Monday, October 19, 2009

Oh, internet, what a strange world we have created.

I was in the waiting room of my doctor's office this morning, watching women in various stages of pregnancy waddle up to the front desk, and this woman sitting close to me looked SO familiar. Familiar enough that I wanted to speak - felt like I was being rude if I DIDN'T speak - but I couldn't place her. And she did not seem to recognize me at all, so after a few minutes I became the odd un-pregnant woman in a sea of swollen bellies, staring at the woman beside me but not saying anything.

It was exactly as awkward as it sounds.

Finally I said, "I'm sorry. You look so familiar to me, and I've been trying to place you. Do you keep a blog?" "No," she said, "But my sister does. She's posted our picture together a few times."

Bingo.

Except then it was even MORE awkward, because now I know all about this woman's nephew, and how her sister is teaching school, and they threw her a baby shower, etc, etc - but I really don't know them at all. There are a few of you - like Kendra or Emily or Lisa - whom I don't know in real life, but we've been following one another's lives for long enough now that it would be comfortable, even fun, to run into each another somewhere. But this is not the blog of a woman I know well - in person or in the computer. She's a link from a link, an acquaintance, even in the blogging world.

And I was reminded again how strange the internet is, how intimately we can know one another without ever really knowing each other at all. Am I comfortable with the wide wide world knowing all about my life (and my children's)? But isn't it also too late to ask that question? I'm in it now - and if you're reading this, you are too.

That's what's on my mind today.

4 comments:

Madame Rubies said...

Once, when I worked at Borders, someone came through the line and asked, "Aren't you Madame Rubies?"

Kendra said...

I am with you. Pretty much every week I revisit the idea of going private.

The biggest blow came when my sister in law randomly found her neighbors blog, and learned that the new baby had been born by c-section and the recovery was rough. It made it awkward when they ran into each other at the mail boxes...like she felt like she should say something about it...which would have been weird.

Kendra said...

Oh and PS yes I think it would be FUN to run into you.

And have a cup of coffee.

Decaf for me.

Lisa said...

I suppose it is a little weird, to have intimate knowledge of a person's life without having ever met them in person. But I know that if I just "journaled" instead of blogging, I'd never write anything. There's something comforting in sharing stories and commiserating with other moms out there...in person or not. It's like writing a book, except that you get to have real interaction with your readers, which (for me) makes the writing more satisfying. I have wondered how I will keep it up, though, when Olivia is old enough to object to me telling stories about her.