Giving the Gift of a Friend via Social Media

By Communications

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.