today, after wishing two of my long-time friends happy birthday (via twitter) and realizing that I’d never even met either of them, I began to think about all of the people I easily call friends, yet we’ve only communicated via the web. does this make them any less of a friend, or more? my internet friends (most of whom I’ve connected with through the old etsy forum or twitter) know more about me than some of my family. they’ve been there through the end of my marriage, the milestones and struggles of my three kids, break ups and make ups, job loss, job attainment and more. they’re always there—and gladly offer support, advice or just humor without hesitation or prejudice. the seemingly unconditional friendships I have with my online friends is a comfort I’ve grown accustomed to, and would miss dearly if the inter-webs collapsed.
several of these online relationships have grown into long time ‘real life’ friends, whom I chat with, have visited in their home states….one of whom actually dropped everything in her life and drove five hours upon hearing I was in the hospital. (that’s a serious friend). but I really believe these now IRL friends became who they are to me from those years of fostering the relationship on the internet. getting to know someone without any preconceived notions about them, their appearance, where they live, etc. creates a relationship that is truly just built on friendship and support…..and is not imaginary at all.
for: anna, jon, tina, beth, sarah, kate, vanessa, katie