This is something that crossed my mind recently, as to whether people in the blogging world can be classed as your true, real friends, rather than just people who have similar interests to you. I’ve been on social media now for more years than I can remember, and some of the people I’ve met along the way are still some of my nearest and dearest, whereas others are nowhere to be seen.
In my eyes, it’s hard to define what a ‘real’ friend is anymore: People change through the years, you physically move away from your friends for a number of different reasons, and life takes you in all kinds of directions. Friendships become harder to form when you’re an adult, which is why it’s easy to initiate a conversation on Twitter or Instagram, but at what point do these small scale chats turn into full-blown friendships, if at all?
When I first started out blogging, I was at university. Although I had been toying with the idea of starting one for years, I only did because I had to maintain and update a blog as part of a module. At first there was no interest from the outside world – mostly because I felt too embarrassed of it to promote it anywhere – but that was back in 2010 when blogging was just coming into its own.
It’s fair to say that I didn’t make any blogging friends and acquaintances until my blog got a bit bigger years later and I found myself attending events with people who I knew of from social media: I was also lucky that one of my closest friends from school enjoyed writing and had a blog as well, so I didn’t have to go to these events alone to begin with.
Now, I have a group of girls I have met through blogging that I see at launches and events who I feel I know well enough to class as friends – but I also don’t know that much about their personal ‘not on the blog’ lives, like I do with the people I have known for years.
When you work in a normal office situation, you have your work friends because you’re forced together in order to earn a living, and if you’re lucky, they’ll be just the kind of people you get on with – but blogging is different: It’s a hobby that includes being creative, having your own space on the internet, promoting your brand on social media and interacting with likeminded people: The thing we all have in common is our love for creating content.
With work friends, you learn almost everything about them because of the amount of time you spend together. And then there are your friends you have for years; your school friends, your uni friends etc. – you know their lives inside and out, and speak to them on a regular basis.
Unless blogging is your full-time career, it’s fair to say that the friends you make as a result of it are probably not ones that you see on a regular basis, unless you go out of your way to make the time to see them not in a professional sense.
And that’s when the line between online friends and real friends lessens.
The more events you go to as a blogger, the bigger your blog becomes, and the more presence you have on social media means the more interaction you have with other bloggers out there, some local, some global.
For bloggers, our passion is for sharing things we love online and it’s amazing that we have a community in which to do so. I won’t lie and say at times that there isn’t animosity and venomous behaviour online, but for the most part, the girls of the blogging world are pretty damn awesome.
Just because you haven’t known a person since school, only seen them around a couple of times, or maybe you’ve never even met them at all, doesn’t mean that they don’t want the best for you. The whole blogging world only want this industry to get bigger and bigger and for content creators to be respected in the industry.
The micro-influencer is finally having such a big effect on where brands and spending their marketing budget, and although it’s natural to be jealous of each other from time to time, the whole bloggersphere is so big and still so new, that there are enough opportunities for everyone.
The thing with the blogging world is, it can be all kinds of crazy: From huge, public arguments on twitter to YouTube collaborations, incredible one-in-a-lifetime events and Instagram goals, there is always something to talk about.
I’ve been told in the past that you can’t trust anyone in the blogging industry: Apparently everyone is just trying to get one over on your and beat you to the top, but that is never something I have felt – maybe when blogging is your full-time job it might be different and slightly more cut-throat, but for the most of us, making friendships online is something that has become our second nature because we grew up during the digital age.
I’ve met some of the most amazing people since I’ve been blogging and long may it continue.