When I was planning my wedding, I spent a lot of time at theknot.com. The “knotties” there were my first online friends. I knew how they met their Fi (short for fiance), their engagement story, wedding colors, vendors they were using, and any drama they were experiencing. But I didn’t know any of them in real life.
After we were married and bought our first house, I met some new online friends on the hgtv.com message boards. My new “friends” shared a love of home decorating, and helped me mull over endless choices – paint colors, furniture arrangements, etc. etc.
Then came work and babies. My online time dwindled for awhile, and then started up again with blogs. First, I read them. Then, I decided to start my own.
Now, three years later, one of the best parts about blogging is that I have made so many great friends. Whether my bloggy buddies share an interest in home décor, are fellow farm wives, or have kids the same age as me, I’ve been able to connect with other women who understand a certain part of my life.
In the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few of my “imaginary” friends in real life. First, at the Common Ground conference, I met “Gal in the Middle.” She is a passionate advocate for agriculture and it was so great to meet her and so many other farm-women-bloggers.
I also got to meet up with “Jem’s Mom” and we hit it off like old friends. She shares an interest in photography and gave me tips as we walked around Charleston together.
(Jem’s Mom and I)
Then, about a month ago, I saw a facebook post from another farmwife, Jent, saying that she was in Iowa for the weekend. Less than 24 hours later, she was touring my farm. It was such a great visit…I’m hoping her oldest daughter decides to go to Iowa State so I can hang out with Jent more often!
(Jent, Emi Lou and Chris)
And finally, this last weekend, I met one of my first “imaginary” friends from way back in the HGTV days. Dacia and I both have old farmhouses in Iowa, and we’ve been facebook friends for the last few years, too. She was in my neck of the woods and came over to see the house progress. It was so fun to meet someone that I’ve “known” for so long!!
Isn’t amazing how the internet can be used to cultivate friendships? A couple summers ago, I wrote about my dad’s friend from the Netherlands. Dad met Wiecher on a message board for antique John Deere tractors, and eventually, Wiecher came to Iowa to see Dad’s tractors in real life.
Sometimes I hear about how Facebook doesn’t cultivate real friendships, and that you have to have face-to-face time, too. I think real-life friends are important, too (and I’m blessed to have some great ones!) but I’m also incredibly thankful for my online friends, too!
(Got any good “online friend” stories? I’d love to hear them in the comments or on Facebook!)