Giving the Gift of a Friend via Social Media

By August 26, 2011Communications

Melissa GilliamI am so fortunate — I have a very good friend who has known me through bad hair, poor life decisions, babies, 800 mile moves and baking. It’s unfortunate that the two of us live approximately 1,600 miles apart when Carmela lives (always) in my heart. (For a number of years we lived three miles away from one another; I wept like an inconsolable toddler when she moved away.)

So when another friend I know announced she was moving from a small town in Missouri to the very town where Carmela lives in Colorado, I decided to connect my two friends and live vicariously through Melissa.

As I write this, Carmela and Melissa are planning to meet for coffee in a couple of hours and I’m as excited as I would be if I could be there as well.

Melissa is a friend, not because I knew her as a Mizzou freshman, or because she held my hair on a pretty rough 25th birthday or because she stood up for me when I renewed my wedding vows (all those belong to Carmela). Nope, I know Melissa because she is a terrific blogger, because we spoke at the same conference once and because we follow one another on Twitter. We also are both writers, plugging away at books and once vowed to help each other stay accountable to our writing goals, and for this I am grateful to Melissa.  I was totally comfortable conducting a Facebook introduction between the two and delighted to see them connect so quickly online.

Does that make Melissa less of a friend than Carmela? Heck, no.

My mother once asked, “So these people you meet on the internet . . . do you meet them in person? Is that safe?” kind of the way my dad asks about camping, “so, let me get this straight; you sleep outside in a tent? Where do you go to the bathroom?”

I have found in the last seven years (or more) that I know people quite well and often more thoroughly from our online relationship long before we meet in person. Meeting in person is the icing on the proverbial cake (Carmela, incidentally, is known for cake as much as I am known for pie.)

I’m giddy, therefore, to be gifting Carmela with the long-distance present of a friend who I think she will love and who I know will love her. Now I just have to figure out a way to get to Colorado to see them both.


  • khall27 says:

    Great post for a Friday – warms my heart. I missed her going away party, but heard she went out in style.

  • Marijean says:

    @khall27 I’m sure she did! I can’t imagine it any other way cc: milligfunk

  • KenMueller says:

    Good stuff, but you oughta listen to your mother. Some of these Twitter people are shady, and you don’t wanna meet them in person! 😉

  • Marijean says:

    Only you, Ken. Only you.

  • KenMueller says:

    @Marijean Hey, if you don’t want to meet me, your loss!

  • BestRoofer says:

    What type of pie are we talkin? I’m going to meet with @KenMueller on the porch this week (not that much of a loss Marijean)…Just kidding Ken!

  • KenMueller says:

    @BestRoofer wow. nice. and who cares what type of pie. pie = good!

  • smallcatbigdog says:

    Loved it! Social media has redefined what “community” and “neighborhood” means. Our friends can be across the street or across the globe. I know a few local Tweeps and it’s fun to run into each other and make the connection. Oh,and I agree with your father on camping. Why would one purposely abandon indoor plumbing?!

  • MollyFulton says:

    My husband has a hard time understanding that I have made real, live, gen-u-ine friends via Twitter, but I have. In fact, I credit the internet with a renaissance of my social life. So when’s our next Tweet-Up, Marijean?