06 October 2006

Losing An Internet Friend...

We're all part of this new technlogical realm, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not...we really are. And we've ALL lost friends of one sort or another, while some of us have lost family members.

But is it different when that "friend" is nothing but a bunch of *1s* and *0s* at the other end of some fiber optic cable or copper wire? Does this make that friend any LESS of a friend for not being able to stop over to their house for a cold one, or have a barbeque?

Not in the least, believe you me.

When other people come to know one another, there is that inate "bond" that is shared by those who plough the internet. Whether you met them in a chat room, a news group, a common interest site, or even a blog...they are JUST AS REAL as if you met them in a classroom, at the store, at the gas pump, or even at the PTA meetings.

Sure, there are those that dismiss all this, look at the internet at a novelty, the people mere avatars, with no "real" substance...and I would have to call these people WRONG.

Those we choose to know HERE...NOW, are as real as real can get, make no mistake about it.

And when they hurt...WE hurt...when they smile...WE smile.
When they lose a loved one...WE also lose someone we have come to know. We share our lives here, online in many cases, and some of us become lucky enough to find THAT someone...the person who we spend the rest of our lives with.....

I have lost an internet friend....he was from my home state of Pennsylvania, loved the same foods, knew the same places as I did, and was in many ways, someone who I wished I had met face-to-face. He has a son in Iraq who is doing well, and yet I can't help but wonder what will he think of this? How will this change HIS life? And my friend's wife....another dear (longtime) internet friend who is coping with this as best she can...how will she ever be able to talk with her best friend who was also her husband any longer?

You see? Whatever happens in REAL life ALSO happens to those ONLINE....it's JUST AS REAL...it's not a "vitual reality"...it IS reality!

Yeah, this all sounds a bit corny and melodramatic, but friends ARE friends, no matter where they are. Miles cannot separate the bond you develop for the internet "extended family".

Technology has taken much away from us, as a people....we've learned to cocoon ourselves from the outside, remaining at a keyboard, when we could be socializing in REAL TIME with REAL people. Yet, those we interact with here are no less valuable than those walking down our streets.

But for people that still hold values such as this close to them...this is really a moot point.

I will miss my internet friend as much as my best friend in Philly. And I consider myself lucky to have known him, even if I never met him face-to-face.


Jana said...

Gosh, I'm still a little numb from all of this. I don't want to sound selfish, but last night I asked David not to die on me. I put myself in Morgie's shoes and it was nearly unbearable...

B.G. (Semper Paratus) said...

Kinda makes you stop and think....and then realize how totally UNPREPARED we all are *if* something like this were to occur in OUR lives.

Ron's passing was SO like my Mom's....she had a clean bill of health not more than a month prior...and then...WHAM...heart attack in the AM....and she was gone.
I found out about it that night when my former wife called us in Indiana....a neighbor missed seeing here, and called the police to gain entry, 'cause my mom had a "schedule"...and they found here there.

That entire week for me was one I would rather NOT repeat, but the visual of what happened is there, and it STILL bothers me greatly after 8 years.

You could become philosophical aboutit all, but I prefer to call it more like a "crapshoot"...you just don't know what each day will bring, so you've got to grab for every ounce and fiber of it.

Personally, I feel like I'm on "borrowed" time as it is...

Then again, both my father AND grandfather passed at 57...and I'm 54....
My clock is ticking...

Jana said...

Oh, don't say that about you being on borrowed time.

Medical technology has changed since then. You've a nearly 100% chance to live waaay longer than you think you are.


Jessica Rabbit said...

I am sorry to hear of your loss. Its tough, a friend of mine suddenly passed away a couple of weeks ago and I am still kind of in shock over it. I too blogged about it and it seemed to help a little. Hugs to you.

B.G. (Semper Paratus) said...

Thanks Jess...you and Jana proved my point exactly.

People we meet and come to know online are every bit as caring, thoughtful and deserving of our attention (and love) as those we meet anywhere else.

And in some cases, maybe the "real" world could take a page or two from the "virtual" handbook of civilized man....?