Are You Ready Player One? What No One Tells You About Blogging

By: | November 27, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , ,

AngelwaldWhat is the theme of READY PLAYER ONE?

In 2012, Ernest Cline wrote a book called READY PLAYER ONEIt details a virtual society in which people befriend (and marry!) others they never meet.  They get educations from schools they never physically attend.  They travel to places without leaving their computer screens.  Cline’s theme is that virtual reality is bad.  Virtual interactions should not replace real ones, and virtual experiences are inferior to the real-life kind.  I disagree with Mr. Cline.

As Americans, we say thanks on Thanksgiving for what we appreciate all year round. When I pondered what would be this, my Thanksgiving post, I asked myself what I was grateful for on this day.  Blogging came to mind.  Of course, my husband is as great as ever, and my daughters, relatives, friends, pets, and students all continue to make the metaphorical sun shine in my world.  However, this Thanksgiving, I have blogging to be grateful for, and I never expected just how much.

Clive explains in his book why a virtual education is substandard–it’s boring.  My education these past three weeks has been fascinating.  By watching YouTube videos, reading articles about blogging, reading others blogs, and getting tutelage from other bloggers, my education in blogging, technology, and social media has increased.  In addition, I found out information I never knew. Just yesterday, I was followed by the Christian Pinterest.  Who knew there was a Christian version of Pinterest?  Not me.

Strangers are writing me from all over the planet, the United Kingdom was one example, to applaud my writing skills and courage.  As a result of my new knowledge and these kind compliments, my confidence has increased and what should have been a malaise over the passing of my little dog (see “I Once Had a Dog Named Nasty,” http://wp.me/p5jxvv-a), my preoccupation with blogging has uplifted me (see “How to Get Over the Death of the Family Dog,” http://wp.me/p5jxvv-1S).

When Strangers Became Friends

I have interacted with people I never thought I’d meet. When I blogged about a recent cancer scare in my post “Heaven Can Wait,” cancer victims and relatives of those stricken with cancer reached out to me.  When I blogged about allegations of abuse against Bill Cosby (see “Where There’s Smoke There’s…,”) abuse victims wrote me and were brave enough to share their stories with me, a total stranger.

Although my politics tend to be liberal, some of my greatest interactions have been with conservatives.  Opinionated Man, the author of the Harsh Reality blog, definitely doesn’t share my political views.  Yet, he has repeatedly allowed me to post on his site and responded to one of my pro-Obama blogs with the utmost respect.  I have “met” him, and other power bloggers.  Apparently, there are blogging celebrities ( who knew?) because I’ve come in contact with them.  A Canadian who won the Liebster Blogging Award reached out to me.  Mary (Jingle, Jangle, Jungle, and Ron (Liberal Values) who I met on Twitter gave me ideas to increase my traffic which worked.  In addition, Carol from the blog Battered Hope was interviewed on the radio and was kind enough to critique my blog for me.

Garry from the Seems to Me blog is from the deep south.  Together we’ve networked on how to attract more traffic to our sites, and he has repeatedly posted my writing to Google Plus which always results in a huge boost of traffic for me.  What do real friends do Mr. Cline?  They help and support each other.  When the technology inherent in blogging confuses me, Garry writes me a witticism along with a link to the answer, and the frustration is dissipated, definitely a friend.

I’ve “met” Alaskans, Canadians, and people who want to have a holiday gift exchange with me, just like “real” friends do.  Carolyn West from the Southern California Lady Bloggers group never hesitates to answer my questions and enabled me to network with her group.  Coincidentally, she turned out to be a friend of a friend.

My daughter asked me if I blog so much due to repressed feelings that needed expressing (see “May the Blogging Begin“).  Whatever my initial motivation.  I expected a rush when I was proud of my writing and fulfillment from expressing my analysis to the blogging community.  In addition to getting all I expected, I found a niche, a community of bloggers who share my passion for writing.

My opening paragraph explains that I disagree with Mr. Cline that real friendships and experiences are superior to virtual.  They are both valuable; they equally have worth. I am newly grateful for the latter, the virtual reality.

Related Book Reviews:

Bloggers & Marketers: How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Actually Blog Better with the Huffington Post

  1. Garry Rackley | at 11:59 am

    Really enjoyed your post and thanks for the kind words. I will add a comment later after things quiet down here.. And of course my Google+ followers will be happy to get another “Reflections” post!

  2. knottymarie | at 1:17 pm

    Thanks for the mention! There are lots of resources at our fingertips to improve our blogs. I feel like just a newbie somedays. Utilize your social media. Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Google+ Communities, Pinterest, etc.

  3. Anonymous | at 5:34 pm

    I am so excited about blogging myself. I thought for a while my love for writing had died, but to my surprise, I have something new to write everyday!!! I do agree that virtual reality is much better. Not only is it convenient most of the time, but it also removes some negative aspects of our society that come with physically interacting with people.

    • Janice Wald | at 11:13 pm

      How interesting! What a stance! Cline thinks reality is better, I think they’re equal, and you think virtual is better. Somehow I feel my position has been validated to a degree. I thought everyone would agree with Cline!
      I love science fiction. This was my first attempt to connect literature with real life. I’d like to encourage you to follow my blog so you can read more of my writing. How did you find me?
      Good luck with your blogging; I encourage you to do it, and thanks for reaching it out. Happy Thanksgiving.
      Janice

  4. Jenn Alex Brockman | at 7:31 pm

    This is my first visit to your blog and I’d like to say that I disagree with the author too. My best friend is someone I never got to meet, yet we did talk on the phone and via skype for several years. We met online and I miss her dearly since her passing.

    • Janice Wald | at 11:07 pm

      Hi Jenn,
      Thank you for reading what I wrote and commenting on my blog. You’d mentioned this is your first “visit” here. I would love to encourage you to follow my blog and came back again.
      As far as Clive’s theme: I am a huge sci fi fan. My Thanksgiving blog was my first attempt to reflect on the connection between literature and blogging. It’s been getting a lot of attention, so I’ll try to find a way to do it again.
      I am sorry about your friend’s passing. Definitely a loss whether it was on the computer or in person.
      Thank you again for reaching out today and Happy Thanksgiving.
      Janice

  5. Alana Mautone ( | at 1:22 pm

    Blogging has been a dream come true for me. In non-virtual reality, I am introverted and do not warm to people easily. Online, I can be at ease, and am not shy. It has been liberating. The online world is also a blessing for those with various disabilities, and the elderly/housebound.

    • Janice Wald | at 1:53 pm

      Hi Alana,
      Nice to “meet” you. 1. I agree. In my daily existence I do not consider myself creative. However, when I blog my creativity and even my humor (dare I say wit?) comes out. For this reason I agree that blogging does seem to liberate our qualities that don’t come out otherwise. Interesting.
      Next, you mentioned the disabled and elderly. I assumed this was great for stay-at-home moms, and my children are grown making me an anomaly. You’re right; there are other demographics blogging works well for. Thanks for the insightful comments.
      Janice

  6. Carrie Ann Tripp | at 4:24 pm

    I agree with so much that you have said here! I also know Carol and Mary whom you have mentioned! Woot woot! 🙂

    I love the conversations, diversity, and friendships made through this platform we call blogging!

    • Janice Wald | at 10:55 pm

      Hi Carrie Ann,
      Thank you so much for reading what I wrote and writing me. What a coincidence that we know the same people! Carol and Mary are both members of my “Follow for Follow” group since we are all interested in gaining new followers. If you are too, click the link, and put your blog link in a comment. That’s really all there is to it, except I recommended you follow the others back within three days; I heard it’s the protocol on Twitter and thought it sounded reasonable. The only other piece of advice (“rule” is too strong a word) is that you click the “notify me of new comments” box so you don’t have to keep checking back to see if there are new links left. Here is the link to the page: http://wp.me/P5jxvv-2m
      I’m glad you could relate to what I’m feeling about blogging. Thanks again for writing. Check out the link.
      Janice

  7. adrianscrazylife | at 7:40 pm

    I agree too. I’ve got tons of friends that I have met through my blog. Many of them I have met in person and many of them I haven’t, but it is interesting how the online relationship kind of “layers” the in-person relationship because you know a lot about the person before you actually meet them. Have you ever been to a blog conference? I’m kind of a blog conference “junkie” – I’ve been to about 10 of them and am about to go on a blogger cruise soon. They are WONDERFUL and I am still friends with people I met at conferences more than five years ago. #SITSSharefest

    • Janice Wald | at 3:51 am

      Hi Adrian,
      1. Thanks so much for writing. I apologize for not getting back to you sooner.
      2. A blogging cruise! They have those? How cool is that!
      3. I would love to go to a blogging conference. I badly need the networking. I have to meet other bloggers. I genuinely don’t know any in my daily life. What state are you in?
      4. What is #SITSSharefest? Is it a hashtag I should be using on Twitter or…?
      Thanks for writing. If you don’t mind writing back, I’d appreciate all the information I can get. I’m new to blogging. Thank you!!
      PS I assume you found me on SITSGirls. Do they only have a linky party on Saturday? Thanks for the information regarding both questions.
      Janice

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    • Janice Wald | at 7:10 pm

      Thanks so much. I feel like you and I have become friends. We have much in common like blogging teaching and I think we are close in age. What do you blog about? Do you have a theme? Thank you as always for the kind words about my writing. Janice

        • Janice Wald | at 10:47 pm

          Hi, That makes sense, what you blog about, you seem like an outdoor kind of person due to your Parks and Rec experience.
          Thanks for the compliment about my writing and calling me a friend. It means a lot. I’ve never gotten paid for my writing other than as a teacher so to be called “journalistic” is a wonderful compliment. Almost eleven–school tomorrow. Finishing up comments. I’ll check your posts another day. Thanks for sending them.
          Janice

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  12. Janice Wald | at 2:33 pm

    You read my post(s) about my dog Angel. Eight months later, and I am still mourning that little guy. Thank you for writing me and telling me about your dogs.
    Janice

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  14. Joy | at 5:49 pm

    Love this post – definitely one of the things I love about blogging. And thought it may begin as virtual, it doesn’t have to stay that way – I actually met my life partner through our blogs and now he and I live together happily…and are having a baby! it also reminds me of what I usually do in November – which is my 30 Days of Thanks…looking forward to doing it again. Glad to have found you through Suzie’s Blog Party!

    • Janice Wald | at 4:40 pm

      Hi Joy!
      Thank you so much for following my blog, and the nice comments about my post. Congratulations–you are having a baby! How exciting! I am glad we met as well.
      Janice

  15. Rob Alberts | at 5:50 am

    I agree on you. Facing THE important people in life is always important. But meeting up with people all over THE world just by a small device is wonderful.

    I started blogging in 2009. Now I Am following people From all over THE world. And my blog is read From all over THE world.

    Curieus what Will happen with Your tips and advice on blogging.

    Kind regards,

    • Janice Wald | at 3:24 pm

      Hi Rob,
      What beautiful sentiments you shared. I agree with what you’ve written. The world has become a much smaller place thanks to blogging. I, too, have met people from all over the world, and as I wrote in the post, from all walks of life.
      Thanks for taking a walk down memory lane with me today. It’s been a while since I wrote it and reflected on it.
      Janice

  16. Richard Schulte | at 5:17 am

    In my opinion, interactions on the internet aren’t necessarily superior or inferior to interactions in the “real world”. Everything depends on being genuine, reaching out, being human. The internet can be a self-centered place or shallow escape, but it can also be an amazing tool to pursue deeper relationships with others, and to reach across vast distances.
    Richard Schulte recently posted…Creating a plaque: Navy history in San Diego revealed!My Profile

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