Sunday, July 13, 2008
I have been actively online for several years now. Basically when I saw the "writing on the wall", aka I was going to be classified disabled and not work anymore, I knew I needed to find a social outlet. Hello - I am a social creature considering I am an antisocial person (antisocial in the sense of alternative lifestyles/thinking, protesting, want to smack Bush amongst other types). I found my outlet online through various communities. Primarily I am a gamer girl. I developed a set of acquaintences through the online games I played. These are folks I talked to every day and yes, we talked about more than just the game. It didn't take much time to expand those relationships. I am a psych nurse by trade. I enjoy talking to people and can read them pretty well - even if it is via "words". I developed relationships with several of my gaming friends. I began to plan vacations around gaming conventions or "gatherings" where we all got together to just hang out and "geek" out. My family initially thought I was nuts, only because I was choosing to go to Indiana, Minnesota, Houston, or Vegas for my vacation versus say Hawaii (okay so I was questioning myself at times too but what the heck). For some of these folks, I now see at least a couple times a year. I usually have a couple folks come spend a long weekend with me in the summer (because hey that is when you want to hit the Pacific Northwest). Our families are now entertwined. I have been to funerals, births, weddings of these friends. We celebrate the joys, the depression, and the frustrations of life
So I find it ironic when my family (aka not my household but say my dad for example) asks me how nuts am I to meet these people? Well the answer is you can establish just as strong, if not stronger relationships with people online as you do with your blood related members. Quite honestly, some of my friends online know me far better than my dad could ever know me. He sees me for usually 3 hours about twice a year. Some of my best friends (which I do consider some of my online buds) see me in person for 4-5 days solid and talk to me daily. Who do you think knows me better?
So every once in awhile we get a reminder of how close we have become to an online friend. When you find yourself crying at your computer because of something they have written, experienced, or some potentially life altering event that has happened. And you are reminded just how small the world is and how much you love your friends. Whether you have met them or not. They are loved by you and you can only hope that the next day comes along and the world is all right for them..and you.