Saturday, April 10, 2010

Finding Your People

I heard through the grapetubes that people are having trouble commenting here. This is like inviting everyone over for coffee and cookies, then binding and gagging them and doing your schtick without so much as asking them how they are. Jeepers, sorry about that! Now you should at least be able to comment as Anonymous if you can't sign into Google.

Remember the days when we roamed in tribes, depending on each other for our survival, sharing in the hunt, sitting around the fire listening to stories, singing songs, dancing and drumming? No? Too bad you missed it. Good times.

For some of us these days, the internet is as close as we can get to a “these are my people” feeling. My old friends (and I don't mean old friends, I mean old friends) divulged yesterday that they aren't quite sure what a blog is or how to find one. Some of you may be here only because you got an email with the four most dreaded words in the English Language: “I've started a blog.” Followed by a link. Followed by a subtle sense of shame when next you see me because you have not clicked and read.

If you're not familiar with Blogworld, it can be pretty overwhelming. There are a lot of souls out there just blah-blah-blogging away, and God bless them all, but God does not read them all, I assure you, and neither should you. Instead, you will choose one or two blogs that feel like home. When you read the comments, you will find a myriad of like-minded, clever, witty souls that you never imagined existed, at least not if you live in rural Michigan. It's really quite lovely, and very much like finding your tribe and running with it. You don't know what your tribal members look like, but that's probably a plus: you can imagine they are all very dreamy and well-chiseled. Sometimes members of other tribes stop in just to throw rocks and sticks at the group. They don't believe in evolution and are attempting to prove their theory. They're best ignored, but there's nothing like having your tribe rally around and form a protective wall against those kind of blog-floggers. They need to go back to where they belong.

If you want to find “your people,” run a search on something you're intensely curious about or that really matters to you. I like Andrew Sullivan, who doesn't allow for comments but does post readers' letters when they are informed, intelligent, or provide a unique point of view. Checking in with him daily helps me feel like I know what's going on in the world and on the intertubes and makes me a much better conversationalist with 3D people. Sullivan covers stories that the mainstream media simply will not touch, and they are usually the ones that matter most. Palingates is a blog that, on its surface, is about exposing the many "gates" of a certain unbalanced celebrity. Join the discussion, though, and you'll find it's a support group for people who are recovering from the trauma of being related to a narcissist.

I hope this inspires you to join an online discussion, and to share your favorites in comments below. And I hope that opening the comments up to anonymous users won't subject us to neanderthal rock-throwers.


brenda said...

Great links, but I killed an hour wandering in for a look! Clicking a link is like being 22 years old and out with friends at the bar even though you have to get up and work the next day. "Just one more and then I'll go..."

Babs Jaworski said...

Maybe that's why I hope "the grapetubes" takes off; a little and you're giddy, too much and you're flushed with regret.

Anonymous said...

*grunts and throws rock*