Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Facebook, Bloggers and People [and yes, bloggers are people too]

Everyone by now has heard of MySpace and all the news that went along with it when it began. Not long after, Facebook began.

I had considered MySpace for blogging but it didn't "feel" right, and what I mean by that is I didn't care too much for the way the HTML was formatted or the blocks for text and and other related stuff ["stuff" is such a handy word...]. I was looking for something more. Something simpler, less complicated, flexible. So I found Blogger and felt at home. Now some would say that WordPress is better. I guess it's all in how your blog looks in the blogosphere.

In the Internet world, there are a myriad of groups and organizations for people to join and become part of a cyber-community; a place to meet people with similar interests, make friends, find God, find Buddha, find science. If you look long enough, you will find a group or groups that shares your views and goals, and so forth.

I belonged to a groups for INFP's and made a friend or two in that group before leaving, only because the members got off on weird tangents and silly subjects. Sorry, I am a more focused person usually and when conversations start stretching out like Silly Putty, well I know I need to move on.

One day I was checking my email and there was an invitation from one of the group leaders who had also left the group, and she was inviting me to become her "friend" on Facebook. Well, to do so required some research on my part into Facebook and its privacy policy. What I found I liked, so I joined Facebook and now Robin and I can poke and send virtual chocolate or red wine to each other [as true friends should!].

What I have discovered is that some of the bloggers whom I visit on a regular basis have invited me to become friends and I am delighted to accept. Most of them are Episcopalians of varying degrees of seriousness but there is the comic in each and everyone of them [got to love that!] because when you think about it, it is almost a prerequisite that you be able to laugh at yourself to be an Episcopalian. It is an intellectual exercise to make fun of ourselves and crack jokes about the hierarchy of our Church and you only have to read Dave Walker's Cartoon Blog to see how far the art form has evolved.

Getting back to Facebook, it is a great way for me to catch up on the goings on of my friends from one vantage point. I can even find out of members of my parish are on Facebook. I can think of a few people who could benefit from a SuperPoke or a martini, or a sheep for that matter [yes, you can give sheep, you just need a throwing arm to do so...].

There are Episcopal groups that I belong to or have been invited to such as, the Episcoposse, or Notoriously Anglican [it's for all "Anglicans", including us, the disagreeable cousins, allegedly causing the kerfuffle that we have read so much about since +Gene in 2003, who by the way, I admire and respect as a man of God and quiet leader in the about humility...], EpiscoBloggers, OCICBW, and Integrity USA, to name a few.

I have also met others who love animals, especially bunnies [...sigh...], and so you never know who will come into your life to bless it. Nothing is too great for God to find a way to glorify Himself through His creation. I mean, I see God in ordinary things. I see God in my Shih Tzu, for instance, when he looks up at me a certain way and pats my toes with his paw.

I guess what I am trying to get to here is that if you need community, don't isolate yourself on your computer. It is part of being in community but you need live bodies too that you can talk to, share a meal with, or discuss a book over coffee with in your own local community. I love my Internet friends and bloggers and I hope to meet them face to face one day in my travels, or I in theirs, but until then, go to your faith community, meet with your friends on a regular basis, join a book group, join Facebook and find others with similar interests to your own. We can always learn from each other, regardless of where we are in the world.

And while you are at it, please pray for the Bishops' Meeting in New Orleans this week. Now there's a group that needs prayer and positive thoughts motoring their way 24/7. Prayer for the Church and for the World. Pray for your neighbor and the stranger. You never know when you may be entertaining angels.

So, see you in the world...



Jan said...

Catherine, I liked your thoughts. Good ones. Especially about not isolating oneself on the computer. It was interesting for me to hear about all those various groups, too. I like hearing from you.

Amy said...

I'd like for you to be my friend! :-)