2010 08/03

What are you passionate about?

The lovely people over at Mabel’s Labels are currently holding a contest to send one lucky person to Blogher 10 this summer in New York City.  As a part of Mabel’s Labels BlogHer ’10 Contest, they presented this very interesting hypothetical situation:

Electrical storms are going to wipe out the Internet (perhaps forever).  You have one day left to write about your passions: What do you want to say to the blogosphere?

Wow.  Very good question.  And very scary scenario!  No more internet?  Like, forever?  That means I would actually have to open a phone book when I needed the number to a business and I would, once again, have newsprint on my fingers and papercuts from magazines.  Oh the horror!  I kid.  But seriously, one day left to share my passions with you?  Where would I begin.

I could write about my kids, how animals often deserve more respect than we give them, or how to use tech to better our lives as parents.  I’m certainly passionate about all of those.  Although the third seems a little moot in this situation.

No, instead I think I would write about relationships.  Real, person to person, look you in the eye relationships.  Real life relationships.

As bloggers we tend to have most of our relationships and friendships online.  We share our highs and our lows on Twitter and Facebook.  We offer a virtual shoulder to cry on through blog comments and forums.  For many of us we are our most open, honest, and vulnerable selves with our online community.  And they are, indeed, our friends.  But how many of us actually meet those friends face to face?

There is something to be said about our in-person interactions with others.  While online friendships are wonderful, there is something that connects us even deeper when we share a glass of wine together as we soak in each other’s laughter, feel the love your friend has as she gushes over her kids, or the unspoken support that is extended as you reach out and touch the shoulder of a grieving friend.

Yes, online relationships are amazing.  The internet has offered us a portal where we can reach out and connect with others across the world.  I can share my joys and frustrations at 3am and there is always someone there willing to “listen”.  But, what I’m quickly becoming more and more passionate about is extending those online friendships into real life relationships!  Whether it is meeting a local group of bloggers for dinner or chatting at a local or national conference, I believe it is so important that we discover ways to extend our online friendships into our everyday, in-person life!

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