Only Connect

When I started blogging a few years ago, FoxyJ seemed like a perfectly decent pseudonym--cute and fun, kind of like myself. But then I started meeting people in person and having to say it out loud; there seems to be something a bit embarrassing about calling yourself 'foxy' in person. I hope that most people realize that at least a bit of irony is involved in the name.

I had another great opportunity to meet people and make more connections yesterday at the Sunstone conference. I came home exhausted from travelling and from spending all day listening to and conversing with other people, but it was the positive exhaustion of energy spent on good things. I'm glad I chose to go down Friday night and spend some time with my friend Skylark; she was generous in allowing me to stay at her apartment and talk her ear off, and it was a much-needed break from my regular routine.

The conference was also a fabulous experience; I attended sessions on a variety of topics and came away feeling enlightened and enriched. Th. read his paper (in a lively and entertaining way, of course) and Maxine Hanks responded and no one wanted to end the session and our discussion of vampires, werewolves, and the psychology of Mormon women. I also got to meet Johnna from Segullah in person, and admit that my ego was inflated by the fact that she was just as excited to meet me as I was to meet her. I also met some other bloggers and was just as happy to find a little community of people who were all eager to meet each other in person. Blogging is sometimes regarding as a waste of time, or a poor substitute for 'real' friendships. I think that blogs and things like Facebook are only tools and can be used to facilitate connections with people.

I realized this yesterday as I was driving home. I get a lot out of blogging and commenting on the blogs of other people. I do feel like we get to know each other and that we can share something of value. At the same time, though, we need in-person connections. We need to see people as something tangible, not just words and images on a screen. Blogging and Facebook are tempting because they are so easy. Not that they don't take time, but they don't take as much work as other ways of maintaining connections. Everyone involved in the conference this weekend invested a lot of time and effort. But everyone had the same goal: forging some kind of connection with others. Sharing something of ourselves and listening to the contributions of others. I've realized also that this is why I keep attending church; not only to commune with God, but with those around me. It takes work, but when that work is rewarded by connection it is all worth it. Because in the end, those connections are one of the few things we will take with us when we're done here on Earth.

Comments

Vanessa Swenson said…
I love your nym.

I've learned things thru blogging and reading other people's blogs that I would never have known otherwise.

Whoop for blogging!
Kristeee said…
I've loved making friends through blogs, and blogging and facebook enable enable me to keep in touch more regularly with my far-away friends. It's been really fun reconnecting with friends I've lost through several moves. I have to admit, though, that I use the internet as a crutch. I'm much more chicken to reach out in person.

I'm surprised at how much work some relationships take. I've been burned a couple times (as we all have), and am more hesitant than I used to be to really reach out and befriend others. I hope to work through and outgrow this "keep it to myself" tendency. Church is good for that. :)
clinics said…
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Th. said…
.

Clinics always cracks me up, how he quotes you and then links to a******s. Hilarious. I'm glad blogging has connected us to so many spammers.
smart mama said…
I love connections- to me they are the spice of life. I lvoe how technology is making it easier to ahve and maintian them adne ven give us new ways to conenct .I am glad you got to meet johnna- she rocks!
I would have loved your vampire/werewolf discussion. I have finally figured out why I'm so bothered by Bella: it is totally a gospel thing. If the vampire books had not been written by an LDS woman, it probably wouldn't bother me. But then, of course, I probably wouldn't have read them either.

What I mean by it being a gospel thing is that in the end, Bella gets it all: perfect husband, wealth untold, perfect child, even those she was horrible and deceptive to don't hate her, surrounded by others with the same longevity, perfect body, eternal life . . .

And no Savior.

I feel like she cheated. And by "she" I might mean Stephenie Meyer.
sarah said…
My email address is "princessmommy"...like you it sounded cute since my name means princess and I'm the mommy to 4 little girls but man did I feel dumb giving it to the stake presidency!!!!

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