I hear Beyoncé is doing a big concert in New Orleans today. Oh, also that there's some sports ball game happening too. I don't know too much, nor do I care to know, about that.
In unrelated news, Pandora is super convinced that the only thing I want to listen to is Jack Johnson. I mean, I like him just fine, but not three songs in a row. Get it together, Pandora.
Maybe it's because I love "You've Got Mail" so much, but I've never
been weirded out by making friends online. In college, at the demand of
my best friend, I started a LiveJournal, which I still use occasionally
today. Through LJ I've met a variety of people including at least
three people I talk to on a near daily basis, one person who has gone on
to be a fancy-pants author, one person who lives on the other side of
the world and who is most often the listener of what we call my "sad
straight single girl problems", and three teachers in other parts of the
country who share excitement and disappointments with me.
A few weeks ago, when I told a co-worker that K was coming to visit, she asked how
we met, since we obviously live in different states. As I mentioned in a previous post, I used to just refer to people I met online as people I met in college. I mean, mostly that was true, it's just I met them online while I was in college. I hemmed and
hawed for a second before explaining how I met someone through one of the educator communities on LJ, and through
her, I met K. We emailed a lot, chatted on gchat, and when she and her
husband were passing through a few years ago, they stopped at my house
and we had dinner. We went on to become friends and now we've visited each other in our respective states several times.
week another friend, from a completely different hemisphere, came to
visit the States. She was able to come to my state, where she stayed
with a friend of mine from high school, which is how we met. When I
told my students I'd be gone for a day, and they asked why, I was honest
and told them I was spending the day with some friends. Of course they
wanted more details (hoping I was meeting a gentleman caller, because
they're obsessed with the idea of me having a boyfriend), I told them I
was meeting a friend from the internet for the first time. They were
horrified and a kid actually asked me, totally aghast, "M, what if she's
a PEDOPHILE?!" My response was simple, "Uh, I'm over 30, I don't think
a pedophile wants what I going on." I assured them I knew she was a
real person. We're friends on Facebook, we communicate on Twitter, I
read her blog(s), and I've watched her video blogs as well. When I came back the next day the kids asked if she was what I expected. I laughed, and said yes with the exception of her being taller than I'd thought she'd be.
I don't refer to any these people as "internet friends", instead they're just my friends. I think there's infinite value with finding friends, and a
community, on the internet. Sometimes it's as though many of them know me
better than friends in "real life". You take the time to read the words
I put down here, you choose to pay attention, and that means
something. Through this blog I've met educators, and noneducators, from
all over the world. With your comments, emails, and blogs, I get
invested in another person, someone else's experience. A few months ago
I got an email from a teacher who was having an issue she needed help
with. I'm certainly not the expert of all things education, but it was
interesting to be able to talk out her problem and help a fellow educator.
I'm not really sure where I was going with this post in the beginning. Possibly I just wanted to say that there's not stigma to meeting people on the internet. It's just another way to meet people. Isn't that the whole point of human existence, to spend time with other people and learn about their experiences?
Anyway, people I've met on the internet, I like you. A lot. Let's continue to be friends.