Posted by: ecrivain | July 13, 2008

The State That I’m In…

I guess it’s a no-brainer that I tend to write more depending on how shitty I’m feeling.

Type in the word “lonely” in a search engine, and one of the many pages that float to the surface is an article in the Globe from over a year ago where Michael Keren, author of “Blogosphere: The New Political Arena”, talks about the Internet might be a great place for self-expression, but that blogs often lead to feeling even more lonely.

In the article, Keren is quoted as saying, “Many of us end up like Father McKenzie in the ‘Eleanor Rigby’ Beatles song, who is writing a sermon that no one is going to hear.”

The main thing that caught my attention was this part:
In his book, Keren follows the blogs of nine individuals, including a Canadian woman living in the woods in a cabin in Quebec. She discusses her identity through stories about her two cats.

“One day one of the cats dies and the whole blogosphere becomes crazy about the death of this cat, and what happens is she gets a community of support which is not real.

“These are people with nicknames who express enormous support, but they can disappear in the next minute and they are not real, and she remains lonely in the end.”

Of course, there was the other side of things — bloggers who vehemently disagreed with Keren’s point-of-view…but you know what? I’m not one of them.

One blogger interviewed said, “There are these crazy relationships that are happening online from people getting to know people through their blogs. Who cares if they’re not real people?”

I do. Sort of.

I wish I had the kind of girlfriends that exist on “Sex and the City” — girls who are actually there for each other, you know?

Again, I flash back on that episode where Carrie uncomfortably tells her friends about how lonely it was, to realize that she was 35 and didn’t have someone special to wish her a happy birthday. And you know, that scene was pretty painful to watch because it was so wonderfully acted by Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon, whose eyes filled as she nodded, and you could tell she understood what her friend was talking about.

Carrie tells them that she hates herself for saying it because she knows she has them, but it’s not the same — there’s no “goddamn soul mate”…a concept she doesn’t even know if she really believes.

But then, Charlotte says that maybe they can be each other’s soul mates and I couldn’t help thinking, “Ah. At least Carrie has her friends. I don’t really have friends like that.”

If anything, I’ve always been the one like Charlotte who’s been there for other people — the friend who is always there if you need a shoulder to cry on, advice, or just an open ear to truly listen to you. But…there’s never been anybody like that for me…and that’s the thing…sometimes, I think that, this whole, “I don’t have someone to love and share my life” deal would be easier to bear if only I had some real friends.

Yes — it’s sort of nice to get the odd comment placed in this journal, but it doesn’t feel real, either.

That’s why I think Keren is right: “These are people with nicknames who express enormous support, but they can disappear in the next minute and they are not real, and she remains lonely in the end.”

But these fellow bloggers are real people — they’re just not able to be the friends in “real life” that you need them to be…you know, someone you can call up when you’re having a real down day and say, “You want to go grab a drink?”

That’s the sucky thing, I think — there are some people in the blogosphere that I get the sense would probably make much better friends in real life than the ones I sort of have now.

It seems like they get you and that you get them — especially the ones who seem to be leading parallel lives to your’s because they have similar problems with their parents or their “real” friends or their dating lives.

There was only one person from the blogosphere that I became “friends” with — but then, after two years of e-mails, she found someone and is now planning a wedding, so…no time left for the person from cyberspace, you know? And the thing is, she was the only person I really felt understood where I was coming from because she was going through the same thing — as we swapped stories about our mothers and unrequited love and the eternal quest to find “the one”, I just knew there was someone else out there who understood.

I don’t know. Is all of this just pathetic? Why is it so hard to maintain “real” friendships that are enduring and lasting where one person doesn’t wind up doing all of the work?

I look at my sister, who doesn’t have any real friends at all, but who at least managed to find someone who really loves her and now they’re this little world of two where they seemingly don’t need anybody else. And in a way, it sort of feels like I’ve lost my sister, too, you know?

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Responses

  1. There have been times when I felt as though some of my blog’s regular readers were more committed to developing a real friendship than various individuals that I know on a face-to-face basis. Of course, as far as certain people are concerned, geographical distance could be a very real problem. I cannot imagine meeting a US blogger to have a coffee together when I am living thousands of miles away! 🙂 Having said that, technology does allow people to keep in regular contact with each other…if there is a will to do so! 🙂

  2. i too have always wanted girlfriends depicted in sex and the city. i think that maybe if i had those kinda girlfriends, then at least i won’t feel as lonely as i do.

    the crazy thing bout so openly sharing your life in the blogosphere is that you’re bound to come across some other people who in fact do understand. this particular blog of mine is purposely kept very anonymous, but i used to have another blog where i was more open bout who i was, what i looked like, where i came from. and i did in fact make a few good friends from there. it’s crazy ‘coz i haven’t seen ’em before. and yet i feel like we’re definitely good friends.

  3. Jo – I know what you’re saying. Sometimes, I feel like these fellow bloggers are almost like good friends…but it’d be nice if I could actually have that “Sex and the City” type friendship with some of my friends in “real” life, you know?

    That’s the trouble, though, when most of your friends have already moved onto that next stage in their lives and are busy planning weddings, buying homes or having babies!

  4. Sadly, I don’t have those Sex and The City friends either. I do have friends, but only one of them is single. I feel like the married ones just look at us and think “when will they grow up?”

    It isn’t a matter of growing up, but a matter of making a connection…a real connection. I rarely connect with people, much less with men romantically. I feel as if I will be alone forever. 😦

    I will say though that the bloggers do make me feel less alone. It’s actually kinda nice to realize I’m not the only one feeling the things I do.

  5. Talking about the sort of characters one can see on TV shows, I was a huge fan of the Ally Mcbeal series. I really liked John Cage. I found him to be a rather realistic character. His many disasters whilst trying to find a girlfriend echoed some of mine, though not to the same degree! LOL I could somehow understand the pain caused by his loneliness. Like him, I am no 6-footer and it always hurt when a girl that I was interested in mentioned the height matter.


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