Because you're (obviously) missing us terribly, we have a very wonderful friend coming to ease your suffering today.
We've known Lydia since forever. (It's been 3 years, but don't question it. That's forever.) She is our first internet friend and...still is. Cait talks to her basically every day (this may be annoying, but hey, that's Cait for you) and they are quite possibly a) best friends, b) cyber twins, or c) both.
And for that, we've made her an honorary Notebook Sister for today. (Isn't her sketch adorable? Mime drew it. It's captures Lydia perfectly.)
Lydia is a blogger, design student, enthusiastic bookworm, and mashed potato devotee. Due to starting fall classes and a new job, she is currently reading nothing . . . which is both highly unusual and depressing. She claims full credit for Cait’s sob-fests over Code Name Verity and The Book Thief, and is also responsible for introducing Cait and Mime to Goodreads. Yes, she is brilliant, and her taste in literature is impeccable. You can find her at Planet Lydia, Twitter, and The Book Chewers.
Greetings, blogglings. I’m Lydia.
Cait asked me to blog-sit while she was away. As a matter of fact, she gave me full permission to spill all of her dirty secrets. (That may have been sarcasm speaking, but Cait and sarcasm are basically synonymous.) So yeah . . . she gave me permission.
However, I’d like our friendship to continue (and I’m well aware that she knows some of my secrets). So instead, I’m going to tell you a bit about our friendship and wind up with some thoughts on what makes a good blogging friend and how to find one.
How Lydia Met the Notebook Sisters
I’ve known Cait and Mime for three years, which is practically forever on the internet. As such, I feel quite entitled to use this GIF. It perfectly illustrates how I feel every time I scroll through all the comments you leave on their posts. There are so MANY of you. It’s overwhelming. But I’m honestly thrilled by NS’s success . . . it’s well-deserved! Also, I enjoy feeling smug and hipster, because I liked Notebook Sisters before they were cool.
When I first started blogging, I knew absolutely nothing about the blogosphere and didn’t picture anyone actually reading my blog.
I was just getting used to my first three or four real followers (i.e. people I didn’t know in real life) when Mime first commented on one of my posts.
As such, my reaction was very much “Who are you, and how did you find me?”
To my credit, I refrained from bopping her on the head with a frying pan or shutting her up in a wardrobe. After all, a comment about The Boxcar Children is not exactly sinister. But I was a bit scared of clicking on unknown blogs, so I didn’t re-pay her visit.
I don’t remember how or when I decided to risk it, but I did eventually visit Notebook Sisters. I discovered that Mime blogged with her sister, and to my relief, the two of them looked harmless. In fact, they seemed a lot like me. So we struck up a friendship. They followed me and I followed them . . . which was a huge deal, since neither of our blogs had reached double digits. We left enthusiastic comments on each other’s posts, and our blogs slowly expanded and evolved.
After we’d known each other for a year or so, I asked if they wanted to correspond via e-mail. They replied with a resounding yes. We had a set-up where they would ask me a couple questions, and I would reply with answers and questions for them. Our correspondence lasted all l of two months. Then Mime returned to school, and Cait and I discovered how convenient Facebook’s chat feature is.
Frankly, we’re a bit out of control at this point. We exchange insults, flattery, various sarcasms, stupid/brilliant ideas, deep thoughts, and hilarious pins on an almost daily basis. If I’m late for dinner, my family blames it on Cait. If I start grinning at my screen, my brother accuses me of chatting with Cait. We even have an official friendship motto: “We are awesome. And humble.”
How to Find A BBF (Best Blogging Friend)
Blogging is undoubtedly best with a BBF or two. But how does one find these marvelous creatures? I’m no expert, but these are my thoughts on the matter:
This is a no-duh. You have to start a conversation to find a friend. It’s the online version of small talk, but it’s muchmuch less awkward, and therefore superior.
Find someone who shares a few of your interests.
This can be an exasperating task offline, but the internet makes it super easy and fun. After all, most people blog specifically for the purpose of sharing their interests. Read their posts, look at their profiles, and scroll through their Pinterest or Goodreads. If you seem to share a hobby or a favorite book or movie genre. . . BAM. There’s the start of a friendship. But remember, you don’t have to have everything in common. Just a place to start. Which brings me to my next thought.
Your blogs don’t have to match.
Cait is my Australian twin. It’s creepy how many thoughts, ideas, and experiences we have in common. But our blogs don’t make that apparent at all. She writes hilarious ARC reviews, joins linkups, compares book genres to pizza, and illustrates her posts with GIFs of Iron Man and Dean Winchester. I take my own photographs with a DSLR and write about design, art, and books . . . interspersed with more personal, journal-style posts. Our content and aesthetic are completely different.
Point is, you don’t have to write about the same things to be friends. Cait loves my posts, I love hers, and they lead to great conversations. (Same goes for Mime, even though she’s largely abandoned us for her academic and musical pursuits.) I’ve noticed that bloggers tend to exclusively read blogs that fit in their own niche, and I think it’s a shame. If you’re a book blogger who loves to eat, why shouldn’t you be friends with a food blogger who loves to read?
Connect outside of your blogs.
Cait and I still interact through our blogs. But our friendship has moved way beyond that, because of e-mail, Facebook, and Pinterest. We’re real friends (see next point), so we talk about a lot of stuff that never reaches the blogs.
If you get along fabulously with another blogger, consider asking if them to be pen-pals! Find a way to have private conversations. Skype, chat, write snail mail, maybe even meet in person. Whatever works. But don’t rush this stage, and make sure you and your blog friend are on the same page. It’s natural (also wise) to be cautious. And if you’re underage, it’s a good idea for both of you to check with your parents before sharing any personal contact information.
Treat your blogging friend like a real friend, because they are real.
We’ve all seen articles about teens and social media vs. “real life” interaction, and there’s definitely a lot to be said on the issue. But using the phrase “real life” seems like a mistake to me. Yes, online interaction is different than face-to-face interaction . . . but it is absolutely real.
So treat your blogging friends like real people (actually, treat everyone on the internet like a real person). Respect their feelings, be polite, respond to them, give them encouragement and compliments. Remember that you can’t see their face or body language, so make sure you’re communicating clearly.
What about you?
Do you have any BBFs? How did you meet them? What would you add to my post? I’ll be sticking around to reply to comments, so leave me one! (Now is your chance to ask any burning questions you have about Cait and/or Mime. I’ll make up a bunch of whoppers, and Cait can do damage control when she gets back.)