DIY: Find real friends on the Internet - Evolved Mommy
Congrats to Anita, who won her own copy of Blacklisted from the PTA!
In honor of the 1 year birthday of my friend Lela Davidson’s book “Blacklisted from the PTA” I’m writing this special post about the very real friendships that can be born online.
Some make the (too-easy) argument that online friendships can’t be real, or that these relationships are somehow less valid than connections made in person.
Case 1: Meetup | Northwest Arkansas Playgroup
As a new mom who was new to staying at home and living in a new (very, very small) town, my social circle felt tiny and like it was getting smaller by the day. All of my friends were at least 180 miles away. We tried to keep in touch via phone calls, e-mail and Facebook, but it turns out they weren’t up at 3:00 a.m. watching Andy Griffith reruns with a hungry baby. Their lives were in different places.
One fateful Sunday at our local church I met a meets-no-stranger type of girl named Kara, who told me about a playgroup she organized on a website called Meetup.com.
“I know the internet,” I thought. “Why haven’t I heard of this site?”
Turns out her “little” playgroup was 150 local moms strong and they got together at different times and places several times a week.
Sold. Sign me up.
Nervously, I pushed the doorbell button at Rene’s house for my first play date. Within minutes I had met Shannon, Jennifer, Margaret and a few other moms who had babies the same age as Charlie. We talked over each other for two hours straight as if we’d been friends for years. Why? Because we had a common interest: BABIES!
Case 2: Twitter | Lela Davidson
As an outgoing, social person living in a small, somewhat isolated town, the minute I learned about Twitter I was on it. Me and Shaq. And Ashton Kutcher. And Lela Davidson.
Who? Wait, what.
Yes, kids, in the olden days there weren’t millions of people on Twitter and those of us who were there found each other pretty quickly.
Immediately I knew Lela was a force to be reckoned with on the Internets. She had written a yet-to-be-printed book, was speaking at all sorts of events and seemed to “know” everyone on Twitter.
How is that even possible?
Suddenly this person I had never met felt like a kindred spirit… a real friend. Somehow she was the perfect combination of snarky, sassy and sincere. And she lived in my area (sort of… Northwest Arkansas is covers about a 30 mile radius).
We were destined to be besties for life. Okay, well… we were probably just going to meet at some blogger event. Either way.
Fast forward to today: Lela’s book “Blacklisted from the PTA” has been out for a year and is a smashing success. Congrats friend! This is a hilarious (in the nervous-laughter-because-I-relate-all-too-well kind of way) book full of Lela’s funny take on everyday parenting situations.
Lela and I co-produced the Northwest Arkansas version of the Listen To Your Mother show, which was one of the most-gratifying things I’ve done in my life.
We will be attending BlogHer 2012 together next month in NYC. That’s bound to be life altering, as well.
These are my people. And, yes mother, I met them on the Internet.
The thing is: you still have to work for these relationships the same way you do with those that started in high school, or your neighborhood, at church or at the bar. If someone is important to you keep in touch with them. If not, move on.
So who have you met on the internet? Who is your best internet friend?
Tell me about her (or him) in the comments below for a chance to win your own copy of “Blacklisted from the PTA.”