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Monday, July 03, 2006

Virtual Friendship

I have a lot of 'virtual' friends. Some of those have turned into 'real' friendships - I met my friend Gina while looking for someone to point me in the direction of German dairy products in an AOL chat room. I met Beth via blogging.

Last week I had a gal (who I've known for the better part of a decade via a homeschooling board) spend the night with her family. She was just like I imagined her. After the first few awkward minutes, talk took off and we stayed up until 1:30 am (and probably only went to bed then because the poor people had to get up fairly early because of another long day driving the next day!)

Then there are the friends I've never met. Penny, who probably by now knows more about me than most people other than Randall. Noel, who is just a perfect dear and who I enjoy immensely. Cee, who has taught me a ton and is really quite a bit like me.

I love these people (and I don't use that term lightly.) I hurt when they are hurting; I am happy when good things happen to them. These friendships are real, even if conducted by a virtual medium.

And yet I do miss the local component. There are so many times I just want to take Noel out for tea, bring Penny dinner or go to a movie with her, and help Cee unload moving boxes, but of course none of those things can happen, seeing as they are in states and countries far removed from my physical location. But of course that is no different than those friends I met in 'real' life and then got separated from because either they or we moved.

I really have no clue where I am going with this, except to say I am grateful for my computer and the wonderful people I wouldn't have met without it (and the wonderful people I met in person and with whom I can now stay in touch via blog or email.)

Y'all are, well, wonderful!! :-)

posted by Birgit
3 comments at 10:06 PM

The concept of friends and friendships are really something special. My old boss and friend Marge once told me that I am a connector; I hold on to my friends for a lifetime. Those that I like and love are hard to let go.

Virtual friends are a really interesting concept, aren’t they? There are two or three people I only know via email or LJ that seem to fit the role of friend. While what we know of each other is filtered through emails, we can only go by sensing the intent of the other person.

I have enjoyed our friendship a great deal. You have been so wonderfully supportive a friend; often times more so than friends I have here. Meeting you in person would be the most amazing adventure. As you commented, there are awkward moments in meeting someone you think you know... It is whether you can move beyond those awkward steps. Who knows, I might snort or blink in a way you find quite disgusting!

You have caused me to rethink my views on religion; you seem so happy with yours. It has been a joy to receive your stories about your children and their accomplishments.

You have my support in your allegation that computers have opened the world to us all. How else would I have found a friend like you?
I understand well how this Internet technology can impact a friendship! I met my husband on the Internet back in 1993!...and, we will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in December!

I also have met some wonderful online friends...unfortunately, I have yet to meet any in person...but, one of these days!

Enjoy your friendships!
I'm very thankful for my online friends. Now some of them are turning into real-life friends. I wish I had the ability to apparate so I could visit everyone.
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