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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Diversity of Friends

This year hasn't been all sunshine and happiness for us (and for many others with much more serious issues). There has been job stress, my back pain, headaches, a frequently hospitalized father-in-law. I've shared bits here on the blog but I try to find humor when I write a post because I don't write to garner sympathy.

That's what Twitter is for! ;)

While technology has its drawbacks, I'm mostly grateful that it has made the world such a small place. I grew up in a sheltered out-of-touch environment where there was no diversity. The only non-Caucasian in our entire population was a Haitian girl adopted by one of the families in the church. I was taught that different was bad and we should avoid different at all costs. What a sad way to approach life!

And my Twitter pals are the best, partly because they are such a diverse bunch. Yesterday, for example, there was a fantastic discussion on the persecution of conservative Christians vs atheists. Friends from various backgrounds and beliefs talked about the issue with great respect for each other. It was the kind of conversation that benefits everyone by allowing for greater understanding.

I'm a better person for having access to such a diverse group of people. Among my group of friends are Christians, Buddhists, atheists, liberals, conservatives, singles, marrieds, polyamorists, students, professionals, mothers, fathers, artists, accountants, even a baby. They broaden how I see the world and how I relate to those around me. They give me a glimpse into their lives that are so different from my own and show me that we can connect based on commonalities and respect. They continually enrich my life with their amazing friendship.

This morning, I tweeted that my father-in-law is in the hospital yet again. Responses from my fabulous friends ranged from offers of prayer to positive thoughts to hugs to ears to listen to promises of distraction.

For a girl who suffers from anxiety and has a tough time making friends in-person, these friends are often my lifeline. And I thank them all for that.

P.S. #jazzhands


The Brown Recluse said...

I love this post...and I love how the internet (blogs and twitter and such)has let us meet folks we otherwise would never had met!
If I had any clue how to flitter through twitter, I'd get involved in your conversations. :(
Is there a Twitter for Dummies?

C. Beth said...

And we love YOU, Miss Cate. You bring laughter and genuine encouragement to those of us who are lucky enough to be your Twitter friends.

John said...

There are a lot of "twitter versus facebook" posts, how most people, once they get into Twitter, much prefer twitter, and I think it's because you're forced to make up your mind about the person before you actually get to know the superficial details about the person.

For example, you choose to follow someone because they're witty or snarky or make particularly profound (or, because it's #boobiewed and they're displaying particularly yummy jubbly bits). Maybe you've seen their face, or maybe you have haven't. Almost certainly, it's likely not until later that you find out that they're a 7 foot tall Muslim waiter, or a ninja proficient in 17 languages. By the time you find that you don't agree on religion, or politics, or which side of the bread is best to butter, you've already gotten to know the person a little bit, to respect the person a little bit.

There certainly are the assholes on Twitter, and there's drama that makes middle school look like high theater, but the reason I keep going back is just that - great people coming from every possible viewpoint, and when those assholes make themselves known, mute.

Melinda said...

Great post! I "less than 3" you!

C. Beth said...

I love John's point.

Seansmoma said...

This is a wonderful post. I often feel the same way but I'm sure I could never put it so well.

I'm one of those people who has problems making friends in "the real world" and Twitter has bee an amazing remedy for that.

I've met people on Twitter that I really do consider friends just like I consider some people I "know" to be my friends.

<3 #JazzHands :)

TMC said...

I'm thankful for you. ♥

Toriz said...

*Sending positive thoughts and hugs your way*

Like you, I don't get out and do the meeting real people thing that much. I've never been big on crowds (I "technically" eloped to avoid a large wedding, for example) and don't make friends easily face to face. However, I've found some wonderful people online, and - like you - I have found quite a mixture of people who - for some reason I have yet to figure out - have taken it upon themselves to agree to be my friends. And it's amazing how quickly these friends, who have never (and in many cases will never) met me/you/us in real life, willinglyy offer prayers, positive thoughts, shoulders, hugs and ears when needed! If nothing else, at least technology is good in that it offered us this!

Princess Andy said...

i, too am very thankful for my interwebz friends.

in most ways, they are more valuable than irl friends...because they know more of the real me, and vice versa.

that said, i am SO VERY BLESSED to have found you<3

Jeanie said...

I love the diversity of my blog friends....I don't know what color some of them are or what religion they are, but I know they are good people to know.
BTW, don't forget us...uh, shall I say, a bit older folks who are your friends.

Susan in SC said...

Prayers for your FIL. I hope he gets to come home soon. Yes, I agree the internet has given me friends I would have never known before. :)