Yesterday Kate over at Views & Mews By Coffee Kat wrote an interesting post. It’s about how she misses the friends she’s made here, on WordPress, who no longer blog. Fellow bloggers who became followers of hers and vice versa. It made me think of similar experiences I’ve had.
This is a funny, interesting little world we inhabit, for as many hours a week as we spend on our own blogs, and those of others. We get to know each other quite well, when you consider we don’t ever see each other in the traditional ways. We don’t go for coffee or lunch or dinner. We don’t talk on the phone or go for walks or go shopping together.
Not that we wouldn’t if we lived in the same cities. In fact, I’m sure we would. But we live all over the place. Different cities. And even different continents. I have met a fellow blogger for coffee twice, because we both happen to live in Toronto. Although in my experience, that’s rare.
But despite the fact our WordPress ‘friendships’ are untraditional, in some cases we become quite close. Kate said, yesterday, she understands how couples decide to get married after meeting online. I do, as well. In some ways I think we learn more about each other this way, than when we see each other face to face, but really say less about who we really are, what we really hope for, what makes us happy, what makes us sad, etc.
Here we talk about very personal things. To be honest, sometimes I surprise myself when I realize what I’m sharing. With strangers really. Things I’ve never talked about in my offline life.
And so here we are, with a core group of fellow bloggers we’ve gotten to know well. Who have gotten to know us, just as well. Intimately (not in the biblical sense), even. We visit each others’ blogs faithfully. We comment regularly. We participate, and offer advice and encouragement and support. We consider ourselves friends, even if we’re just blogging friends. Although sometimes it feels more like a regular friendship.
So it’s not really surprising we feel a bit sad, even a bit bereft when they suddenly disappear. Stop blogging. Disappear, in a puff of smoke. With nary a word. No hints. No warning. No goodbye.
They’re just here one day. And gone the next.
Kate’s not the only one who’s experienced it. I know I have. Have you?
It’s strange, isn’t it? Our first instinct is to worry. Is so-and-so okay? What’s happened? “If only they’d said something”, we think. We miss reading what they have to say. What they’ve been sharing with us. They made us think. Or laugh. Or cry. Or share their frustration. They inspired us. They told us we did the same for them. So now there’s a void.
You have to wonder why they didn’t write a farewell post. Just something short to let us know they’re okay (or not), and moving on. Maybe they didn’t realize how much time a blog takes up. I know I spend at least 3 or 4 hours a day on mine, between thinking of an idea and sitting down to write. Maybe they’ve run out of ideas. Maybe they’re just bored with it. It’s happened to all of us. I started blogs I gave up on after a while. Maybe they just ran out of steam, had other priorities, who knows. It happens.
Now that I’m so ‘invested’ in this blog, and I have so many followers who seem to be invested in 365, I know I’d ‘sign off’ instead of just taking off. I’ve followed two bloggers who’ve done the same.
One, is someone I am friendly with in Toronto. We’ve known each other a long time. She blogged, for a few months, and then sold her house and bought a new one; and had too much going on to spend time blogging. But she did write a final post, explaining she was stopping and why. The other is a blogging friend. I first ‘met’ her on a blog she contributed to, not on her own blog. I liked what she had to say, so I started to follow her blog, as well. And then we also became Facebook friends. She stopped blogging in order to spend more time writing a book, which she has now finished. She also let her followers know she was giving up blogging and why.
As it turns out, though, they’re anomalies. At least in my blogging world. And clearly in Kate’s. What about you? Do the bloggers you follow give you a heads up when they’re about to pack it in? How do you feel when they just up and leave, without a word? Are you a little bit sad? Are your feelings hurt? Does it frustrate you? Piss you off? Disappoint you?
Offline friends don’t move away without saying goodbye. Why do we?