When my son was little, he loved everyone. Each person that crossed his path deserved a huge hug as he pronounced his full name. Anyone he was introduced to, became a fast friend within moments.
I used to dread the day when he realized that not everyone loved him in return, that not everyone could be trusted, that not everyone would be his friend. I wanted him to retain that simple belief in the goodness of people for as long as he could.
These days, of course, social media has redefined the word ‘friend’.
‘In my day’ (a phrase I never thought I’d be old enough to use) we had pen pals that we sent letters to. A much slower process than accepting a friend request by hitting a key on the computer. Now, instead of our pen pals existing on paper, with distinctive handwriting, and if you were lucky, a photo, our pen pals exist on a screen, with their lives displayed in high-digital clarity.
But here’s the thing. I kind of feel like I’ve turned into my son.
Putting myself out there publicly is necessary as a writer, but it comes with risks. It also comes with friends. I have met so many wonderful people. Both in the real world through writing events, and online through this blog, social media, editing jobs, and emails.
With WordPress, when someone new follows your blog, you get a short notice that links to that person’s blog. And sometimes WordPress will suggest a site you might like.
That’s how I’ve met other artists, including artist Jaime Haney, Bear’s Photography in Cornwall, writers, herbalists such as Whispering Earth, and many more. Typically the name of the blog catches my eye and that’s what makes me click on a link.
Today, I noticed that I have a new follower and she has a blog called ‘Soliloquies Of A Goldfish’. I couldn’t resist that name and clicked on the link. I read her ‘about’ page and found myself grinning at her great sense of humor. I read her short story Olivia and was impressed by the deeper layers and multiple meanings within the short story, and how she had a fully developed character in a short piece. And this is a young woman still in school. Wish I wrote half that well when I was her age. I wanted to jump up and wave and yell ‘Hi! Let’s talk writing!’
I suddenly realized that…hmmm…maybe my son inherited that trait of hugging everyone and making immediate new friends from my husband.
The internet has a lot to answer for, but it also is responsible for broadening our horizons, not just in meeting new people, but in finding art, in the easy access to learning, and in putting the world right at our typing fingertips.
I look forward to the next person I ‘meet’. In the meantime, look up Soliloquies Of A Goldfish and read some short stories by a talented young writer.
5 thoughts on “The ‘Soliloquies Of A Goldfish’ Blog”
Oh my goodness! I got the email notification for a new post from you, and imagine my surprise when I see my blog name displayed in the title. I had to take a few moments to calm down, my heart was beating so fast.
Social media has definitely made it easier to make friends, but at the same time I feel like most of the friendships I have are superficial, never really getting deep into the emotional. I wanted to make genuine connections, which is part of the reason why I started a blog in the first place. It’s all about finding the right corner of the internet.
Thank you so much for the shoutout, your kind words have just made my entire month. Let me know if you still want to talk, I’d love to have a chat with you.
So many are superficial. Recently a woman who ‘friended’ me on Facebook, and who lives in my small community, was in the store and didn’t know who I was. As you say, it’s all about finding the right corner. And making sure connections are more than superficial. And when the connection is writing…well, that’s always wonderful. Seriously though, I loved your short story and look forward to reading more. My website, http://www.lisastowe.com has a tab for contact there, if you ever want to talk writing outside of a public forum. You can email me from there. I always love to chat with writers. And I’m always in awe of those who write short stories – I can’t even write short emails.
I smiled and felt a little twinge as I related to this story of Arthur. My son, Asher, was the same way. We live out in the sticks, much like you, so we had no neighbors nearby to be friends with. Asher was desperate for social contact and was more than eager to do things I’d set up with other children. It hurts deeply when you find you have to tell your child not everyone is accepting and wanting to be around you as much as you do them… and well… safe to be around. Life is cruel sometimes.
Nowadays, I worry about the wrong type of “friendships” online. Gaming and social media for him. It’s really kinda scary how small this world has become. The anonymity of it all allows for superficial connections if not encouraging them. While I so enjoy the friendships I’ve made online like with you Lisa, I can’t help but long for simpler days.
Great post as always. Thanks for sharing the new blog you’ve found. It’s not so easy to find good ones that are kept up regularly.
Ruth, from the Goldfish blog also commented on the superficial friendships out there these days. It’s so true. ‘Friend’ has become a word with a different meaning from when we were kids! Not sure if this will help or not but Arthur made some friends through gaming that have been good friends for almost twelve years now. So some of it is good. Like you said though, it’s hard to keep them safe and at the same time watch them realize that life isn’t always so kind.
Thanks for that Lisa, twelve years is a good long time to have online friends. I hope my son will encounter the same type of loyal kids. It seems the way we do everything is different from when we did it! Ha ha!
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