I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hanging By The Line


I resisted cyberlife for a long time. I felt too (old) wise to fall for it. For the longest time, I also refused getting internet – not to mention I only got a cell phone with 70 minutes for emergencies only! – choosing, during my second time in college, to go to the library and read books while everybody else was googling answers and referencing links. I did the homework with hours of hard work. I did it right, or did I?

Then came the online chatting and I heard all the horror stories of people leaving their spouses and lovers killing spouses, and people losing their jobs because they spent their nights awake chatting, and children running away because they found someone who promised them in a chat room a rose garden. I have never been in a chat room…what do I know?

That was followed by online dating. I’m too old, I mean married with children so the dating is out of the question for me, online or otherwise. But I was curious how people could fall in love with a cyber persona and actually get married and live happily ever after.

Could someone fall in love on line? Can anyone get to know a person on line???

Unheard of…to me, that is.

Eventually, my job acquired email, my house had email, every business had a wwwdotsomethingdotcom and people stopped saying I’ll call you and said “I’ll email you” instead –(now that is replaced by “I’ll text you”). So I got email.

It was fun.

Some relationships started on email and…have ended with an email.

Totally unplanned and unexpected, I corresponded by email with a girl who would later become my best friend. Although we had seen each other in passing, during our cyberlife we got to know each other better and learned about each other more than we did once we became real life tangible friends. Those conversations without a face were great and honest and open. Almost as if we were free to unveil our souls behind the emails.

There is some kind of freedom in the virtual reality of cyber life.

But the question remains can you get to know someone on line??? Can you care for someone on line?

Well, the truth is that I am now guilty of getting to know people on internet. Getting to know them better than I probably would in person.

And yes, I do care for them and read about their struggles and their joys.

Now, in my new interaction with bloglife, I have made online friends. I get to know them through their posts and their comments. Writing expresses the deepest side of the writer and I feel I see a part of them that I would miss had I met them casually at a bar.

I still favor a “tangible” friend over a virtual one and in so far, I have been lucky to meet one of them in person and to consider her now one of my good friends. But without our cyberlife before our meeting, I probably wouldn’t know her as well as I know her nor she would know as much about me as she does now. I probably would not have shared so much in person.

So my opinion of on line friendships has changed as radically as my opinion of many other things I dismissed in my life without trying them first.

Cyberlife can be very interesting and when combined with a glass of wine and a face to face meeting, it can be quite delightful.