The People We Call “Blog Friend”

Happy Birthday to Blog. Happy Birthday to Blog. Happy Birthday dear, The Captain’s Speech. Happy Birthday to Blog! How old are you now? How old are you now? How old are you now? How old are you now? Are you one? Are you two? Is it a mid-life crisis you’re going through? Are you seven?

I’ll stop there before this gets weird and I start singing, “What’s your girlfriend’s first name?” to my blog. No need to embarrass it.

This blog turns seven-years-old today. They really do grow up so fast. Give me a minute to sniffle and fake cry.

Seven years ago, I didn’t know what I was doing in life. Now, I still don’t. But around 2:33AM on June 23, 2013, starting this blog felt like something I needed to do. Almost as if a divine force was leading me in this direction.

Since then, this blog has meant everything to me.

I was naive when I first started. I just assumed that I would post something, a bunch of random people would yell at me about it, and then I’d do it again, and so would they.

That is what I thought the internet was. A place where happy people were brought down by miserable people until everyone was miserable.

One of the first comments I got on my blog actually scared me. It was a nice comment. The person talked about things I mentioned in my post. I was terrified. Who are you and how dare you address me in such a tone? How did you find me?

You know the scene in Home Alone where Kevin hides under the bed? That is how I felt by that nice comment.

Silly Paul.

I never replied to it. I found it to be too suspicious. I didn’t even know if bloggers were supposed to reply to comments. There was no learner’s manual. I was new here.

No one told me there was a whole blogging community. Good thing, too. I would’ve probably thought it was the equivalent to a neighbourhood watch group, where we have monthly meetings and discuss disturbances in our comments section.

Heck, some of us do.

The first time I was nominated for a blog award, it took me a few minutes to realize I didn’t actually win anything. And then I stressed out over how I was supposed to nominate ten bloggers for the award, when I only followed seven.

Would I be flagged for failure to follow the rules of a fictitious award?

This was all new to me. Nowadays, I see so many new bloggers introduce themselves and say they’ve always thought about starting a blog and “finally got around to it.”

That was not me. I never thought about doing this, until (maybe) a week before I did it.

I have often wondered if the idea to start a blog was buried in my subconscious when I was younger. A few instances stand out to me as possible “seeds”, but how am I supposed to know for sure?

Eventually, I figured out what the blogging world was all about – it is an escape from the rest of the internet. What a delightful surprise!

No one was tearing each other down. No one was yelling. No one was being stubborn, obnoxious, or stupid. SOS, for short.

People were kind. They were supportive. They were attentive. They were caring.

Once I got past the whole, “Strangers on the internet are scary when they compliment my writing” thing, I started making blog friends.

I have come to realize that only bloggers can fully understand other bloggers. There is a common link between all of us, and I can see it in a lot of the posts on my Reader. It’s hard for me to put it into words, but it’s there.

It’s the “Blogger Gene” for lack of a more scientific/pre-existing term.

That gene is always visible when we share posts that tell a personal story of struggle, or fear of the unknown, but then we talk ourselves into finding the positive and end with a moral. I know you know what I’m talking about.

Those posts are really a letter to ourselves. They are the proof in the pudding – the raison d’être – for why we blog.

People who don’t blog may not understand why we share the things we do. They may think it’s a waste of time. They may see it as a chore to write for no reason.

There is a reason, though. Always.

One of the reasons I write is because there might be someone out there who needs to see my words. And I don’t mean that in a pompous way, at all.

I’ve received numerous comments over the years from people who have told me that something I wrote is exactly what they needed to read that day. Or that my blog acted as a nice distraction for them. Or it made them laugh when they needed a laugh.

I love being able to do that for people. I think a lot of bloggers do.

This is what is lost on other social media platforms, amidst all the yelling.

Here, it’s different. It’s a cult-like utopia, but not. It is humanity at its most patient and understanding.

We listen to each other. We take the time to learn about people from different countries, instead of falling back on the stereotype we’re supposed to have of them.

I am proud to say I have blog friends in countries all over the world. Getting to know people, who I would have never met otherwise, has been so rewarding.

Over the last seven years, the people I talk to on a daily basis has shifted. I find myself messaging other bloggers as often (usually more) as people I know in real life.

I should find this weird. I don’t.

Maybe there’s a greater discussion to be had here about how friendships are significantly aided by social media and that being with people, in person, isn’t the only way to develop a true friendship.

Who knew that liking and commenting on someone’s blog could lead to so much good? It’s almost as if being kind and supportive of people is the key to happy relationships between all of us.

What a concept.

There are some bloggers I can talk to as if I’ve known them forever, and yet we’re from different countries. I’ve learned that borders don’t matter; being a good human being is what counts. A sense of humour also helps.

I think we’ve all had that moment when we enter a new school and we’re trying find our group. You know, those people we get along with and can be ourselves around.

Blogging is very much the same way, except all we have are words and a profile picture. Somehow, that’s more than enough.

I started this blog after I graduated from university. I was missing my friends and it felt like there was a void in my life because no one really tells us where we’re supposed to make friends in the real world. Little did I know, it would be the internet.

We call each other blog friends, but there’s really no need for the word “blog”. We are friends. Family, to some extent.

Wait, I have an analogy.

We are like kids away at an overnight camp, coming from everywhere, but united in the same cabin. We play up the fact that we’re tired and want to sleep, but deep down we just want to talk and laugh a little bit longer because we’re having so much fun.

I am so thankful for stumbling my way through the doggy door into this really big cabin known as the blogging community. Thank you for helping me get my hind legs in, safely.

May we all talk and laugh a little bit longer.

Goodnight.

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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72 Responses to The People We Call “Blog Friend”

  1. Happy blogiversary, Paul!! I’m glad I found your blog, it definitely brings a little happy to my life!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so nice! I’m very happy for you. Happy 7 years of blogging 🤗

    I resonate a lot with being new to blogging. At first, I tried blogging because I already loved writing about my life in a notebook. Then I wanted to digitalize my journal and share it to the world.

    But then someone replied to my first blog post. It feels different to receive an acknowledgement from a stranger… so I didn’t know what to do and I ended up hitting like and closing the browser.

    After blogging some more and realizing that there are other people who find value from my post, it immediately made me feel happy. Happier even because of what I did. Then I fell in love with being happy and helping others.

    I’ve met great people here and I know there are more nice bloggers out there waiting for me to know them. I love it here and I think I’ve found my passion because of it. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you for sharing this! I feel the same happiness when I know that someone found value in something I wrote. I think that’s what has kept me going for 7 years – the constant back and forth between myself and other bloggers and we build each other up via likes/comments and positivity. It’s a cool thing to be a part of.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “an escape from the rest of the internet”

    Yes. I agree with this. 🙂

    This is a recurring topic in my “blog gene” as well and I’m always a little astonished that people read my drivel, not to mention comment on it.

    Happy 7th Anniversary. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I think that’s the amazing thing about blogging. We all tip toe our way in and don’t expect anyone to read our stuff and then all of a sudden the notifications come in one by one and oops, we have friends all over the world. It’s amazing how it happens and I love it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! I like it too. Even the nurturing which sometimes can seem a little time consuming. But I take breaks when I need them and find I have a welcoming environment to come back to when I do feel like returning. Win win if you ask me. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Bill says:

    Happy blogiversary!

    I’m with you. Previous blogs I wrote didn’t have any readers, but when I started my current blog and decided to actually promote it on Twitter, I figured I’d read some and maybe some people would read mine. The concept of having buddies was something I never would have imagined.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you, Bill! I don’t know who gives out medals around here, but you deserve one for constantly promoting other bloggers. It means a lot to them/us.

      Having blog friends was so unexpected. That should be the #1 benefit they advertise to people for starting their own blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats!! And happy birthday to your blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. James says:

    Happy Blogiversary! When I first stumbled into the blogosphere, yours was one of the first (possibly the first) blogs that I followed. I like to think I was always a pretty decent writer, but I think I really started to get what ‘blogging’ was by following you. You’re like the blogger’s blogger.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on 7 years of blogging! That is a huge accomplishment 🙂 I started blogging in 2013 too and also had the “stranger danger” feeling with comments and wanting to hide under the bed when I got my first comment. I still feel that way sometimes but mostly I enjoy the interaction with people who I can relate to and who relate to me too.

    I agree that we should all drop the blog in front of “blog friends.” We may not know each other in real life but we are all still friends.

    Looking forward to another 7+ years of reading your posts. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you, Hayley! I don’t know about you but I think I grew up thinking that interacting with people on the internet was a one way trip to being conned or something, so hearing from strangers was scary at first lol

      Definitely. And sometimes it feels like we all know each other better than the people we know in real life. It’s really cool.

      Like

  8. Happy 7th birthday to your blog! Paul, you were one of the first people who interacted with me when I started my blog a few years ago. Thank you so much for your encourgement and support and to quote you, there will always ‘ be someone out there’ who needs to read your words. Here’s to talking and laughing a little bit longer. Enjoy your blog birthday!xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Laura! I made it my silent mission to discover new bloggers and help them feel welcome because the early days of blogging and I just wanted to be there so people like you would keep at it. Glad to see you’re still going!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy 7 years Paul!! I wish I could stay consistent as you have been! Hope all is well and you are safe and sound ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      What a treat this is. The OG! So good to hear from you Jenna! I don’t think you know the impact you had on me all the way back in 2013. You were one of the first (if not the first) to actually care about my blog and be someone I could call a friend. I’ll always remember it. I hope you’re doing well!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my goodness! Paul! You are going to make me cry! I had an impact on you?! I felt the same way about you too 🙂 you were always there to support me. Even when I couldn’t string more then 2 words together without an F bomb lol I adore you and your writing style! I may not be on the app often but I get your posts in my email and read them often! Stay safe❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        A big impact! I had like 22 followers and you were there reading and commenting on each post when hardly anyone else was. You made me feel comfortable in this blogging world. I’ll never forget it. And your rants were legendary lol you’re Jenna Rambles for a reason.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul! You have literally made my day and week! You care about your readers and that is what makes you special and sets you apart. All these people are here to support you because not only do you have awesome content, but you make people feel a connection with you! So proud of you and what your blog has become! Love always ❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  10. peckapalooza says:

    Happy blogiversary, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Becky says:

    HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY! 🎉 I brought an ice cream cake.

    When things get crazy on my other social media platforms, I turn to WordPress because I know I have friends here. And we all support each other. Blogging is a different way to get to know someone; like the posting is much different than Twitter or Instagram and I feel more of a community here.

    I know I’ve mentioned this before but remember when we first became online friends and our messages were civil? Now it’s just a lot of caps lock yelling and sending random tweets. But I definitely think I talk to my friends on WordPress than my own friends in real life 😂🤷🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Well, I guess if there was ever a time to have ice cream cake for this first time, this is it. Soooo do we wait for it to thaw a bit, or how does this work?

      Hahah oh Becky, those early days were hilarious, now that we can look back on it. I think it was an unintentional feeling out process and then we’re like screw it, UNLEASH THE CAPS LOCK. Do you remember what it was that made us transition to the yelling?

      Blogging is definitely the best form of social media I’ve ever been apart of. The rest of the world will never know.

      Like

      • Becky says:

        I normally tell people who ask at work to take it out like 10 minutes before you eat it but I’m not really sure if that’s true. But you do have to let it sit for a little while but not too long or else it’ll start to melt, and melting ice cream cakes are hard to control.

        I wish I remembered…I’m sure it was something sports related. Bullpen carts? idk

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Google says to thaw it 30 minutes in the fridge, or 15 minutes on the counter, so “like 10 minutes” is a good enough guideline.

        It was definitely sports related. Maybe it had to do with the fantasy baseball draft? I don’t know.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Happy Blogiversary … The average blog lasts just three months. Three months before the writer’s well runs dry or they just drift away. Those blogs that continue are a true gift to all of us. So congratulations for a vibrant and alive blog!

    Here’s the advice that I give to writers … and it’s pretty simple: Write every day (even if it’s just a sentence) and read more than you write. Happy seven years and here’s to the next seven.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you! True story – I almost stopped blogging after two months but then realized I didn’t have to be a sports blog and could write about anything because who was gonna stop me? Haha.

      I like that advice! I often find that the books and blogs I read have an influence over how and what I write.

      Like

  13. Catherine says:

    Happy blogging anniversary. I am just going ahead and thank you, as many did before me. I think, you created a great community and through your blog I found new blogs I like. Yours was one of the first blogs I actively followed and also took the time to react once in a while. Thank you for your time blogging and thank you for the many smiles you sent and send out with your writing. Your friend from Luxembourg.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. PoojaG says:

    Happy Blogiversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. rebbit7 says:

    Happy seven years, Paul! My seven years are coming up this December. It’s incredible just how much our blog changes with us as we change over the years. Very interesting you had qualms about negative reactions to your blog; that sentiment didn’t cross my mind when I started blogging, but I can see the possibility of it happening, especially if deciding to talk about a controversial topic. But what I’ve found from blogging on WordPress is a very-welcoming community; even if we have our differences, most of us bring up discussions civilly and it’s been nothing but a positive experience. I will continue to read your posts, and I hope you will keep on blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you! I like how our two blogs have sort of moved parallel with one another for the last seven years. It feels like we’re in the same grade at school or something lol.

      I think I just assumed that wherever there was a comment section on the internet, there would always be people causing a disturbance. I had no clue that bloggers were wired differently and, as you said, would bring up discussions in a civil manner. It was very refreshing to find that out.

      Looking forward to celebrating your seven years in December!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I am really happy you continue to do this. I always look forward to it. I stepped away and I fear I may not go back. You are encouraging me to change my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. To my identical Canadian twin brother, Paul—who looks nothing like me in real life but who in another life (isn’t reincarnation amazing?) an exact spitting image of me and my alternate self—I wish to congratulate you on the seventh anniversary of your blog, The Captain’s Speech! Your blog was one of the very first blogs I found on WordPress and upon discovering your blog, I promptly planted a flag and claimed it for America—unlike that boob, Columbus, who settled for several Caribbean islands instead. He, of course, missed North America entirely in the process, not to mention your splendid blog as well! Which is also in North America, eh? Okay, I admit to having a little advantage over Columbus in finding your blog, being as we both have the same first name (mom and dad always did like you better, but that’s only because you speak Canadian better than I do as you’re actually from Canada and I’m only from the southern part of Canada twice removed, or better known as, California), but I still found your blog. And in any event, I bet I’m more fluent in English-Canadian than you, and I bet I can still speak better Pig Latin (thanks Rosetta Stone) than you—but let’s not go there as that’s nothing more than an old boarING sibling rivalry thing anyway. The important thing here is, your blog has turned seven and is fun for me and others to come and read—except during the NBA basketball season when the Toronto Raptors are playing. Then it’s just shear agony. Otherwise, dear brother, it’s a complete joy! But, seriously Paul, I love your blog and the joy it brings to me and to everyone else. And who couldn’t use more joy right now, right? :O)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Paul, my identical American twin brother – who looks nothing like me because of the red nose (I’m pretty sure that’s the difference, but I can’t quite put my finger on it, or sniff it out). I don’t know how you come up with these extravagant comments every single time, but they are a joy to read. Thank you for being a friend and for being a comedic inspiration. You have a style the rest of us could only dream of replicating. Thank you for sharing your cluttered attic with us…which only inevitably made it more cluttered, sorry about that.

      Like

      • LOL, you’re quite right Paul, my attic has become more cluttered of late—which could result in my actually posting something new for change. But, I want you to know that no matter how cluttered my attic may get, I promise never to throw out my forged copy of The Captain’s Speech which I managed to get duplicated by some English two-bit hustler calling himself Bill, who said he’d wrote few sonnets and some plays but from now on was going to go by some ridiculous name like, Shakespeare? Yeah I’d never heard of him either, but hey, he copied it real cheap for me, so. Anyway, if memory serves me correct, that was the speech you gave in some old stinky locker room back in the day when sports were still a thing. You know, before pandemics replaced them by making us all couch potatoes. The copy of that speech still sits up in my attic in a special glass case made of sugar glass—it’s a kind of glass you might find sitting around on a Hollywood backlot somewhere in Orlando and molded in the form of a bottle used to break over some character’s head in a movie. I have it tucked away in that glass case up there so that should there ever be an earthquake, fire, flood, or alien invasion of some kind I can follow the instruction on the glass case (break glass in case of emergency) and quickly remove this precious document (now more famous than the Magna Carta) in a flash. Thus, preventing it from being swallowed up by some fissure in the earth, burning up in some California wildfire, being washed down a drain for some alligator in a sewer to chomp on, or god forbid, falling into the wrong hands of a 3 fingered alien type—as opposed to falling into the hands of a 9 tentacle alien life form. Paul, I just want you to know that I only did this to make sure that your blog “The Captain’s Speech” will never fall into the wrong (odd-numbered) hands—as opposed to an even-handed person—and that I have no nefarious (non-monetary) plan to hijack your blog in any way. So just know that I feel The Captain’s Speech is now in great hands, and that an eighth anniversary all but assured. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        This is the reassurance I needed. Hang onto that parchment – I assume it’s parchment, what else would Bill write on? – as if your life depends on it. Also, look out for that Bill fellow. He changes his name a lot. I think he’s going by Will right now, or maybe “Will, I Am”. No one knows where the comma came from. Stay safe out there.

        Like

      • 😀 Stay safe as well my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Authoress51 says:

    That was awesome. I guess I snuck in through the Cat Door then, since they seem to allow all types of animals here.
    Happy Blogaversary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you! Good thing we snuck in when we did and reserved our spot, what happens when elephants show up at the door? (I don’t know what this means lol)

      Like

  19. Sarah Warsi says:

    Congratulations Paul! Quite the achievement! I’m so glad to have ‘met’ you through our respective blogs! Keep up the great writing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  21. Great thoughts about the blogging community! It really is nice. Bloggers are civilized.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. happy blogging anniversary paul

    Liked by 1 person

  23. gsilvosa63 says:

    All you said is true, Paul! Your writing hit a good nerve nerve and I enjoy reading it.

    Congratulations on 7 years of blogging and may you have many more years to come!

    I am younger (in blog years) than you and I hope that I will also hit the milestones that you did.

    Liked by 1 person

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