Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Scholarly Look At The Effects of Blogging on Friendships

This blog has created an unusual dynamic in my friendships. I tend to steal my own thunder by telling my latest stories and news on the blog. By the time I see my friends face-to-face and conversations start flowing, inevitably someone chimes in, "Yeah, I read that on your blog!" Dern. That would be all well and good, but some of my sweet precious friends are lurky lurkertons who never leave their dear old friend any comments. (Hint, hint.) Sometimes I don't even realize they're reading! That makes it a very one-way, lopsided conversation - especially with my friends who do not have blogs. (HINT, HINT!)

So here is a request for mis amigos. Let's make it a two-way conversation. Look, options! You could write comments, send update-Amanda-on-your-life-emails at regular intervals, or set up your own blog. Or all three! Whatever floats your boat!

It has been really fun to reconnect with some old friends whom I haven't seen or spoken to in years like Beth, Cathy, and Allison. If there are any others out there, I'd love to hear from you!

And now I'd like to nominate this for "The Most Self-centered Post of All Time Award."

But honestly? My precious friends, I am so blessed by you. If you were not in my life I would feel very empty. I started this blog to update you on Jackson in such a way that I wasn't flooding your inbox every week with 20 new pictures and stories about diapers and spit up that you'd rather not hear. I thought I'd give you a choice in the matter! Your encouragement and enthusiasm throughout the last year and a half have made motherhood even sweeter. If you stopped visiting the blog, I'd probably shut her down. And also? I'm sorry that I have all but abandoned the telephone. If that's your love language, give me a little reminder and I'll try to do better. I love you!
Manda

47 comments:

Lisa P. said...

Hey Amanda, I feel like I comment to you many times over with responses through the LPM blog, but this is your very personal one and so, 'hello.' You, Jackson and Curt are a blessing. I've given up my Blogger blogging, but not officially. Keep up your lovely writing.

Pray for Mozambique said...

Amanda, you don't know me from Adam's house-cat, but I wanted to write since I always lurk at your blog. I read it every day.

I love reading about Jackson. It reminds me of when my 14 year old was that age. And people told me how fast time flies. Oh my gosh, it does. Now he's 14 and bigger than me and it was only yesterday that he was chewing on his tennis shoes.

Anyway, just wanted to say I love your blog and you are too funny.
Love,
Angie
www.lechnersinmoz.blogspot.com

P.S. I'm the one who drove your mom around shopping on her first trip to South Africa in 2002. She and your dad cracked me up!

Panda-Mom said...

Totally get it. I have all these people whom I love, but don't comment or don't have their own blog so I am the one making all the effort (which I love) and don't get to catch up on everyone else! I also find that since I put so many pics up on my blog that I forget that I haven't actually scrapbooked them in real life making the scrapbooks get even further behind! Ahhh....the horrors of the blogoshpere! LOL! ; )

The Eckerts said...

I was just referred to your site by another blogging friend. I love it.

I could not agree more! I can't stand when people don't comment, especially when you don't even know they are checking in on you! I don't blog for comments, but it's nice to know others are reading it.

Your son is adorable, and I love your site! Did you design it yourself? I'm a new blogger trying to learn the ropes.

Amy

annie said...

I've had my bestest friends (who lurk around my blog) say that they try not to visit because then they know too much when they see me, but they can't resist stopping by to see what's up with us. Funny. I can't imagine not blogging.
♥♥♥♥
annie
My Life as Annie!

New Friend in KY said...

I am another "lurker" on your blog and after reading this post I felt compelled to "reveal" myself. I first linked to your blog through BooMama (I am a regular lurker there, too). I have about four blogs (yours included) that I enjoy reading daily and others I check every once in a while when time allows. I tried to create a blog at one time, but just didn't feel it was for me at this time. It may be something in my future. I love your sense of humor and writing style and I love feeling a connection (even though it is in a remote way) with other Christian women and day-to-day stuff. I have a son (12), a daughter (7), I work in the local school system, I am a pastor's wife, and I love Jesus!

Michelle said...

Well sister you know I am always up for you filling my in box with pics! But here is my official comment. Love your blog, LOVE seeing SWEET SWEET Jackson! And you make me laugh at work, so keep it up! Give the little guy a hug for me! Will try to be better on leaving comments...

Kelly said...

When I posted on my blog last month that I might be pregnant, I had a real-life friend (you know who you are) e-mail me immediately and say, "If you are pregnant, I'd better find out through a phone call instead of by reading your blog!"

Whoops!

But like you, the World Wide Web is my go-to communication method these days. After all, not everyone appreciates at phone call at 11:00 PM.

Sun said...

Can new friends leave comments too? I love to read your blog and you don't know me from the next person - so I don't really know if you would care what I thought or not - but I do read and I think you have a precious family!
Sunshine

Anonymous said...

Ok fine! Thanks a lot, Holy Spirit of blogging....I feel as if this was directed right at me! I will try not to be a lurker any more! And Ive told you how I feel about having a blog and no children...Love you friend- and I sure love reading baby bangs!
Fitine

LeslieW. said...

I must say AMEN! I totally understand and am always repeating myself. I OFTEN get a "yeah, I read that on your blog." I may have to put a little rant on my own blog! It's nice to see who visits, and that all that time spent posting is not spent in vain! Of course, there are other things I SHOULD be doing...but where's the fun in that?

jen said...

Ack! My mornings just wouldn't be the same without your blog girl! I love your stories and I love seeing pics of your boy. Too cute! I appreciate your willingness to share and be open. I found your blog through Debra (sweet sweet girl!) and have loved it ever since. And please know you're always welcome to lurk/comment on my blog as well. I love the support and sister-hood that comes from opening up to each other via the web, of course I'd MUCH rather chat/meet you in person, but hey I'll take the fellowship where I can find it! All this to say, don't shut-er-down girl! You'd be stealing some joy from my mornings! :)

bethany said...

AMEN to that!! So annoying when people don't leave comments (especially good friends that you KNOW look at the blog!) I always think, "What, was it so boring that you couldn't think of anything to say in response?" :)

The Preacher's Wife said...

We aren't 'technically' friends, but I am feeling ya' on this one!

One way I use the 'no comment' advantage? I have family members who I KNOW are not born again but I know, (because they tell me not because they comment), that they read my blog every day. SO I give them a big 'ole dose of Jesus in a way that I never could face to face. One family member in particular told me religion was an 'off-limits' topic with her. Now I can stick it to her any time I want to ! :))

Lisa

Anonymous said...

so if we look at it from the other side you are actually giving your lurker friends much more attention during in person visits...See God does work out all things for GOOD! Your blogging has made you the better listener...so so much for the self-centered comment!!! Praise Him! signed:just wishing i was a lurking friend..but am more than happy being an anonymous reader of this blog.

Blessed Assurances said...

My friends do the same! It is very frustrating b/c they NEVER comment but LOVE to chat with me in the Real World about a blog post. I think we should start a support group called "Friends who lurk!" Maybe then we can start dealing with thier fear of leaving comments and restore old friendships to the way God intended! LOL!

LauraG said...

Oh Amanda, you’ve totally guilted me into outing myself as one of those lurker types! :) I’m another one who is a complete stranger to you, and yet I feel like I know you through your Mom’s teaching, the LPM Blog and now your personal blog. The Internet is so cool in how it can connect us to a whole new world of people, but also so scary for the same reason. I’m actually glad to reveal myself since I’m not a stalker but have almost been feeling like one by letting the one-way communication continue! I love your writing, your sense of humor, your heart, your realness – and it’s just so much fun keeping up with the life and times of Jackson Jones. :) Just so you know…I’m a forensic scientist doing DNA out here in New Mexico… Take care

Michelle said...

I would just like to say as your Godly sister... are you lurking on sites as well... with no comments... just sayin... :) Love you!

Profbaugh said...

Okay, the title of this blog (A Scholarly Look at the Effects of Blogging on Friendship) totally sucked me in!!

Actually, after reading your post, I think this might make a really good "scholarly" article.

Oh no!! What am I thinking??? It's summer; I should be relaxing and not thinking about research!!

Ever the professor,
~Cheryl
St. Louis

Jackie said...

i love your blog. i have gotten to know you by reading about your life. i have shared laughter and tears with you and you don't even know me (well, i met you one week in Houston at Tues. Bible study) but you still have NO CLUE who I am. it is funny, this whole internet business, and how it is transforming our society in a very strange and new way. i have very few people comment on my blog..but yet so many of my friends say they read it!! so i run into the same problem as you when i am talking to them.
thanks for sharing your life..you are an incredible woman and mom and i am glad i am getting to know you even if we never meet. you and your fam. are in my prayers, and i don't take that lightly.
love you-jackie

Allison said...

Amanda,

Such a true statement. I have to tell you that discovering your blog has inspired me to start blogging myself.

My own insecurities have not allowed me to make it public yet, but in due time my friend. In due time.

During the interim, I would love to set up an email dialouge....how shall we exchange?

Blessed Assurances said...

okay I started a "uncover the lurkers" campaign at my place and linked to your blog, if you don't mind. I would love to see how many people in my life read my blog but never comment. we will see how it goes-actually it is a good excuse for me to leave the post of up for a few days while i get work done and spend a weekend with friend scrapbooking or as my husband says "crapbooking!"

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

The telephone is overrated.

Debra said...

I know what you mean girl...I talked with a friend yesterday who reads my blog and I had no clue that she did. I wish all my friends had a blog.

Amy T said...

Even though I too am one you've never met, just wanted to let you know I was here. :) Nobody I actually know blogs, and neither do I. Maybe one day.... Keep up the good work, love the blog, and love hearing about Jackson!

Barr Family said...

Amanda- I accidentally found your blog when I was surfing "favorite blogs" on another site. It popped up and I was like, "Hey I know her!" Well, not really "know" personally but I feel I know you from the LPM blog.

I am so glad I am not the only one who likes her comments! I'm right there with you. I love your blog and am definetly adding you to my daily list to check. I love all of the pictures of you guys!

Love, Amanda
www.barrfamilynews.blogspot.com

PS...I am the one who commented on LPM awhile back about knowing your husband from Willard...went to school together! Small world

Naomi... said...

It's funny your talking about this, as I'm a month into blogging and I'm wondering how you generate people's 'interest' or invite them 'over' to your blog. I have had two girls check in on my blog that I know of, and it's such a neat feeling to know somebody has stopped by. I read a number of blogs regularly and thoroughly enjoy it, but like you say, I have started to feel like it is a one-way convo... I have to many of those with my husband...lol!!! Anyhoo, am glad to have found your blog...

Richardsons of HV said...

You are so right!!! I have abandoned the telephone as well...and I'm a talker. Blogging has changed my life! Thanks for the posts...keep them coming!
It is funny, however, you never know when or who is reading. I'm always surprised when someone says..." I know, I read your blog." I reply, "What? Isn't it boring?"

Amanda said...

Hi Amanda. I am also an Amanda. I found out about you from your mom's Patriarch's study. I knew you must be wonderful, just because of your name! I have twins who are almost 14 months old, so I really like reading up on your little one. I am a PK (pastor's kid), and like reading about your life as a pastor's wife. All in all, I love your blog.

Charis said...

OK, I'm am officially delurking...I've been so blessed by your blog. You don't know me at all, but I feel as if I know you. Yours is one of a few that I read consistently.

I am from the East Texas area and every time I am in the Dallas area, I think of you and your precious family!

Sam McClure said...

Amanda~ I love you and I love your blog! I am so thankful that we can keep up with each other this way!

Nancy Mon said...

Hey Amanda, I love reading your blog and love your stories and adventures. Although we know each other from HFBC and I am older than your mother, barely, your blog has kept me inspired to keep up my blog. It fulfills such a creative need in me. And thanks for the blog tutorials. I read yours often but don't always comment.

J. Allen said...

Hi Amanda. I read your blog all the time (I am a fellow Ag - class of 04) and "Bible study girl" but have never commented you. I've thought about it before, but didn't want you to think I was some weirdo...Anyways, your blog is really a blessing. You are too funny and I love your family and how GOd is using ya'll....Keep up the blogging, girl!

Valarie said...

Like others have said, you wouldn't know me from the next "lurker" but I'm glad to know you actually LIKE comments!!

I know what you mean about the "sharing" stuff leaving you nothing to talk about in person but what can you do? I usually try to keep the "good" stuff for face to face - or at least hold out as long as I can!

Love seeing that sweet man child of yours! Enjoy every second - yes - even the tantrums because it flies!!!!

Nate & Brooke said...

Amanda,
I found your blog the other day through Melissa's blog. You have such a cute little boy. I am good friends with Missy Williams (well actually Stephenson now)! Thought I would drop you a little note! Have a wonderful day!
Brooke

Vietnam Baby Girl Smith said...

I am a lurker here as well! I come once or twice a day! You are hilarious and your letters to your son are precious. My favortie thing of all time is the hooter hider post! I was not here when you posted that originally but I saw it when you redirected everyone to it a couple of months back!

I want to tell you a funny story. I work at LifeWay in Nashville. Yesterday we were in a meeting with all of the CC's (church consultants) and the Women's Ministry team came to update us all of the upcoming resources and events. At the beginning, they said they were going to have some special guests who came to visit. I leaned over to my supervisor and said...I hope it is Beth and her daughter Amanda! Well...it was Priscilla and Jerry Shirer. They were great too! I was just hoping to see one of my favorite bloggers (and your mom of course) and tell you that I had been lurking for a while. Moms and appeciate her hard work! I guess now would be the best time! Thanks Amanda!

Serah said...

Hey Amanda! I've already said this, but I've really enjoyed reading your blog the past few months. I think I found it through BooMama, but I can't remember for sure.

It's so nice to know of another young, Christian mom with a little boy (my son just turned 2) who is going through a lot of the same "new mom" experiences.

And I wish anyone who lurked on my blog out come out, too. Of course, mine's pretty new, but still! I feel your pain, girl!

Anonymous said...

ok... i confess i am a blogging lurker. i am much like christine, it feels strange to blog when you aren't married with a kid. but one day i'll get past it.

i love your blog! you are an excellent writer. but even more than that you are completely genuine- which is always refreshing. :)

have a great day!

becky smith

Sherry said...

Hey Amanda! I feel like our paths have crossed a hundred times without really ever knowing each other. First, I was in your upstream group our freshman year at A&M. Then, I know you are friends with Mel, who is a great friend of Meagan and Reif, some of our closest friends. Also, Sherry McClure is good friends with Krista, who teaches 1st grade with me in Forney. It is just weird how that happens. Anyway, I have been reading your blog for a while now... I love it! You have a precious little boy and it is fun hearing your sweet (and hilarious!) stories.

resmile7 said...

Amanda . . . i felt guilty that I as well am a lurker, but not only of your blog, but of many. It helps me stay up to date on all of the new babies out there! I found your page through mel's. I seem to connect with more and more friends by cruising through blogs . . . what a bizarre world of internet! Looks like things are going great in your world . . . Jackson is too cute! Missing the good ol' days of aggieland . . . I do remember our yummy ring dunk at the ol' Swensons! Thanks for keeping the world updated on your life through great writing! --Rachel

AKat said...

Amanda, your posts are always hilarious and real. I love reading about your baby! You, Curtis and Jackson will have such a special "memory book" from this site one day.

Jackie said...

okay...you are making me want to have a de-lurking intervention on my blog. look at all these comments. i so often get NO comments, but i see on my "web-count" that poeple are reading. So...I think i may try to get some of them to spill the beans and de-lurk. :) You are an inspiration!!

just a girl said...

amen sister! thank you for these blogs... and for reminding us to stay connected.
good stuff.
i've also hopped over from LPM Blog - and totally enjoy your posts.
blessings

Ashley said...

I was motivated by your "please comment when you visit other people's blogs" from the LPM blog. So, I spent the better part of the weekend leaving notes on tons of random blogs that I read! I have GOT to get better at that, yours included. You write some great stuff - my husband is the true creative one, but I try to get a few good posts in every now and then! Blog on, my friend!

Matt and Amy said...

Amanda,

I'm another one of those people that read about your life and don't know you! Hope that's okay! I'll "introduce" myself: I'm Amy, married to Matt, and a new stay-at-home momma of 5 mo. old Caroline Grace. I just started reading your blog and the LPM blog, and I love them! I'm glad you hinted at us to comment. I have my own blog, and I've hinted at my friends to comment and to start their own blogs (especially the ones with babies!), but not too many people have taken the bait. Maybe I need to be a little more blatant :o) Jackson is such a cutie, and if he ever runs into my Caroline, she better watch out! But I must say the same for Jackson, because she has big beautiful blue eyes too!

Jeremy & Heather said...

Hi! Just randomly ran into your blog off of another blog ... funny how that works. I've often thought of posting something similar to all my family and friends on our blog ... then wam I read yours. funny how we can all think alike but never quiet put it into words the same :) Just thought I'd let you know I was reading as you asked so eloquently and so how I wish others would do for me :)

Jennisa said...

I really enjoy your blog...I am also a pastor's wife...

Stop by and visit sometime!
Jennisa