So I've begun to notice a darker side to blogging. Namely I've found that blogging provides a false sense of being socially in touch with friends. A couple months ago a friend of mine pointed out that we have not actually seen each other face to face for 2 years--2 years!!! Now the reason this number came as quite a shock to me was that I hadn't actually realise that I hadn't seen her lately because I am in daily contact with her through her blog. Being in daily contact with her blog means that I am constantly saying to other people "my friend was telling me the other day..." and I think this is what gives me the feeling that I have "seen" her lately. Of course it isn't strictly true that she was just telling me something the other day. My friend didn't tell me anything. She wrote something out to the entire world and I was fortunate enough to read it. I have found that other face-to-face relationships that I have with friends are starting to slack way too much because of this strange of phenomenon.--feeling I am socially involved in their lives because I check in on their blog every day. This somehow makes me feel like I am checking in on their lives and things are good--only most of the time these people don't know that I am actually checking in on them every day and so things are not good.
Another strange phenomenon with blogging is that I now read blogs that belong to other people. And these funny, intelligent people write some really interesting things that I want to pass on to others. But when I go to tell someone about something they have written I often start of with the same "a friend of mine was telling me"...and then I pause because this person I don't even know (don't even know the first name of) is not actually a friend and perhaps not strictly speaking not even an acquaintance. So how do I go about sharing this information? Do I just say "a friend of mine," do I say "a friend of a friend," (cause so far most people I don't know are friends of a friend) do I say "a complete stranger who I feel very close to because of daily contact was telling me?" What is the proper blog etiquette?