In celebration of online friendships, the blogging community is having a special event today where bloggers write about themselves so we can get to know each other better. Stacey Herbert, of DIY Blogger proposed this online friendship event in her brilliant article Do Online Friends Matter as Much as Real Ones? You can find other blogs celebrating online friendships by searching on Twitter for the hashtag #NicheAmnesty.
With social media being the hottest topic around, including on social media, people are divided on the issue of whether people can even make true friends online. Some people have made dear friends online through Facebook, message boards, blogging sites and chats.
Others scoff at the idea of online friends and ask, “Yeah, but can they help you move a couch?”
Social media definitely allows you to stay in touch with friends who are far away, but can you make true friends online?
I am firmly in the camp of knowing that online friends can be true friends. One of my dearest friends, Rachel, I met online at a fan club site for Vincent Irizarry, an actor and star of the US soap opera “All My Children”. She lived in Hawaii at the time and our family lived in New Jersey. She was incredibly helpful when I casually mentioned that our family was considering a visit to Hawaii. We continued to stay in touch online and eventually met at a fan club event in New York City.
When I returned home to New Jersey after the fan event, my family asked me excitedly what it was like meeting Rachel in person.
“Great!” I replied. “She’s coming to stay with us for a week!”
My husband gave me a look as if I had just told him that I had abandoned our car in New York and walked home.
“You what? Are you out of your mind? What if she’s a serial killer or something?”
I explained that Rachel was very nice and that she and I had won a lunch with Vincent in a charity auction. Vincent could only schedule the lunch for a week after a conference she was attending on the East Coast the next spring.
The good news is that Rachel and I had a great time spending that week together and having lunch with Vincent. Rachel and I have become dear friends, as have our families. My husband adores Rachel and her family and our kids are great friends. Rachel was instrumental in helping me launch this blog and has been a dear friend for over ten years.
The bad news is that I have set a horrible example for my teen and tween children. They have assured me that they won’t make friends online and they haven’t yet. But I still worry about the day when they are considering befriending someone online and think of Rachel and me. I’m hoping that day doesn’t occur until they turn at least 45.
But I’m not supposed to write about my niche today, according to Stacey (my niche being personal technology). I’m supposed to write about me. The idea is that we all get to know each other better to enhance our online friendships.
What Do You Want to Know About Me?
My favorite activities, when I’m not writing for the blog, are extreme sports. The more extreme the better, as far as I’m concerned. When I’m not bungee jumping off of bridges, I’m climbing Mt. Everest or K2. Hang gliding, Sumo wrestling, Base jumping, and Wingsuit flying keep me entertained and out of trouble. Few people know I hold the world record for sky surfing. Here is a typical day for me:
Okay, that’s not really me. But I didn’t want to bore you too soon in this post, so if I still have your interest, here is more about the real me.
Many people, when they hear that I’m writing a personal technology blog want to know how I learned about personal technology. My connection to personal technology first happened when I was a lawyer working for a large Washington, DC law firm whose clients included technology companies, software developers, and companies acquiring technology.
To educate me about technology, the firm sent me to seminars and had me meet with the in-house tech staff. Those guys were fun, helpful and patient as they told me what I needed to know about technology in order to advise the clients about their business.
As they and I discovered my budding interest in tech, they taught me cool tricks, like writing macros, and they gave me computer software games to play, including Tetris and Leisure Suite Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards.
My love of tech was further fostered years later by an architect named Mark who was using a contraption called a Palm Pilot. “You should get one of these,” he advised. As we were following all of Mark’s other sage advice, I decided to follow his advice on technology as well. That device, with a black and white screen and no Internet connection, fascinated me to no end. What looks like an antique now was cutting edge at the turn of the century and was the first instrument that helped me earn the title of Polygadgetist.
Since then I have progressed through all sorts of gadgets, each more advanced with capabilities unimagined a few short years ago.
Oops. I’m writing about tech again!
Okay, back to me.
I’m a proud mom to three girls, a teen and twin tweens. We have the cutest dog in the world, Astro, who is a Cavachon, half Bichon and half Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
A year ago our family moved back to the United States after living in the UK outside London for 3 1/2-4 years. Our time living in Europe provided us with the opportunity to make amazing friends and travel extensively. When people ask my top three places I visited during my stay in Europe, I always say Norway, Ireland, Isle of Jersey and Prague.
My other passions, besides tech and travel are racquetball, “All My Children”, cars, reading, Sudoku, photography, crossword puzzles, cooking, writing fiction (see above), movies, and being a mom.
Other stuff you may or may not care about: I’m left handed, my favorite color is turquoise and I don’t eat refined sugar.
Hobbies I have tried but have discovered very little interest and/or talent in: knitting, diving, sewing, skiing, badminton, cross-stitch, and snorkeling. And extreme sports.
I find it much easier to write about personal technology than to write about me!
Have you ever made a true friend online? How old is your oldest online friendship? Have you ever met an online friend in person? Let us know in the Comments section below!