WordPress, Facebook, Twitter

I’ve got this routine. WordPress, Facebook, Twitter. I do this slowly, wanting to savor the alerts. The WordPress red dot, the numbers in the Facebook and Twitter bells. These are my social media. No Instagram, that’s where my kids hang out. I don’t want to crash their party. I do it again. WordPress, Facebook, Twitter. I’m not a popular guy. There’s not much to see.

Susan commended me today on my relationships. “You’re so awesome at keeping in touch.” This made no sense. My last social engagement was months ago. She’s the one who keeps up with her friends. They meet at the Ugly Mug for afternoon tea. During French Month, they go to the Majestic Theater and watch the films. On rare occasions, she meets her crowd for a drink. Bedtime is early in our house. It’s hard to get out at night. Sometimes she just hooks up with a friendly text.

I check my laptop: WordPress, Facebook, Twitter.

We walked our daily loop, layered against the cold. “No, your online friends, you’re always in touch with them.” Last week, in separate blogs, I read about two different in-person encounters of blogging friends. A planned meeting between faceless correspondents. It’s something I’ve considered. A chance to improve my relationships. Or a chance to ruin them.

Not so long ago, things were different. A couple games of racquetball, a shower, then some beers. Friends would drop by for wine and gossip on the porch. Sometimes we’d go to parties, mingle, drink, chat. The change was alcohol—I stopped drinking it. Friday night is now at home with a book. And of course, WordPress… and Facebook… and Twitter.

A blast of arctic air, the thermometer in free-fall today, three to four degrees an hour. We hunch into the wind. “Some of them actually make the jump, they get together, they meet the bloggers.” Treading nervously now. I feel like saying this out loud is violating an unspoken blogging rule.

“Maybe you should try that.”

I remember my last night with alcohol. Annette came over for a drink. A mediocre bottle of Merlot was already open. Annette brought a white, and Susan drank beer. It seemed wasteful to open the Zinfandel in the cabinet, a bottle put away for a special occasion. I opted for the Merlot. Months later, I gave the Zinfandel away. That was the last time I hung out with Annette. I don’t even see her on Facebook.

“If I met the bloggers in real life, we would need to talk. I’d disappoint them.” Statements like this annoy Susan. I shut myself off before I even try. But in real life, without a drink, I feel awkward. I overthink the conversation. When I’m online, I feel like I can be me.

9 thoughts on “WordPress, Facebook, Twitter

  1. Isn’t it interesting how online is both mask and ultimate reveal?

    I love people. Love them. I love how unique and interesting each of us are. I talk to people in elevators and grocery stores. And yet, I relate to what you’re saying. On the one hand there’s an intimacy inherent in hiding behind the screen of the internet. Once broken in real life…what could happen? And yet… what could happen? Perhaps that wonderful online friend is an odd duck in real life. Does that change his or her awesomeness online?
    In the end, I guess I want to shun the Shoedinger’s cat delimna and embrace the fact that my online friend is just a person—and in real life may not be the same as the image I’ve created in my mind. It’s the things I make up that can be the most damaging. The truth is, if I met you in a coffee shop someday I’d give you a hug and you’d think it was weird and I’d think it was weird that you thought it was weird and we’d have an awkward coffee. But then we’d talk again online and we’d get it. And it would be okay.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Yesterday morning over coffee, I was telling my husband that one of the things I love most about blogging is the virtual friendships I’ve been able to cultivate, particularly those with people who are geographically very far from me and/or demographically very different from me. I often feel incredibly awkward in social situations held in person, and I’m sure that would be no different if I were meeting up with a fellow blogger as opposed to a friend.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Because most of the bloggers I read are already revealing personal thoughts about themselves, I think the conversations starts from a place of intimacy and trust. I think this is partially why we feel so close to the friens we make on wordpress. One of the bloggers admitted that the meetup was awkward, but he liked it anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can relate – there are plenty of my social interactions where alcohol is my other friend in the group allowing words to come out of my mouth. Less inhibited. I guess I do better online – at least on WP – when it comes to socializing also. Although there are days that I have to tell myself to get on, read comments and reply – because I sometimes have a hard time even with those interactions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s natural for us introspective blogger types to prefer writing our conversations. When I drank, the mere presence of a drink in my hand made it easier to socialize. One day, I’ll get on top of this problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. After all these years, I’m till on the fence about facebook, and I can’t stand twitter. WordPress as social media seems to suit me better. One to one connections, however brief, seem to fuel me.

    Like

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