You hope that your readers are your friends.
Or do you? And are they?
I ponder this topic frequently, that fuzzy blog space where regular readers and the definitions of friendship intersect.
I’m brought again to the contemplation after having written of returning home late Thursday night to a blasting stereo that been left on low volume that was playing music that I’d never listen to in a residence extremely vulnerable to break-ins in a neighborhood thick with crime and violence.
The situation had the initial markings of trouble, intrusion and danger. It aroused alarm, suspicion and fear. It was an experience that told to a 3D friend would have elicited a response.
So why not on the blog?
What if something had happened? What if I’d been robbed, injured, raped, hospitalized or killed? Would that elicit a response of concern, friendship and caring?
Really, in blogging, where is the line between friendship and readers?
And that there was only one response to the Fright Night experience, does the weakness lie with me and its delivery? Or the reader?
Further, what would happen if I as a regular blogger suddenly disappeared? Who would notice? Who would be concerned? Care? Would anyone try to find out what happened? Would my disappearance be perceived as (just) another casualty, one more corpse for the vast cemetery in the blogosphere? Or an indication of trouble or demise?
And what DID happen to Raymond the photographer? I ask that question nearly every day.
I know some bloggers do consider their readers their friends. I know bloggers who have met peeps in the 3D life or exchanged cards/gifts.
Astounding; it’s not for me.
Readers as friends?
Unless a reader’s someone in the 3D life being introduced to the blog and with other notable exceptions, probably not. Not really. Not by my definition of friendship.
I’ve blogged long enough (since 2006) to be prepared for disappointment by peeps, by readers. I’ve observed that loyalty is watery and unreliable (an oxymoron, I realize). Even the loyal (or so perceived) do not show up when trouble strikes or need arises for a friendly pat, a comforting comment. I’ve observed that and have become increasingly better at letting that be and better defining, for myself, a friend in the 3D world and a friend in the blogosphere.
Rarely do the twain truly meet.
That is the pearl of wisdom taking shape today.