I was just over on my Facebook Page and someone had asked me for more info on my books. What I was working on, what was up next. At that moment, I had this horrifying feeling that I’d been posting so much silly, funny stuff, I’d neglected to post what most people were probably there to find–book info! (I always feel slightly off about pushing and plugging myself!) Mostly, I’d been re-posting photos with funny captions, jokes, lots of positive, uplifting quotes, and anything posted by George Takei. (Yes, that George Takei.)
I did what any horrified social networker would do. I immediately posted all the latest book news, followed quickly by asking my followers if I’d been posting too much silly stuff.
Their replies really touched me. By and large, they all said they just loved my silly posts, especially the personal ones. They loved that I post about my kids, grandkids, dogs, family, favorite TV shows, corny jokes, and all my Positive-Pollyanna “create your own reality” stuff, too. One of my followers said–wait a minute, wait a minute. Followers? Really? One of my followers? Doesn’t that sound like I’m some kind of charismatic cult leader or something? Sheesh!
Okay, back on topic. One of my facebook page regular visitors (that’s better but still too long) posted that when I litter my page with funny personal stuff, it makes her feel like a friend, instead of just a reader.
And it took me a second to digest that, because my immediate reaction was, well, duh, you are a friend.
Now okay, that sounds kind of sappy, not to mention self-serving. But it’s not. And I certainly don’t mean to suggest that the people visiting me on line, whom I’ve never met, are as dear to me as those who’ve been by my side going through life with me. But friends? Yes, yes they are. And let me tell you why.
Friendship is, to me, an emotional connection.
When I write my stories, I am literally pouring my heart out. I laugh out loud at the funny parts, and I cry at the sad parts and I scare the beetlejuice out of myself at the scary parts. (I really do. Someone walked into my office once during a particularly scary scene, and when I realized they were there I screeched and jumped out of my chair with my heart in my throat.)
Anyway, later on, years later, perhaps, someone in some other part of the country, some other part of the world, maybe, reads those words, and they laugh in the places where I was laughing, they cry in the places I was crying, and their hearts race in the very spot where mine was racing. It’s a connection. It’s a rare and special connection.
Living in the age of the Internet, the age of Facebook and Twitter and all the rest, gives those of us today a unique opportunity we’ve never had before. We get a chance to deepen that connection with our readers. To put a face (or at least a profile picture) and a name, to what used to be an anonymous book purchaser. We can share a joke, life events, joys and challenges with one another. We can ask for and share advice with each other. I get asked for a lot of advice, probably because of my status as clergy, my Law of Attraction expertise, and my advice column (now a book, commercial coming later.) As clergy, I’ll never be too busy to offer it. Because I care.
I think the world is getting smaller. I think the Internet has helped that to happen. And I’m so glad I live in this time. I think the odd illusion that mankind has kept intact for so long, the illusion that we’re separate, individual beings, is falling apart. More and more we can’t help but see that we’re all cells in one bigger organism. We’re all parts of a greater whole. We’re the physical extension of the Divine. Spirit wanted to experience physicalness, and we are the result. One. We’re ONE.
So yes, those people on my FB page are friends. Those people reading my stories are friends too. More than that. They’re me. And I’m them. We are so so so much the same. We’re all God’s eyes and hands and hearts on earth. And what’s not to “LIKE” about that?
I sign most of my emails; Hugs, Maggie
I only do that because I can’t actually give you one in person.
PS: My book SHAYNE ON YOU, a compilation of several months of my advice column along with numerous blog posts, essays and other writings is going to be FREE
for 5 days beginning on Valentine’s Day. (Kindle only for now. It’ll go up everywhere in March, promise!)
‘Cause I couldn’t get you each a heart-shaped box of chocolates.