Thursday, December 11, 2008

We are all Connected

This thing called the internet has opened up a whole new world for me. I remember when I was pregnant with child #2, in 1997, that I discovered a website called "Storksite". Storksite was a wonderful place for a mom with a toddler and one on the way to get all kinds of fabulous advice. I met moms in many different phases of momhood, and I loved to read about anything and everything that had to do with being a mom. I had been a stay at home mom for a year and it was a little lonely. In many ways, these unknown people shaped the mother I am today. I find myself wondering how my life would be different without the experience of the internet.

I made a lot of friends that I have never met in person, and never will, but that doesn't stop me from thinking of them even today. Many I only knew by their screen names, but I still can remember the ones who left an impression on me and they will always have a special place in my heart. After Storksite disbanded, I found another wonderful place called Moms Online, which also had a lot of forums in which to meet like-minded people. This is where I met some of the best Catholic Moms in the whole world. I still laugh when I think of those early days of the internet how my hubby would think that these people I met could somehow not be as real as I thought they were. I would tell him stories about 'so and so' and whatever the latest news in their life happened to be. He looked at me like I was crazy. But, then one day I had the chance to meet almost all of the moms I came to know only online, in person. They were not only real but even more wonderful than I imagined.

Since I "discovered" blogging, I have found that I am drawn to the stories of people's lives. It is like driving through the neighborhood and "peeking" in the windows of other families. Haven't you ever done that? Whenever I see a house that looks so cozy and inviting, I can't help but wonder what they are like, what were are doing. How many kids do they have, and what was their family story?

Well, I still do this today. I do it when I visit a blog that just speaks to my heart, and then I bookmark it (I have more bookmarks than time to read them).

I do this every time I read the paper and turn to the obituaries and wish that I had known these wonderful people that I am meeting after the fact.

I do it when I think about the people in the cemetery, whenever I see a tombstone I always have to calculate how old they were when they died. Then I wonder what kind of person they were, what did they die of and all manner of questions that I will never really have the answer to. I don't even have to be in the cemetery, just driving by one to think about the people there.

I do this when I am driving my car and wonder where the people speeding past me are going in such a hurry? What kind of occupation do they have? Are they going to work, a doctor's appointment, the airport?

I can literally meet someone and know details of their lives within minutes. I tell my husband that the Starbuck's barista just got married as I hop in the car with my latte, and he just marvels at how I manage to find that out. Then I tell him that the checker at Safeway just sent her youngest child to college. I don't know why, but people tell me things. One day at Target I met a nice elderly man who shared precious pictures of his family with me, and told me about his wife who had recently passed away. I was glad I had the time that day to stop and listen. He missed her so much. I am amazed that people trust me that much with their heart when I just met them. My husband just shakes his head. I guess not everyone understands.

I am a people person, I especially like to read biographies of people. I people watch when I'm at the mall, or an airport. Try it sometime. Thank goodness for blogs. The blogs satisfy my curiousity about others in a way that is more personal and meaningful. Strangers talk about their day to day life on the internet! I remember thinking how crazy that was, but since I starting blogging, I've been bitten by the blog bug! This is my way of finding people that are interesting and I have a reason to turn on my computer to see how they are doing. I have a feeling that most people who have a blog are somewhat the same way. Reading blogs for me is like reading a never-ending story. I keep checking back to read the next chapter and find what happened next. It is truly fascinating.


momto5minnies said...

WOW, this I can relate to. I am a curious person by nature (not nosey, but I wonder).

I also came to the internet in 2001 and started to post to an iVillage pregnancy board (but have since moved sites). I am still friends with about 18 ladies today ... we've only met once in real life.

I really do appreciate the internet. I think it allows me to find people of similar interests. In real life I have not been as successful. This world is so different than the days of my mother.

Great little post!

Moody said...

I like your analogy of peeking in windows and wondering about what the family is doing. I'm totally like that too. Great post!