Building the Online Tribe

I have a few friends I have never met in real life. Only online. Which sounds weird to me even now, even in this day and age. But, to be honest, these people have sustained me in innumerable ways and we all live way too far away from each other to have in-person relationships. And they honestly make me better people and make my IRL relationships stronger too. Today I’m gonna tell you about 2 of them.

Jennifer Ambrose of Ambrose-a-rama: I first ran across Jen, or Ambrose as her handle read, in the comments sections of Danielle Bean’s personal blog and Rachel Balducci’s blog. And I first read her blog in the midst of tragedy. And then, all the sudden, she was reading my blog. And I was blown away. Because I loved her writing and thought it was fascinating that she lived in China and she always seemed so COOL to me ;). Well, she joined facebook and I timidly sent a friend request. And then I realized we had a LOT in common. She might be an engineer and I might be math deficient but we are both writers. With similar tastes in movies and music. And we are both rabid sports fans. Or more importantly, rabid HOCKEY fans. We just had an awesome exchange on twitter about what language Kronwall and Teemu might be swearing at each other in during the Olympics. If you love hockey, you understand that last statement perfectly. The fact that she lives so far away, ahem Beijing ahem, means meeting in real life, probably not going to happen anytime soon. But I really wish it could because I could so see museum visits and coffee shops happening. For realz. Because sometimes, I just need someone who gets irony and dry humor…oh and who has stories about tapirs. Or just one story about one :). She has reminded me more than once that we just have to be ourselves and trust God to take care of stuff. And that really helps on the days my life is a Fellini film

Katherine of Having Left the Altar: I found Katherine through 7 Quick Takes Friday. And then she found ME on facebook after we had been following each other’s blogging for a while. Our first three children match in age and I thought that was pretty cool. She’s had two more since those days. I do love that she has ALL girls because I get to revel in that little girl madness that Shelby has sometimes and doesn’t other times. Now, Katherine and I don’t live as far apart as Jen and I do, but it’s far enough that it would take SERIOUS planning to get together and right now, neither of us is able to get it together like that! It’s funny because again, much of our lives look like opposites: she has “a lot” of kids and I have literally “a few”; she homeschools and my kids get on a bus each morning; I have more boys than girls. But we’ve shared some odd things that kind of have a “solidarity” quality. Like having October birthdays, a sincere love of geek humor and addiction to buzzfeed quizzes, and a strong dislike for the “Sign of Peace” at mass. And connections to Duke University ;). Katherine is great at helping me see what they call perspective. It’s not as bad as my run-away brain thinks it is. And Jesus loves me. Still.

The online tribe is underrated. How often do we bemoan not having more “in real life” contact and try to belittle our connections made here. And while nothing is quite the same as our in-person friends, it is a gift to know people we would otherwise have never known without this crazy thing called technology. It helps us to remember our brother is not just our mother’s son nor our neighbor we pass each morning on the way to work and not just those in front of us in the pews on Sunday. It’s people we’ve never met, people we may never meet. People who because of the advances in communication can uplift us, can encourage us and can even help improve us.


One thought on “Building the Online Tribe

  1. Aww, Kristen, you’re so sweet. We will actually be driving through NC on our way to and from Florida in June… don’t know how close you are to I95 though. That is the only time I know we will be remotely near you. :/

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