Disclaimer: Much mush ahead. Proceed at your own risk. It could get ugly
I've been blogging for a couple of years now and what has surpised me most about blogging, and to a lesser degree forums, is the friendships I've developed.
Friends I've met
Friends I've talked to on the phone
Friends I've never done anything but chat and email with
Others who I only know through their blogs and who have let me into their lives that way
That aspect of blogging caught me unawares. I never imagined, when I began, that a sense of community would be part of the package. And, to a large extent, that sense of community is no doubt what keeps me coming back. I'd venture to say I've made more friends through blogging and the cyber community in the past couple of years than in real life.
It's strange that way.
Last week I found out - after wondering why I hadn't heard from her in a week and where she'd disappeared to - that a dear friend had been in a bad car accident. A drunk driver hit her car head on as she was coming home from work. We're talking jaws of life accident. We're talking almost an hour to get her out of the car accident. We're talking at first they thought they might have to amputate her foot accident. She almost died.
My friend, she's like that. She never does stuff half way. And for the record, she's still very beat up, but on the mend. It's going to be a long haul.
When I heard (through a forum we frequent) my heart stopped. Fear, sadness, anger and guilt at not having known sooner hit me. And even now, a week later, when I think of it I just want to cry.
This person I never met and who I've only talked to on the phone a handful of times, she has become one of my best friends. We connected through the Net and I'm a better person for knowing her.
Through the internet. You know that horrible invention that bypasses all human contact, that nasty thing that is killing all sense of community?
I beg to differ.
So to all those people I've "met" through the evil Web, all of you who touched my life with your stories, your advice, your humour, you all have a part in making me who I am today whether I have met you in person or not. Thank you.
And thanks to the Divine Ms. M with whom I had dinner last night and who inspired this post.