Last week I spent 3 days with guys I’ve known for the bulk of the past decade. We met via blogs and then Twitter, and have been consistently involved in each others lives since. These are guys I considered part of my core group of friends. Keep in mind, I’d never spent a single moment with any of them in person.
As I expected, it was an incredible time together. Hard to describe the kind of thankful I am to have gotten to know them better. They’re the kind of guys I wish lived down the street from me, we’d talk trash about fantasy football in person instead of online, maybe both.
But we’re also different people. They’re different than me. We have different experiences. We have different opinions. And we talked about a few tough subjects. I got asked tough questions. I asked tough questions. That’s what friends do.
What I found interesting about our differences is that they didn’t matter. It was like water under the bridge. We’re still friends, even though each of us might see certain things completely opposite.
Why is it that nearly all my online interactions are defined by those who I agree or disagree with? Why is it I can spend half a week with “online” friends and our differences make no difference?
I think it’s because a friendship means we choose to understand before we argue.
And this is exactly what we need more of on blogs, on Facebook, on Twitter, on name-your-social-media-flavor-of-the-week: understanding over argument.