Have you ever rocked up to an event, to spot that special someone? You want to run up to them, throw your arms around them and screech “How are you? How are the kids?”… only to realise you’ve never actually met them! In fact, they may not even be aware of your existence and if they do know you exist, they don’t know your “real” name, they know you only by your Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest handle. But you know what, this is perfectly normal and, in 2015, even acceptable.
I’ve never been the best at making real-life friends, always preferring to be the one sat quietly with a cup of tea, nervously looking up from my iphone every now and then checking no one has noticed me! Sure, once engaged in conversation I rock, but initiating contact is just not my thing – it’s on par with plucking eyelashes! School was my comfort zone- thrown together with a bunch of girls the same age, you’re bound to come out with some friends. I’ve clung onto those friends for dear life for the past 14 years and to this day they continue to be the best friends I have.
My natural conversational habitat really lies behind the screen, keyboard and camera lens – here I can let my thoughts and ideas flow whilst no-one’s watching (at least I don’t think they are!). That’s where social media has played a huge part in being able to meet like-minded loonies like me. I only really got into my Instagram groove a few months ago at the start of my maternity leave – through following just a couple of cool looking mamas it then introduced me to endless amounts of funky mums around the globe and vice-versa. Just a few months on I have a small group of people I would start to consider friends, the only catch being we’ve never met and I’m not sure on most of their first names! We know what we look like, what our kids and homes look like, we share a similar style and design aesthetic, we enjoy much of the same things – being mums and individual people (yes, this is actually possible to be a person as well as a mother!), we have a shared love of social media and taking gorge pics; to be honest, when I think of these women, I have more in common with them than most of my long-standing friends.
Now, this relationship has to start somewhere, and that somewhere my friend is a bit of ol’fashioned stalking. Now, I’m not suggesting hunting down their address and peering through their windows; going through their bins and sniffing their ear-buds or finding their place of work and sending flowers (although that last one might actually be well-received?! Hint hint to anyone thinking of stalking me in this manner – it will work, I’ll love it! Peonies and eucalyptus please!). No no, I’m talking the cyber friendly kind – you start by liking just few of their pics, then you comment on one or two, then (hopefully, if the feeling is mutual) they’ll do the same for you – before you know it you’re having a convo! Et voila a friendship is born.
Sometimes though, with your new found buddies, it’s hard to know where the boundaries lie. Whilst doing a little bit of stalking myself, I came across this feed of comments between @coolbananasblog and @motherpukka, which actually made me chuckle out loud and sums up these new fledgling relationships perfectly…
You may have noticed, I’m being rather strategic today with not sharing these “friends” with you – I’ll be honest, I’m worried I’ll scare them off with my unbounded love! That said, on the very few occasions, mostly at blogging conferences, I’ve had fab ladies come up to me saying: “OMG, you’re The Only Girl in the House! Wow, you’ve got 5 boys……”, cue red face – I just love the fact that a) they’ve read my blog; b) they’ve read it/ stalked me enough to know who I am and c) they’ve taken the time to come over and say hi!
This is how communities are built – be it blogging communities, groups of mummies and friends – a mutual appreciation of each others style and talent, it just so happens that in the 21st century we do it via the internet. I’ve gained so much for SM stalking – friends, support, laughs, meetings, work and the knowledge that I’m not the only one!
Rolling around laughing. Stalker alert. I have been that “fan girl”. I’m a bit embarrassed but in equal parts its brought me friends too.
LOVE this post! You’ll also find me hiding behind my phone trying hard not to be noticed, all the while desperately wanting someone to come over and say hi so I don’t look like a Billy no mates! Thanks for the IG follow, you have now officially got yourself another stalker of the non-creepy variety! x
Hey Stephanie, thanks for the stalk, ahem, I mean comment!! But then one someone comes over to me I’m cringing inside and generally say something rude/inappropriate/incredibly self-deprecating, until I get warmed up!!
I totally agree with this post. People always assume that bloggers must be these outgoing, super sociable, confident people, when in reality most of us are actually shy, a little introverted and rather petrified of big networking events. I’ve had some really awkward moments when meeting bloggers in real life as I’ve expected them to be just as chatty face to face as they are online. As I waited for the conversation to flow from their side I realised they are just like me and an uncomfortable silence ensued! I’ve even been at an event with one blogger who hardly said two words to the rest of us but if you read their twitter feed it seemed like we were all having the most amazing time together. Sometimes it’s so much easier to reveal your true self and your real feelings through an online platform. Maybe this is a bit sad, but I’m truly grateful for the connections that my blog has allowed me to make even if I have never met half of them in real life. I have built a whole community of like minded people that I share so much in common with! Now, since becoming a mother, I’m on the lookout for some new bloggers to stalk…ahem I mean befriend! My current blogger friends are mostly childless, so I’d love to meet some new ones who understand the struggles of combining blogging with motherhood!