My life has been going through the usual ups and downs. One "good" about blogging about my life is that it's very therapeutic to write my thoughts down. I often journal privately and just the act of writing down my thoughts and feelings helps me think more clearly. My mood comes through. If I notice that my words are negative and that I'm in pity-party-mode, I play "therapist" with myself. If I'm in a happy mood, I write about why I'm happy -- the awesome things I'm experiencing and about the people I'm spending time with. Reading about these things when I'm in one of those down moods reminds me of how much I have to be grateful for and helps me snap out of the pity party.
Now, private journals are one thing, but blogging and making these feelings public can be... well, both good and bad. Exposing our vulnerabilities and making a connection with someone who understands what we're feeling is wonderful. You feel this intimacy with someone who you've never met.
There are bloggers and writers who have such a talent for enveloping me with their words of wisdom. So while writing and reading my own journals is nice, sharing with a fellow-blogger who is able to so clearly articulate exactly the feelings I'm trying to describe -- well, when that happens, I feel like I've met a kindred spirit out here in cyberspace who really understands me and it warms my heart.
I read a post this morning, Have You Found the Two Great Treasures of Blogging?, in which the author, Stu, talked about the importance of building "community" when we blog. I agree that this "community" and the virtual friendships I've made is probably the biggest benefit I've gotten from blogging.
What about romantic relationships? Can they develop from a virtual friendship? I know that I'm a sucker for the written word. One time I met a guy from online dating and we used to write these wonderful emails back and forth where we shared so much of our lives. He called it "eIntimacy" and I thought it was a very cool word. It's a new form of intimacy that really wasn't available to us before we had the Internet.
However, one of the things that makes "intimacy" intimate is that it's one-on-one and personal. When you are sharing with the world, it takes away from the intimate nature of the conversation. You are no longer sharing your feelings with someone special, you're sharing them with everyone, which actually seems to be the opposite of intimacy.
What do you think? Have you met virtual friends from blogging? Do you feel like blogging can enhance or detract from having an intimate connection with someone? Should our deepest feelings be saved for truly intimate relationships rather than airing them on a public blog?