One thing I love about our socially connected online world is the proliferation of photographs from my friends. So I was delighted when I started to see selfies with my book-baby pop up online – unbidden. These make me happy on so many levels – not only seeing Finding Myself in Britain out there in the world, but mainly seeing the faces of people I’ve known either in person or those I’ve met online.
So many people talk about “real” relationships in contrast to those online. I find that frustrating, for I have real relationships with people I’ve never met in person. For instance, I’m part of an online writer’s group where we interact with each other daily in a structured but free way, and the support and love I’ve felt and witnessed there takes my breath away. Another group I love is the Woman Alive book club Facebook group – a place where we discuss books and characters and what we’re reading. I love to see friendships develop over a shared love of reading. And I love seeing people interact with my Facebook posts and the connections and conversations that occur.
Yes, we need to exercise caution and discretion when meeting people online, and yes, we can become so obsessed with our social-media likes and retweets and Instagram hearts that we ignore the family and friends who surround us in person (we, for instance, have a no-phone rule at our dinner table). But if we exercise discernment as we engage in the online conversations, we can gain friendship, camaraderie, wisdom, and some lovely selfies with our book-baby.
Do you have Finding Myself in Britain? I’d love to see your selfie – please include your face, and not just the book!