Posted by: Bethany Davis | December 30, 2009

Shared experiences vs. sharing experiences

So what’s the difference?

Sharing experiences. This has been done through the ages (i.e., traditions passed down orally, Paul’s epistles to the churches, even sending out Christmas cards). A large part of facebook is just this — a prime way to engage in sharing experiences. Pictures, profile updates in real time make it easy to vicarious experience what some across the world has experiences. It’s a necessary and vitally important part of staying in touch with friends and family. In fact, it’s one of the reasons we began this blog.

Shared experiences. For example, going on a bike ride with a friend, having a couple over for dinner, playing settlers of catan (see the photo!), going on a ski trip in Colorado with family…. These are ways you can (in the flesh) share an experience with someone else. It builds memories and the type of fodder for sharing experiences with others. Yet, most relationships need in the least an occasional shared experience to thrive. Basically, something in it’s own right to prop the relationship on.

A common use (and time-sucker as I’ve found out!) of facebook is one-sided acts of sharing experiences. That is, looking at someone else’s page without them even knowing that you are doing something to keep the relationship up. (can we say stalking?) An extreme parallel of this is an obsession with a celebrity. You may read all their news articles and clip pictures of them, but the relationship is one-sided because you have no shared experiences.

My goal is to aim for increased shared experiences in this next year. I want to be more intentional about spending time with friends — and more creative about how we spend our time together. I think there is a delicate balance between shared and sharing experience, and I hope to find it!

Living near Atlanta has it perks (although I’ll never adjust to the traffic!). One is that we are in a prime location for friends to stop by in and out of town. I’m increasingly thankful for our friends and am amazed at how unique and awesome each of them are. So, next post, I’m going to introduce you to one of them. ☺



  1. You better bring settlers with you tomorrow! I can’t wait for our shared experience!

  2. shared experiences! heres hail!

  3. Bethany – did you have trouble posting that response on my blog? I’ve had two people email me that they couldn’t get it to work, but I don’t know what to do to help them.

    And I agree with your distinction between sharing experiences and shared experiences. Jessica and I had a good conversation about this today. I think with the technology available today it is even more tempting and convenient to let real relation-building go by the wayside than it was when I was your age, because there is the illusion of being well-connected with people. While some of that connectedness might have a place and a purpose, it should never become a substitute for the real thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: