I’m Not a Stalker… Honestly

When I entered the cyber social world (Facebook, Ravelry, blogging), I had no intentions of meeting new people. I am blessed to have three (yes, three) real life knitting buddies and many more fabulous friends besides. I wasn’t looking for any virtual friends. Rather, I got a Facebook page to keep in touch with friends and family far away. I opened my Ravelry account to keep track of my knitting and have access to the pattern data-base. I started blogging because… well, I didn’t really know why at the time, but it has turned into an almost daily activity which I enjoy very much.

But, somewhere along the way, I started making friends. I found that there are real people behind those screen names and avatars. Real, wonderful people. It was a bit of a revelation for me.

But, making friends online is a strange thing. There are lots of roadblocks to true friendship.

Take the whole stalker thing, for example.

I don’t want to be perceived as a stalker, so I hold back from commenting too much on someone’s blog. I measure out my kindnesses so as not to seem too eager. I keep my real identity a tightly guarded secret. On Ravelry, I only befriend a few people, and I certainly don’t befriend many on Facebook. When someone contacts me, I check them out as far as I can.

I wonder if you are who you say you are. I wonder if you wonder the same about me.

But, really folks. How many stalkers and serial killers are masquerading as thirty-something Christian knitters who homeschool a brood of kidlets?

There are some excellent people in this world. I would even go so far as to say that there are more fabulous-friends-to-be than there are lunatic-knitter-stalkers.

We are so blessed to live in a day and age in which we can meet like-minded people, regardless of the distance that separates us.

And, let me tell you, I have met some wonderful people.

So, while I will still be careful, I want to take advantage of the opportunities that I have to make new friends across the country and around the world through this blog and on Ravelry.

Making friends online is a strange thing, a wonderful strange thing.

Making New Friends

Sometime ago, I read something by the Yarn Harlot that really made a lot of sense to me. I wish I could find it to link to it because I know that I can’t say it as well as she did, but I will try.

Knitting is a powerful common bond. If knitting is the only thing you have in common with someone, it is enough. I have learned this since I started this blog just a few months ago. I have made many wonderful friends in cyberspace. Friends who differ from me politically, religiously, professionally. Some of these people have nothing in common with me except a love of yarn. These are not people I would pick out in a room and say, “that one. I want to be friends with that one.” And, unless he/she whipped out a current WIP, I would never say more than a polite “hello”. But, here, on the web, where we all wave around our WIPs bravely and proudly, suddenly I am surrounded by fabolous people who enrich my life daily. I am challenged by our differences and encouraged by our similarities. I love these new friends. I love the debates that come up. I love the way they expose me to other points of view that I would never have otherwise been exposed to.

This weekend I updated the links on my sidebar to reflect the growing number of friends I have made. Please check some of them out. We all knit. Somehow, that seems to be enough to unite us. Enjoy!