Thursday, September 16, 2010

But Do You Really Know Me?


Without wearing any mask we are conscious of, we have a special face for each friend. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

I was reminded, recently, that even through blogs I do not really know a person, I only know what that person is willing to share publicly on her blog. However, there can be, usually are, many layers under a blogging mask.

I do not follow many blogs. Not that there are not enough that would interest me! Oh, no! There are far too many! I want to keep my life simple and I do not want to live on my computer...actually, I should say that I am trying to back off the time I spend on my computer, because when my own child convicts me with "you love the computer more than me" then...well, what can I really say to that?

Have I not taught her that the things on which we spend our money and our time the most are the things we love? If things get more attention than loved ones, than my Lord even, does not that person have the wrong priorities or may be idolizing those things? This is my constant internal conflict with technology and for my daughter to learn to balance this well in her life, I need to show her balance in mine.

On the other hand—I warn that this might be a huge rationalization that most of people reading would feel is justified—I would not have met some of the people I have come to really love. With some I have jumped out of the Matrix to become in real life friends, as much as we can be with the distances. With them I have come to share the things that are never posted on a blog.

Yes, we who offer up a portion of our lives online are all not the people we really are. I am not, they are not, you are not. You know it is true. We blog to entertain ourselves and hopefully others. We blog to share only those things we feel safe in sharing in a semi-anonymous but public way. We blog showing the best of ourselves, perhaps with a few of our swallow frailties to help people connect with us, but it is all very safe.

Yes, it is VERY safe. We can control the comments...just delete the ones we do not like. We can even delete or modify any post we have made that is embarrassing. On a blog, we can practically clothe ourselves in our own spotless white robes without the need of my Lord's saving grace...but that is not who we really are.

The Internet is the mask we hide behind, that we use to reach out to others while never really revealing much about ourselves. (I know I am guilty of this as I do not even use a picture of my face on my avatar!) Are we so ignorant not to realize that everyone else has a mask?

I have seen people who sign up as followers to hundreds of blogs but they are just an avatar with no depth at all. I have seen homeschooling mothers on message boards or blogs posting so often that I wonder how they have time to homeschool or even just prepare meals? The more time we spend here, the less time we spend in our real lives.

My husband has no enthusiasm for blogging or for me blogging. He thinks that it is a waste of time and it takes away from my family. It does. That is the honest truth of it. However, he readily admits he is not a person who likes to write and understands that I do. He also realized that when some of these online relationships developed and spilled over into my real life that it was good for our daughter to make connections with people from other parts of the world with differing cultures. He was concerned that I would be disappointed when I actually met these people by phone or Skype, but I have not been yet.

Even though we all have own masks, we are constantly hoping and on the search for that one true friend that will see us without the mask and still love us...just as my Lord does. Isn't it a beautiful thing when that happens?

~ My Lord, thank you for the friends I have met through the Internet. Guide me daily to do with my time the things that please You. ~

2 comments:

  1. Seeking: no~one really knows another. ☺ Not even married people. That any of us connect at all is something of a mirical. Dearest lets me rip with my blog but he doesn't get it at all ~ nor does Star & like your Princess has been known to accuse me of loving it more than her. Sad, sad, sad.

    However, on~line friendships are still friendships &, as I think we have both found, sometimes they're the only people we've found walking a similar path who can understand & share the journey. Slow to develop, a little tentative because it is risky to go beyond the blog mask, yet deep & rich as well. Or so I've found.

    Everything's a risk. Friendship is riskiest of all because we put our core selves on the line & I admire most those who risk most. Love you, my friend. ♥ So glad God brought you in to my life.

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  2. no~one really knows another.

    So true. Ah, well...that would also confirm my thoughts about why I should not have expectations of another person, because I really don't know her beyond the mask or what my Lord reveals within His purpose.

    And now, for some reason, I have this overwhelming urge to paint pretty mask designs on faces. ;)

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.