Blog Introspection Challenge #12, Or How Blogging Made Me Sociable

blog-intro-challenge

I haven’t posted since all the commotion surrounding Richard’s guest blog post at Cybersmile, though I did do quite a lot of reading, pondering, and commenting up until Saturday, when I remembered that the new season of Orange Is The New Black is out on Netflix, then I disappeared into the tourbillion of the women’s correctional facility for a few days, only re-emerging now that I’ve maniacally and furtively binge-watched 12 out of 13 episodes. Maniacally because I’m just addicted. Furtively because it’s entirely not kid-appropriate and I couldn’t have the offspring stumbling past and watching anything lurid over my shoulder. Yeah. So I’ll make this quick, since I really need to get back to Piper and the other ladies as soon as possible.

12. How – if at all – has blogging changed your life? Well, blogging hasn’t entirely changed my life. I do spend an awful lot of time on the internet, but I pretty much have done so in one way or another for about 15 years. Although I’ve never been associated with a fandom prior to the onset of my PreoccupationWithArmitage, I have been known to surf e-bay, lurk on book review sites, lurk in cephalopod forums, participate on Facebook and so on. However, starting my own blog has changed my life in one important way: I’ve de-lurked on other blogs, started commenting, and started online friendships with perfect strangers since starting the blog. This has been really fun in a lot of ways.

For years I’ve been the type of person to have just one or two or a few close friends, depending on whether it was primary school, high school, college or vet school. People I would meet and cement friendships with relatively quickly, and then hang out with sporadically but exclusively, rarely enjoying any kind of big gathering. And if I’m not with my one or two close friends, I am and always have been perfectly content to be by myself (or, more accurately, to hang with just my pets for company). In other words, I’ve been a bonafide hermit, first on my own, then Hubby came on the scene and we joined forces. Our friend Vince from the vet school years, who introduced us, used to refer to our place as “The Holland Compound” because even while newlyweds, we tended to be quite asocial, generally preferring to hole up at our place, rather than go to any social event or get-together. We’re really quiet adept at making our excuses.

Anyway, all this to say that I really have started socializing a lot more since starting the blog. Yes, so I’m socializing online… but I can honestly say that since starting the blog, it almost feels like I have more “friends” online than I do in real life. Real life friends outside of work would require that we, like, leave our house (which we only like to do on one-on-one date nights). Online friends, though… that works for me! I can chat or comment sociably from the comfort of my space, and for as long as feels comfortable. So that’s how blogging has changed my life. I’m being sort of sociable! 

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16 comments

  1. Guylty · June 17, 2015

    “The Holland Compound” – LOL. But great, I think it is to be seen as a very positive development if you feel more socialble due to blogging. It’s interesting, isn’t it – especially in view of recent discussions – how a medium that is perceived by its critics as anonymous and potentially harmful, actually feels like a sociable place and facilitates new freindships and interactions. I think it’s greatest advantage is that it is “always available” – and much more in our control when it comes to starting or finishing interactions than in RL. Having said that – it is also a amssive time-waster 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • jholland · June 17, 2015

      Yes! And we’ve upgraded… “The Holland Compound” was formerly a small lot in a mobile home park near the vet school… now it’s a fully fenced 10 acres out in the boondocks! =) And true, there are other productive things that could be done rather than blogging… but I’ve always spent a lot of time unproductively… now the focus has just shifted to a new online sphere. =)

      Like

      • Guylty · June 17, 2015

        *eeek* – that does indeed suspiciously sound like a compound… 😉
        Re. unproductive time-wasting – I am just thinking, no, we are not unproductive at all. Even when we are reading, we are learning, and when we comment, we create. Ha. So there. It’s all good.

        Like

        • jholland · June 17, 2015

          That’s right! We are incredibly productive in these ways. *coughs*

          Like

        • Guylty · June 17, 2015

          Positivity, darling, positivity 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Helen · June 17, 2015

    Well I’m very glad you are sociable online because I look forward to your posts 🙂

    You see a lot of people during your working day – as I do – it’s not so surprising that you retreat into The Holland Compound in the evening 😉

    Like

    • jholland · June 17, 2015

      Yes, it’s true. I think I do tend to use up my limited tolerance levels for social interactions during the work day, and by the end of the day or the week, I like to retreat. It’s not that I don’t enjoy my job, my colleagues, or (most of) my clients, because I really do… but I’m just wired to need a certain amount of quiet time spent with just myself or my family. Not everyone is wired this way… I’m sure my lifestyle would drive an extroverted “social butterfly” type completely insane with boredom! =)

      Like

  3. linnetmoss · June 17, 2015

    I am a lot like you in that respect, a bit of a hermit. I have a few close friends rather than a large social circle. But since I started interacting online, I have met some amazing people and even connected with them in the analog world 🙂 Very rewarding!
    I love the idea of a “cephalopod forum” LOL

    Like

    • jholland · June 17, 2015

      Lol. Yes, the cephalopod forum is TONMO (The Octopus News Magazine Online)… at one point Hubby broke out of his shell (I guess it would be more of a Nautilus shell!) to participate on the forum, when we unexpectedly brought home a gravid female octopus (Varys, named after the Game of Thrones character) and we found ourselves raising baby octopi. We got a lot of help with that online! =)

      Like

      • linnetmoss · June 17, 2015

        Varys is such a great name for an octopus! I understand that they are extremely intelligent, too 🙂

        Like

        • jholland · June 18, 2015

          Yes, in the books Varys is described as “The Spider” and is clever and conniving… we thought an 8-armed critter who was ridiculously clever would make a good Varys. “He” turned out to be a “she”… but she was really smart. We’d put food or toys into an old spice jar for her and she learned to unscrew the lid and applied it to other types of jars, then later learned to open a hinged plastic box. She was fascinating!

          Liked by 1 person

        • linnetmoss · June 19, 2015

          That is really amazing, the thought of an invertebrate developing such intelligence. Maybe it’s to do with having all those arms, sort of like hands and fingers.

          Like

  4. Servetus · June 17, 2015

    I think the Internet has saved a lot of people’s lives in that regard — just facilitated a lot of friendships over things that are rare in real life to be problematic if you admit to them. Obviously the Internet isn’t foolproof but it has improved a lot of my real life relationships — most notably with my doctoral adviser, who was extremely anxious and physically shy but bloomed when he could talk virtually, but also, lately, it seems, with my father — and given me new ones that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Despite all the grief, it is still on balance positive for me (sort of like life in general, lol).

    Like

    • jholland · June 18, 2015

      Yes, I think it’s incredibly helpful for people who are naturally shy. If you can develop conversations/topics/mutual interests via back and forth writings, then when you actually meet, you can continue those conversations, rather than not be able to think of anything to say and have to rely on small talk (I suck at small talk!) That’s why I’ve never been surprised or shocked when someone I know finally hooks up with someone special via an online dating site, often after years of awkward dating experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. obscura · June 17, 2015

    Lalalala…don’t tell me anything. I’m working very hard from keeping my menfolk from completely spoiling S3 of OITNB for me 🙂

    I completely understand what you’re saying. I was trying to explain to someone the other day that yes, I work in the public eye and yes I am perfectly comfortable speaking to a room full of people BUT, those interactions drain energy and I need to recharge often.

    My online interactions allow me to access my inner extrovert without so much energy depletion…usually it’s the opposite.

    Like

    • jholland · June 18, 2015

      OK, I won’t tell you anything, but man they left me wanting more!! Damn them!

      Yes, and I can easily converse on topics I know a lot about (i.e., veterinary topics, in the exam room) but put me in some random location in town and send a client across my path, and I have the urge to run in the opposite direction. I have a lot of trouble making small talk, but if I have to talk about their pets when I don’t have access to my charts, I live in perpetual fear that I’ll forget details specific to their pet. Run, doc, run! Lol

      Liked by 1 person

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