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A Bittersweet Find

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I was cleaning out files tonight when I stumbled across this piece. It was written by a gal who died last year (before her time) and who was a member of this catsite as well as a webmistress for a Reality Board and Hyster Sisters.......

Susan, I miss you dearly every day.....this is in rememberance of you and all our communications:

Making the leap -- From Virtual to Reality by Susan

A friend of mine once said "It will do you good to remember when people online get on your nerves, that they're nothing more than pixels on a screen. When you start to feel upset by a chat room or a message board or a website, it's time to shut down the computer and go outside and interact with *real* people."

In some ways, I find this true, but in others, it creeps up on my consciousness that they are indeed real people behind the pixels. Those who act like Fall born flies--who buzz my virtual face and bite for blood as their nourishment--aren't the ones I'm thinking of. They indeed are "pixels" in my mind. However, there is a breed of virtual friend that goes far beyond the "pixels on a monitor" type.

These people worry about me when I sign off for a day to go breathe the air and refresh my outlook. These people send me email asking about my day, my family, my life. These people *touch* me--more than just politeness in a chat room or on a message board. More than just "how are you?".

Some of them send me greeting cards, either virtual ones or paper ones in snail mail. Some of them track me down in instant message clients just to say "hi". Others send me email. Some of them even go so far as to find my home phone number and when I'm irritated or distressed, call me on the phone to let me know that, indeed, there is a real person behind those pixels on the screen.

So, how exactly does one make the transition from Virtual to Reality? It's not difficult really, but seems almost magical when it happens. All it takes, believe it or not, is reaching out. When a "how are you" becomes "I hope you feel better today" a silent bond begins to form. What was once a single spider thread of friendship grows on itself with every interaction until the two people are bound by a thick cord as strong as steel.

The relationship becomes not so much a "v-friendship". One day, you'll find yourself telling someone in the *real* world about your v-friend. Only you've not even thought about the fact that this person lives many miles away and you've never seen them face-to-face. Suddenly, they *exist* to you. They aren't just pixels on a screen, they're flesh, blood, emotion...friend.

Of course, these friendships need as much nurturing as any normal friendship. Bonds of trust form and can be broken. Silence from a friend, whether online or in the real world can eat at that bond as surely as time can erode steel, but by adding one silken spider thread at a time, the bond stays strong. The friendship endures.

For those of you who have spun threads of spider silk between me and you, I thank you. You have enriched my life beyond what I ever thought possible. I hope only that I can spin my own threads toward you as beautifully. For, it is in these threads, cords, and bonds that the true meaning of the world wide web is realized. It isn't merely a network of computers strung together by cable, phone lines and satillites, it's a beautiful spider's web connecting real people by threads, strings and cords of friendship.
post #2 of 4
That is very good. Its so sad when people are taken way too soon.
post #3 of 4
OH MY GOSH!! That was BEAUTIFUL!!!! I love the part about the World Wide Web not just being the connection between computers and cables, but the connection between real people who touch our lives in so many ways but yet live so far away!!!! This is SO true!!!!!

And Susan...she was truley a wonderful person....I was also a member of her Reality TV site, and shocked by her sudden death....she is missed.

I too have people here who I know don't care for me, for whatever reasons, but it doesn't matter....what really matters is the real friendships I have made here, and the people I think about during the day, and pray for when they or someone they love needs prayer, and the people who I know care for me just as much as I care for them...the people who I have formed bonds with, and am forming new bonds with people here that I haven't even known all that long....these are real friendships just as surely as if I could sit down with them face to face.

I care about you when I shut this computer off....I worry, I pray...and I e-mail, PM or call...or if nothing else I just think of you and hurry back here to see how everything with you is going.

Thanks for this beautiful thread, Hissy!
post #4 of 4
I just read this...wow...what a great way to summarize my experience here. Although I don't often post in The Lounge, I feel connected to quite a few people here. My heart aches when they are hurting, and my heart sings when they are happy. Almost everyone here is very real and very dear to me (there are a few folks I haven't yet gotten a feel for...but there's still time for that!). Although we at times irritate each other, I think that for the most part we are one heck of a great group of people!
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