I am confident that 99.99% of the bloggers in the worldwide blogosphere have made on-line acquaintances of varying descriptions. In the 'real' world, we may have a variety of friends but on-line ones are completely different......... yet very much the same!
We can be extremely intimate with our on-line friends, but may never meet them. They may be from every corner of the globe - from India to Africa to North America, Australia, Europe and everywhere in between. The possibilities for relationships are endless.
Many of us have told our on-line friends some confidential details about our lives that we would not dream of telling people we see regularly. Unless you are a blogger, it is often difficult to understand this scenario. If I told my husband some of the things I discuss with my internet friends, he may want to have me committed.
Why do we do this? I know I am not alone. Is it like meeting someone on a dating site, sharing your life story with them including your desires and dreams?
I'm not sure. But I have connected with some of my blogging friends in real life and it has been an incredible experience. It felt like we had a connection on a deeper level -- maybe because we knew a lot about one another before we ever met in person.
Just as some people are companions for a season in the brick and mortar world, there are also those on-line connections with whom we part ways.
This brings me to the reason for this post -- I want your opinion and wonder if you feel the same way....
In the 'real' world, I have many friends who are polar opposites to me. But it makes them no less a friend. There are people with whom I completely disagree regarding their lifestyle, their spiritual views or their political persuasion. B U T........ I have an unwritten rule I have abided by most of my life. If I disagree with a friend's views in these areas - we don't discuss them. It's really pretty simple. It is not a matter of putting my head in the sand or walking on eggshells. We know where we stand -- why would we jeopardize our relationship by arguing about something that will probably never change?
When I follow someone in the blogging community, it is extremely important that I support them by reading, commenting and sharing their posts. I anticipate the same in return and am pleased when it is reciprocated. However, if their perspective on religion or politics is totally opposite to mine, it is difficult to support them by leaving a comment. To avoid saying something negative, I prefer to say nothing.
This is completely different to expressing our opinions on other social media sites. I believe that we cannot compare Facebook and Twitter to our own blogs -- this is our personal space. Our blog is like our home, not merely a conversation that is short-lived in a Twitter feed.
I choose not to discuss my political views on my blog. Of course, we are all entitled to our opinions. A blog post about my conclusion in these areas would rarely, if ever, change someone's view and more likely, upset them.
I also understand that there are bloggers who have a political blog which is a whole different cup o'tea. In that instance, I can choose to follow or not to follow them. It is not the same as feeling obligated to agree with them or to submit a comment because we are on-line friends.
The bottom line is that usually, these posts are negative. Aren't we exposed to enough negativity without reading it from fellow bloggers? I don't recall ever reading a blog post praising one particular political candidate. The posts commonly try to expose the negative points about the opposing candidate.
Hopefully, I can give the same respect to my on-line friends as those I see face-to-face. How do you feel about this? Do you agree that you can be friends with someone without endorsing their belief system? Do you think it is important to discuss your views about your political choices on your blog?
Or am I all alone - out in left field?
Photos courtesy of wondercomments.com, zidaneex.blogspot, justejuice.com, pinterest