|photo by the lovely Colleen|
This picture from girls' brunch in Jacksonville brings a big 'ole smile to my face. I'm in the bright blue (hi!).
Pictured to my right is Jenny, a high school friend whom I grew closer to after high school, thanks in large part to the blogosphere. It had been at least a decade (probably closer to 15 years - ouch) since last I saw her. (Thanks to social media, though, it felt like I had just seen her yesterday.) I had to fight back the tears as my virtual hugs finally became tangible ones, a blessing for which I'm grateful.
Pictured to my left is April, my very first online friend. April and I started talking (and cheering for the Gators) in an online scrapbooking class back in 2008 and eventually took the conversation to Twitter (where we discovered our mutual love for Twilight) and then to the blogosphere. We have even watched movies together while in different states. Isn't technology amazing?!
Pictured to the far right is Colleen, aka my online soul sister. Colleen and I met through a girl talk blog, where we giggled over our mutual love for hot soap opera hunks. We then started cheering for the Gators (along with Jenny and April) on Twitter, but it wasn't until we hit Facebook that we discovered a connection that put us only one degree of separation from each other in real life. Talk about a small world!
Thanks to social media - our blogs, Twitter, and Facebook - the four of us became friends, individually and as a group, as is true of a lot of you reading this. If anyone says that "online friends aren't real friends," I have only to look at comments, emails, and tweets to prove that someone wrong. My online friends kept me company when I was buried under four feet of snow in Pennsylvania, cheered me on when life was good, and lifted my spirits when it wasn't - all the things real friends do. They just happened to do these things via a computer.
And so today, as I look at this picture and smile, feeling grateful for ALL of my wonderful online friends, I also give thanks for the brains behind the technology that made these friendships possible.