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Daily routines

I have been checking my favourite blogs. I love this daily connection with my virtual friends. I have been privileged to have met some of these blog writers in-person. As for the rest, I would love to meet them; in-person that is.

I get excited as I read their posts and find out what they’ve been up to and what they are thinking about.

This habit of mine has become addictive. I don’t feel my day is complete if I haven’t touched base with these friends. I equate this practice to the equivalent of making a quick phone call, or going for a coffee together.

I am now sitting here wondering if I am neglecting my close-by friends as a result. I am reminded of a comment made by my sister recently.

“I feel I am spending more time with you these days because even though I haven’t seen or talked to you I can read your blog.”

Blogs are a wonderful way of connecting with people on levels that may not be as straightforward in an in-person situation.
In general, in-person meetings are loaded with distractions and emotion – originating internally and/or externally. There are time pressures. Nearly always there are other people to consider. Conversations can easily be diverted so that we don’t end up talking about what we intended to. The way people are feeling can also affect the communication that takes place. Is the other person fully present? Are they actually listening to me? Should I really say this? There is a long list of things that can impact on our in-person connection and communication.

Blogs on the other hand generally contain a carefully considered message. As with everything, there are always exceptions.

We think about what we want to say in our blog post. Then we commit these thoughts to text, audio, video, or some other visual format. We are prepared to share these thoughts publicly. We are even prepared to receive comments on our thoughts. We are prepared to discuss, and possibly even defend what we think and why we think it. We have a lot more control of the communication process.

I love that we can express ourselves in our preferred style: written, spoken or visual. In general, this requires us to take time to reflect, to record the message in our chosen format, alter the message if necessary, and do some more research if we want to. Once we hit publish we are saying this is what I thought at this particular point in time. This however does not mean that we cannot change our thoughts with time as we learn and acquire new information.

We learn a lot about ourselves and others in the process of maintaining a blog.

We can trace our own development through our blogs. They can become our personal learning and development portfolio which we are in complete control of. This excites me. It has huge potential for us in all aspects of ours lives.

After reading Mark Bernstein’s latest posts this morning I decided my life was decidedly ordinary and that my blog was probably a reflection of that. Have I managed to capture my personality in my blog? Do I present like this in-person? Do people see the richness that is the real Marica when they read what I write here? Is my space here the reflection of me that I want it to be?

In my brief time with Mark this morning he managed to move me from hi-tech software development to cooking and then back to what I would call technology learning. During this time I thought about many things …

“I wish I had a Mac so I could try out Tinderbox.”

“Boy, my cooking is boring.”

“What on earth would I cook for Mark if he was coming for tea tonight? How would I match his culinary expertise?”

“Lucky Linda – she won’t have to think about what to have for tea tonight!”

Sockpuppet: toy or online communication term “I thought I knew what a sockpuppet was but ..”

“I didn’t realise there were different kinds of sockpuppets.”

“Boy, there so much to learn in the world of technology. How am I ever going to keep up?”

A sockpuppet is a blog comment, wiki participant, or other online identity that exists to simulate discussion and agreement. For example, A Pundit writes a controversial opinion, and then logs in again as A Wise Reader and opines that his own post is brilliant.

I loved having my coffee in Mark’s virtual company this morning. I came away from it buzzing.

I feel very fortunate to have spent time with Mark, and his wife Linda, in-person earlier this year. Even though distance separates us I continue to spend time with Mark, and learn from him, on a daily basis. The major difference is Mark will not necessarily be aware of this.

Mark’s blog is a true representation of him. I always have a smile on my face as I read his postings and all the wealth of information he has on his blog site. He is an intelligent, deep thinking and knowledgeable man with a wonderful sense of humour. He is also one of the nicest people I know and is incredibly charming. Mark is a gentleman in the true sense of the word.

So what have I learnt?

Blogs are a wonderful form of self-expression. They can be used to connect with others so that we feel as though we are in each others presence having a conversation, even when we may be separated by huge distances.

My virtual friends are now an established part of my daily routine. In reality I probably spend more time with them than I do with my friends and family that live close-by. Does this really matter?

In this space I am attempting to spend more time with everyone that matters to me in a way that isn’t possible in a normal contact sense. I know strangers may read my blog but then we meet strangers every day and sometimes they become our friends, colleagues, and even family members.

I want to give you all a hug just as I would if you were in front of me now.

I want you all to know, whether you are close-by or distant, that you matter to me and I’m really glad you are in my life.

I’ll keep talking and sharing here in this space. At least some connection is better than nothing at all.

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