“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another:
“What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .””
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Let’s make that, “one person,” just to keep my inner humanist happy:>) Other than that one word, I’d say this quote is pretty much the mantra of Word Press. The “You too?” of it is what keeps “real” life support groups, and even service organizations going. I think it is the basic element that underlies many online social media forms.
Sure, we may be trying to build our “platform,” sell our book or our product. We may even be trying to “sell” our way of thinking; our own opinions. But underneath it all, when you post something that makes people think or write, You too? the human to human connection is made.
I’d venture to say that very few of us have the opportunity to share or receive many You too? moments in “real” life (RL). That’s usually where best friends come in. Sadly, many people out there just don’t have best friends, or any friends. I’ve run across several people like that online since I started my blog in March. Too many.
We are still judging people by their outside appearance; their clothes, their cars, their income and their socially acceptable rating on the attractiveness scale. We see none of that online, at least we don’t in the beginning. When we do see a photo, it is usually the best of the best that we can come up with, but often it is a cartoon or our cat or an anonymous design or shadow figure.
So we don’t know if they are a hippy, a banker, a butcher, a baker or a candle stick maker. We just know that we had that You too? feeling about something they wrote. The funny thing is, that it may be months before we find out that their political or religious beliefs are completely, totally, thoroughly OPPOSITE of ours.
Now what? That’s the interesting thing, to me, at least. Now we mentally get out the paper and pen to do the pro/con list, or we dig out the scales, to weigh the heft of “OPPOSITE” against “YOU TOO?” It is my belief that if you have strong opposing beliefs, with little tolerance for the other side, and/or you have a bus load of friends in RL, you exit, stage left. On the other hand, if you are tolerant of other belief systems and/or have few, if any friends in RL, you hang in there.
Is this too simplistic or totally erroneous? What do you think? I confess, I am a cave woman, a loner (duh, you know that). I am very lucky to have 4 long-time best friends. I have solid friends that I have not known as long, and I have an incredibly supportive family. Why they put up with my anti-social ways, I may never know, but they do.
Then, I have this incredibly supportive group of friends online, including some from the previous paragraph. And STILL that You too? matters so much to me. It matters so much, that I don’t care if we have some opposing beliefs. Hell, I am out of step with the strong beliefs of most of my RL family and friends! Really. And judging by Facebook posts, I’m REALLY out of step, or out of line, as they would say if they had the chance.
I will admit that I have stopped following a few people who I did not have the You too? feeling for in the first place, and in the second place, they showed their mean, cruel or intolerant side. I just love saying, “I will not tolerate intolerance!” That just cracks me up. But it is true.
How many creative artists have we missed in our everyday lives? How much knowledge has gone unknown? How many loving, compassionate people have we ignored? They have always been there, sometimes in our own circle. And now they are out there shining and being accepted and winning recognition, and best of all, they are building friendships. I hope they find my blog soon.
My point is that these blogs, and other social media forms, are bringing us closer together. (Okay, maybe not facebook:>) They are testing our tolerance, and I think we are all winning. We are getting to know and become friends with people from all walks of life. When that banker finds out that the guy he’s been sharing poetry with is a damn hippy, he hangs in because they have forged some kind of bond. (I do realize that the banker could BE a hippy.)
Do you see it too? Leave a comment and share your thoughts, please.
Patti, who is not a hippy or a banker:>)
Okay, one totally unrelated photo…
Every Damn Day? Who’s idea was this anyway? The culprit can be found here: Every Damn Day December at http://treatmentofvisions.com/2013/11/26/evdadadec/
December 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm
You too? Me too!!
December 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm
December 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm
You’re not a banker too?!?! 😀
December 20, 2013 at 1:49 pm
Hahaha, nah i’m just a beach gypsy trying to get some books ready to publish:>)
December 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm
I’ve loved looking at your frosty banner this past month, but the blue sky and cottony clouds literally took my breath away. You deserve First Prize for that one, Patti!
December 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm
Thank you, Marian. That whole day was amazing! Rainy and overcast now.
December 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm
The ‘You too’ moments can be wonderful and it’s great when things develop from there. I’m very easygoing as far as other’s belief systems go provided they don’t thrust their beliefs at me or show that they have a low tolerance of others. The world will go a lot further towards peace with a live and let live attitude- as long as that doesn’t mean accepting cruelty.
Great post Patti and what a fantastic picture that is.
Have a Great Christmas
xxx Huge Hugs xxx
December 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm
Thanks for the stopping by again, David. I am so happy to say that all the people who hang out here are like you, and even if we have different beliefs, we can still support each other with the things we have in common.
Glad you like that shot, i was amazed that I got it. I almost didn’t take it, because of the spots that show up on most sky photos…this came out with none!
December 20, 2013 at 9:17 pm
You reminded me of my best friend who passed away a little while ago. She was the best of the best. I could be a complete idiot, say the worst things, tell her anything and nothing would change between us. I’ve sat here and cried wishing I could speak to her about what’s going on, things on my heart. Funny that when I get still a answer forms.
The thing I noticed and, well, love about WordPress is the number of folks who all have something going on in their lives, something has happened – I’m not alone – like you said Patti that You too? Or a lot of times it’s ‘me too… wow’.
The extremists I don’t have to follow, but can let them be extreme as long as it’s not harmful. In that we can live and let live, not agree yet get along.
I’m so exhausted right now – after my daughter got home we went out to run a few grocery errands – might be a super-snow tomorrow. We don’t want to get out of our pajamas if that’s the case. At our last stop she got out but left the car idling, I turned off the key and grabbed my cell to check my bank account while she and my grandson were inside but left the headlights on. Oops. Anyway, we all waited for her friend to get to us for a jump, we got home later than expected, ate late, were watching a movie and finally figured out that my grandson was cranky and we were both yawning big because of the time. Before I hit the sack, just wanted to stop by EvDaDaDec and see if you had anything to say…
My eyes are closing – really great post. Talk to you soon.
December 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm
Sweet dreams:>) So glad you are enjoying your visits. Take care, stay warm:>)
December 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm
Dear Patti who is not a hippie or a banker, this is so beautifully said. I’ve been away from my Internet friends for a while, handling some important — even beloved — Real Life situations. I’m so glad I chose this post as a peek into what is happening in my Internet community. I love the Lewis quote and your perceptive comments! Have a joyous season! Love, Susan
December 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm
Missed you, Susan, although you never seem to be away for long. I hope the beloved RL situations have resolved well. So glad you made it by for this one and thank you for the kind words:>)
Warm Holiday Hugs!
December 22, 2013 at 7:44 pm
“…when you post something that makes people think or write, You too? the human to human connection is made.” That’s what I’m after, and I think everyone. I live in as much isolation as you do much of the time–and then this great family pours in for a few days and I love them and am happy to return to my solitary life. I love finding people who make me stretch, expand, and stretch. You’re one of those. The photo is fantastic.
December 22, 2013 at 8:20 pm
Thank you, Elaine. You def make me stretch. I’ve spent some time lately exploring the writing of your love, Vic. Lots of things brewing in my stretching mind:>)
December 27, 2013 at 6:26 pm
I liked your comments cave woman and am glad ee are still communicating. 🙂
December 27, 2013 at 6:29 pm
Still here. It would be silly not to be. Look what friends and family I have here. One lucky cave woman! xo