How much do you mix your online world with your offline world? Do your friends and family know what it is that you actually do on the internet? How much do you tell them?
I pose this question because I would say that I am a happy go lucky type of person, willing to share this and that about my life here on the inter-webs. Well, yesterday, for the first time, I properly shared my online world with my real world friends.
I told a group of my closest friends about the new book that I had just published. (In The Park – available from all good bookshops – well, just Amazon actually).
I was very apprehensive about telling my friends for several reasons. They know that I write stuff and do stuff on the internet but I don’t really go into details. I was a little surprised by their reaction and wanted to look at this further.
I think they were a little hurt and disappointed that I didn’t feel I could tell them about all the stuff that I do online, which made me feel really bad.
Three Reasons Why I Don’t Talk About My Online Journey With Real World Friends
I had my own reasons why I didn’t open up to them earlier and wondered if anyone else could relate. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
# No.1 – I Don’t Want To Bore My Friends
I find the ins and outs of websites and online marketing fascinating. I like trying to figure out how certain things work, why they work in the way they do. Then I like to try these methods out for myself.
I know that online marketing, SEO, adsense and affiliate websites are not the most riveting of subjects for people who have nothing to do with this, so I do not want to become one of those nerdy bores who talks on and on about such things as Google Analytics, website rankings, the recent changes in search engine algorithms, the future strength of using EMD’s, the benefits of article marketing and the merits of Clickbank etc, etc.
Who wants to be in a conversation where your friend’s eyes are visibly glazing over as you natter on about Commission Junction, Aweber, how to up your subscriber list and the goings on in the Warrior Forum? I do not want to be that bore that everyone tries to avoid at a party. Lol.
#No.2 – I Don’t Want To Look Like a Failure To My Friends & Family
Everyone seeks approval from someone. When you are a child, you want your parents to be proud of you. When you are at school, you want your teachers to be proud of you and you want to earn those A’s. When you are older you want to meet the love of your life and feel a sense of pride in your relationship. When you enter your chosen career, you want to work as hard as you can to impress the boss and get on track for that next promotion.
Once you tell people that you want something, you can feel accountable. The pressure is suddenly on to prove yourself. You do not want to look like a failure to your friends but if your plans do not work out the way you had hoped, that is exactly what you will look like.
WRONG! – Actually this is not the case at all. Your real friends will be there to support you and encourage you to try again and again. They will rally to your defence and be there waving that flag of support.
It is the stories that we come up with in our minds that twist this idea. Your friends want to see you succeed. They want to be there to carry you on their shoulders when you knock one out of the park and they want to be there when you need a comforting shoulder to cry on.
We choose our friends and friendships for a reason, so that we are there for each other through the good and the bad. We should learn to embrace this notion. I need to learn to embrace this notion. It is not an easy lesson to learn, I can tell ya.
#No.3 – I Don’t Want To Put My Friends in An Awkward Postion
Have you ever had someone ask you for your opinion on something then realise that you have not given them the answer that they were either expecting or hoping for?
Getting negative feedback from people who do not know you personally is something you can brush off quite easily (usually). What do they know about the real you, eh? But how are you to react when that person does know you and you have just been on the receiving end of a less than glowing remark?
This is what it can be like when you share something with people you know and love and you are looking for a particular reaction. If you don’t get it, you feel embarrassed and this could lead to an awkward silence and a tumble-weed moment. Where do you go from there?
No one wants to place themselves or their friends and family in that awkward situation so one way to avoid this is to avoid asking the question.
Again, your true friends will be there to support you, through thick and thin. If they do have something negative to say, it is usually in your best interests and not meant in a malicious way. If you trust them enough, you should be able to realise this. You might not realise this immediately but once you take the time to digest their feedback, you might be able to understand where they are coming from.
I Would Like To Apologise To My Real World Friends
This is my open letter (post?!) of apology to my offline real world friends Nikki, Daniel and Rosalie. I want to say that I am sorry that I have not shared my online world with you. I love you but I fear that I will bore you with my computer talk about stuff and nonsense that interests me.
Friendship is a give and take relationship. We get on well with each other because we respect each other and are there to provide support through the good times and the bad times.
I forget and I know that I need to constantly remind myself that a long term friendship is not based solely on the good times. That is what acquaintances are for.
I know that true friends will always be interested in all aspects of their friends life, even if they don’t get some of it, even if they do not agree with some of the choices you make.
True friends will be there with a cup of tea or a comforting batch of home made brownies when you are sad. True friends will be there with a bottle of champagne and will join you in your happy dance to celebrate your successes.
From this point on, I will endeavour to tell you more about my online goings on because I know that we can talk about anything and everything. I value your friendships, your opinions and your support. I do not want to take you for granted or to insult your intelligence by expecting the worse from you. I know that you have my best interest at heart because we are buddies, mates, comrades and life long friends.
I look forward to strengthening our friendships day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year. This means that I look forward to bombarding you with lots of computer geek speak in the future. Are you ready for that?
I will stop now before I start crying. I love ya!
Have Your Say: How much of your online world do you share with your real world friends? Does any of the above resonate with you? I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.