Most of us have been meeting a variety of people through the Internet who we never would meet in life. It’s easy to get online, anywhere, and some of the people we get to know are actually nearby, although most are in incredibly diverse places and of diverse circumstances, than we would ever meet in our daily lives.
In recent years I’ve gotten to meet up close and personally some of the people I’ve met online, here and at other blogs. It’s been a pleasure, enriching my life more than I could ever say. Without the Internet, I suspect, things would be much darker for me. Of course, as most of you know, I’m presently here in NW PA spending time with an incredibly dear friend. Do not even want to think about what my life would be without some of the contacts, and especially those who I’ve met online. An early boost was meeting Avedon and getting to know her, and then being able to actually spend time with her in London.
Is a major portion of your life now wrapped up in the friends you’ve met online? Many of you on this post are folks I met right here at FDL and are people I never could have met someplace else. Without you, my life would be much less full imho. It’s been a surprising pleasure to get to know people online, then get together in life, finding out what seemed possible – though at first a little scary – could actually be a real friendship.
My friend spudtruckowner, the one I’m staying with at present, has more than once told me he’s been a little surprised, but not at all shocked, to meet people he knew online and find out they were as they’d seemed here, and are even better friends than he’d hoped.
The hazards of Internet meeting, of course, are real. And just as you’ve been taken in by someone either in friendship or in other ways in real life, it can happen through online meetings. The world is full of hoaxes, and some people use the Internet to cheat, just as they would in person. In fact, some of my friends and I had a meetup once that did have someone included who turned out to be running a scam. That false note quickly came out, leaving us all sadder albeit wiser. The friendships we all had together didn’t lose out, but we now share this saddening experience.
Have you met people through the Internet that you are happier for knowing? I ought to tell you, I’d be a much less happy person without mornings shared here at Lakeside Diner. What about your experience? From the things we talk about here, I’d be surprised if anyone on PUAC thinks their time has been wasted getting into the sort of exchanges we have.
One of the ways I’ve started planning trips is trying to work in places where my new Internet friends are located. It’s pretty exciting to get together and share where I’ve gone recently, including Portland, Oregon for the first time, and a terrific visit to Croatia.
Has what you learned from your Internet encounters gotten you to visit places you hadn’t ever thought of going to before?
I can’t imagine what I’d be doing right now if you weren’t here for me. Thanks! I can’t wait to hear from you.
(Picture courtesy of violinha photostream on flickr.com.)