagement. If I dissppear, send me an e-mail. I'll do the same for you. Love,
Maryse (using hubby's Google accnt)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Terri: I love that you are sensitive; it shows your heart for others.
I think an email would be appropriate. If they are sick or feel like no one cares, it would cheer them.

Bless you,
Jen
Audience of ONE

Tamika: said...

Terri you are right to be concerned. We are all connected.

An email is a indication that you care. I can't think of a person that would not appreciate that.

T. Anne said...

Oh gosh I would worry and probably email lol! I am so thankful the Lord gathered together a bunch of like minded people to create this fun and creative enviornment! Good luck finding your friend, hope all is well.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I know what you mean. I usually leave new comment and hope they'll contact me. I have several blog friends who rarely post, but I keep in contact via email. Like that!!

To show my very overactive imagination, I have found myself on occasion wondering if the said blogger needs help, has fallen and can't call for help? I wish I knew someone they knew near by them to call and knock on their door to see if all is okay. Time heals this, though! LOL

Susan R. Mills said...

I was just thinking about this the other day. What if something happened to one of my blogger friends and I didn't know about it? It breaks my heart too, Terri.

Heckety said...

I know what you mean. And that's how I felt when Kat at heart2heart disappeared in the Autumn for over a fortnight...it transpired she was/is quite ill.
But it is easy to disappear in real life too. I don't know which is more worrying...A sense of community doesn't come easy any more, it needs to be worked at and sometimes its hard to know what is the right thing to do.

Natalie said...

I feel the same way. I'm always sad when a blog goes dark. But another part of me wonders, how long can this last? What happens when I have editor deadlines, or another baby, or something else that takes up more of my time? Will I lose touch with all my new writing friends? I don't know. Do you see blogging as a for-the-rest-of-your-life sort of hobby or will it someday get too hard to keep up with?

Shelley said...

It's funny how we become attached to blogs. I get that way as well, and wonder what happens to absent bloggers - is everything OK with them, are they just taking a break, have they decided to stop blogging...I know at times I am guilty of long posts - but it's usually because I don't know what to write about, especially if nothing has been happening that is worth writing. I do try to pop on and put up a little note at times though, just so anyone who might stop by is aware I'm still there.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Ops, I've violated the unwritten rule. A blogging friend dropped out of sight for, oh...about three weeks. I emailed to check up on him. He was fine, just caught up in other things, he said. Made me feel better. I hope he was pleased some one cared enough to check. I would give me a warm fuzzy.

Thank you for being such a nice and frequent visitor to my blog.

Best Regards, Galen.
Imagineering Fiction Blog

sarah said...

I smiled reading your post and the comments...connections are real - however we make them. And these bloggers become a part of us. I would send an email..and take a chance...I love your heart Terri.

Heather Sunseri said...

I've thought about this many times, Terri. I've developed quite a few relationships that I would be deeply hurt by losing their online presence, therefore losing them. And I've also worried about something happening to an online friend but never hearing about it. I think if someone publishes their email on their site, you should email them.

Jessica said...

Oh, you have such a sweet heart.
:-)

I'm really not sure cyber friendships are any different than work friendships. You see people everyday, chat a little, but their lives at home are their own and you only know what they say about it. Don't usually meet their kids or families, etc. I think the way you feel is completely valid.
If it's someone who used to post on a regular schedule, I think an e-mail or comment is definitely okay. Even a sporadic poster, it can't hurt. I've done it before, just kind of to check in, see how things are.
We may not be able to help with anything physically, but we can always pray or lend a cyber ear.
:-)

Sharon Mayhew said...

Terri--I've given you an award over on my blog. I appreciate the wonderful comments you make on my blog and wanted to pass on the Circle of Friendship Award to you. :)

Elana Johnson said...

I feel this. Because it feels like you've lost a friend. Sure, you've never met, but you still feel like you know the person.

Heidi Willis said...

Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I'm so glad to find you! i don't have many Christian blogging friends, so I cherish each new one I find!!

I don't think there are a lot of blogging rules. One of my dearest blogging friends (and crit partner) has recently had an upheaval in her life and hardly blogged at all in the last month or two. I happen to know she doesn't have the time (or internet connection) to blog much, but she loves knowing that people out there care about her, especially when she is feeling very alone.

Kara said...

I am guilty of this and yet I hate when this happens on someone elses blog:) That is one of my new years resolutions...not to drift off into cyberspace for long period of time!
These cyber friendships are wonderful, but can be difficult when it is the only way we communicate with each other.

Gaia said...

I did that once, email an MIA blogger to check on her. I was very happy that she responded and said that she had some problem at home and may need to start a new blog for privacy. Her ex's new wife is giving some problems to her. But after a few emails, it stopped and she never responded, I just wonder if I should write again or perhaps she just want to disappear forever. Still thinking about her though. Blessings.

Greg C said...

O know the feeling. There are a few that I want to just say hello how are you doing. I know I have been lax lately.

Gina Conroy said...

I have to battle my heart breaking in the opposite direction. As a blogger I'm always wondering if people "like" me and why haven't they commented in a while and what did I say or do to make them run away and not be my friend anymore...so to speak! I'm still learning to let go and let God do his work in me and through me even if it means my blogging-friendship circle is smaller than I want and even if it's to reach a handful instead of more. I think God has called me to quality rather than quantity, at least that's how I choose how to look at it! ;)

Nancy said...

What a touching post. It would be very sad to lose any of my blogger friends, especially those who have been in my life for more than six months.

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