I connected with Jen through Alece. It was through a video stream interview with Alece that I made my first Twitter friend in OZ. I love the how she shares her experiences over miles/kilometers of oceans. Jen’s Blog. Jen’s Twitter.
I opened my first online diary on August 17th 2004.
You have real friends too, you know
How do you know they are genuine?
How can you feel so deeply about them? You don’t know them.
He felt I was hiding myself away from “real life”. That I was hiding behind a persona… and that so was everyone else.
Lets take a look at those arguments
Firstly, we need to define real.
A couple of definitions there are
1. Being or occurring in fact or actuality
2. True and actual; not imaginary, alleged, or ideal
3. Genuine and authentic; not artificial or spurious
But the one I loved the most is
Existing objectively in the world regardless of subjectivity or
conventions of thought or language
I talked with these people on AIM (seriously, does anyone still use that? I think it died when Xanga did) all the time. We left comments on each others posts. We edified and uplifted. We mourned and rejoiced as needed. We were as authentic, if not more so, as face to face relationships. I prayed for them just as much as I did the ones I could hang out with.
I heard it mentioned once, that friends made through social media, whether by blog comments, forums or twitter (to name a few) are just the modern day pen-pals.
LOVE that. It makes so much sense.
I have a new circle of online friends now, as relationships change and graduate and do what they do, though I do have some that I am still in contact with and are still friends as ever. Same as I am no longer in contact with some people who live in my town, or went to my church, or whom I went to school with. Some hung around, others didn’t.
I have been so fortunate in the last year or so, for I have encountered some of the most godly, inspiring, authentic people I’ve ever come across, on line or in my immediate vicinity. It’s exciting to wonder why God had us all sort of discover each other around the same-ish time (though, I was a little late to the party)… and why we all fell into relationship so quickly and easily. I feel like it’s like we all found little bits of our hearts in others…
God is moving, and He’s using social media to do it.
We are being gathered. We are being called. We are being equipped. We are being encouraged. We are being sent out, in our own way, with our own stories.
There are people who are helping to guide others out of the dark. Some quietly weave stories of Jesus into everyday life. There are those who are showing that affairs don’t have to mean divorce, and those who beautifully show you how to walk when it does. Pastors and communicators have jumped on board too, knowing the far reaching benefits. Some make me laugh out loud every time, and then there are those who share their trials and pain and grief with such grace and poise it causes you to look deep into your own heart and take stock.
All these people proclaim Jesus with every press of a letter. With every tweet, every ‘publish post’.
We are creating a community of believers. There is no condemnation or fear.
I believe that’s called church.
The best thing about all of this, is that Adam has joined in.
And he didn’t just do it to spy. He converses with people, and is slowly, in his own way, building his own relationships with those whom have become so dear to me. His entering my online world meant more to me than pretty well anything he has ever done.
And now he gets it.
The rest of the series: