Thursday, January 11, 2007

Can This Be Real?

Os has suspended HNT for this week due to the tragic and untimely death of one of his friends who was a big participant in HNT. I've seen several other posts regarding Betcha's death and to those who knew her well I offer my heartfelt condolences. It is so very painful to loose a friend in the prime of his/her life. It's hard to grasp the reality. It's strange to add to the pain the inability to express condolences to the deceased's family because a relationship was limited to online interaction and a certain anonymity was retained for whatever reasons. There seems a lack of closure.

Some would say that friendships formed online can't possibly reach the depth they do face to face. Some would question why or how a person can become attached to another who is only ever represented by a bunch of digitized bits and bytes. My grandmother had a penpal in England for 20 years before they ever met face to face and yet they considered each other dear friends. Mind you, this 'relationship' started in the days when paper and pencil letters took a couple weeks to make it across the Atlantic. No one thought that was a questionable manner of making friends. I know married couples who became engaged after meeting each other through programs that encouraged civilians to write letters to soldiers overseas. These are strong marriages with partners who have endured lovingly for decades. People hear that and say, 'Awwww, how romantic.' But speak to people of your online friend and they look at you like you've gone mad.

I've read some of you when you've shared about various trials and tribulations. More of you than I can recall have said things to the effect that the sharing and support you've received online has been of immeasurable benefit and blessing to you. Some of you have even said that your online friends were of greater comfort and help than the people surrounding you. I know I certainly have received my share of kindness, compassion, laughs, and encouragement from all of you at the times when I've most needed it most. For that I am truly and deeply grateful. I don't think we are all manufacturing this out of thin air.

I'll admit, in my 3D life I don't mention many of you to the people around me because I've gotten the 'gees what kind of desperate person must she be' response. Mr. Lime and my kids have a vague idea about a couple of you (actually, my kids have more of an idea than my husband) but he has said he has no interest in hearing anything about the people I correspond with because 'it's not real.' Now, I told him when I started this blog, but when discussing it a couple weeks ago he said, 'What's a blog? What do you mean you have one? Why?'

So I have two lives, the 3D one, and the online one. There are points at which I wish there were some intersection and points at which I wish to keep the two entirely separate. Regardless, a friendship that nurtures, sustains, encourages the best in another person, and shares the good and bad is real...no matter the context. I thank all who have extended theirs to me. I offer my sympathy to those who are grieving now.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I consider you very real. And I've had that exact conversation with my spouse. Some of us disclose much of their 3-D life as you put it. Others for various reasons do not.
Your recipe's, warmth, kindness, support, and careing, are all very real. And for that, I for one, consider you a good friend....Thanks Michelle Trini Limey.

Anonymous said...

So beautifully put Lime. That's it, I can't add anything more because you said it so well.

Anonymous said...

As someone who considers his online friendships as real and valid as his non-online friendships, I find some peoples' attitudes perplexing. Including Mrs. Hypersonic as she has the same kind of attitude towards the blog as Mr.Lime, or even regards online friendships with a low level of suspicion.

As with you, there are some people I'd like to interact with more offline, some I'd like to keep at a layer of pixels distance.
Guess which you and a bunch of others are?

Jodes said...

Great post, I so hear you about the support we get from our blogging friends. I also know what it is like to tell people and have them think it is weird, my husband hates that I have it, but he is the one in the wrong, there is nothing weird about this or unreal. We are all real people and we all connected thru this and I am happy to say that getting your Christmas card last year was awesome and getting a card from Breazy this year ws awesome and meeting Blither in person was awesome and so was meeting BTE....it is all a part of us and I will not give it up, but I do not tell everyone in my real life either cuz people are so clueless sometimes it is better to not tell.

barefoot_mistress said...

Bloggy people are so real! When I was in India, Karen said to me more that once, and I chatted with you all from afar..."I gotta get me more online pals, lookit you talking to Englamd, Greece, Hong Kong, India and the US while you are in India!"

Very well said Lime....it doesnt matter if we knew her or not, she was a beautiful spot on many lives....so sorry to all her fruends and family.

DaMasta said...

I share your sentiments, Lime, what a great post. My condolences to Betcha's online "friends"...

Ameratis said...

I can understand people who don't understand blogging. Though to me it is definitely real. I love these peeks into other people's lives that they allow. It is like a secret club that courtesy and literacy are the only prerequisites for membership. It is a wonderful way to see different lives, different views and different areas of the world that otherwise I might never see.
Thank you for having your two lives Lime!

BTExpress said...

Very well said. Some of the finest people I know are my on line friends. I don't know what I would have done without them when my life was/is at it's worst. I cherish them as much, or more, than a lot of the 3D people I know.

Not real? Phooey!

Seamus said...

I'm so sad to hear this - my condolences to her family and friends.

It really isn't much of a leap anymore to make the "real" connection with many here in the sphere! The ones that we share all the aspects of our lives with. I have met several and have yet to be disappointed or surprised.

snavy said...

I saw posts about Betcha at a few blogs yesterday and was truly saddened even though I did not know her. My sympathy to all who did.

I know exactly what you mean about online friends. Some people get it and others don't. My mom gets it now and is grateful that I've found you and many others who have become my 'real friends'. I don't know how many times I've compared this to being pen pals.

I feel blessed to have you in my life.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Lime!!

Breazy said...

Well said . I talk to my husband and kids about all of you all the time . I am always telling them funny or interesting things that y'all post . You Lime are the person that made "online friends" real to my husband a year ago when you sent the sympathy card to me after all the deaths in my family. He thought the gesture so sweet that it made him tear up a bit and this man never cries .Each and every person that I interact with on this computer is very special to me . I am honored to have all of you as friends , and yes Lime you do hold a special place in my heart because you have went that extra mile and shown me your caring for others. Thank you so much just for being you !

Love,
Heather

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! I totally agree with you, it is like having dozens of pen pals. Thank you for all the sharing you have done and thank you also for all the support and encouragement you have offered me over the year.

Anonymous said...

sweetzles, leaves, pinecones, short deadheads ;) , kfarmer rebels, etc. etc.,,,, all real and much appreciated... thanks for the phonecall.... sutures and vicodin,,, (and prunejuice?) also real,,, (hunt and peck? exhausting...)

Betcha's fam in my prayers...

Anonymous said...

Very well said!

Phain said...

i've never thought about the comparison to pen-pals, but that's exactly it. yes, it's a bit quicker than snail mail, but the concept is the same. i love my blogger buddies dearly and sometimes feel put off that i have to distinguish them as "cyber" and "real life" friends. they are FRIENDS. period. FRIENDS!!!

Anonymous said...

I would never have met you, if this medium to share and give support would not exist. It is a wonderful way to come to know people at the other end of the world and discover the similarities we have.

For me it is very real. To a certain extent even more real than speaking to a person in the 3D world, because so many barriers and misconceptions are removed if you first meet a person through his or her writing.

Anonymous said...

I'm just beginning to understand, and everything you said is so true. have a good weekend.

SeaRabbit said...

I'm thinking about our virtual reality since I learned about Betcha... It is something so real and so etheral at the same time... Knowing people from the other side of themselves, kind of... We know how we think, how we express internaly... We have no idea of how we live out of the blog... We can feel and react to emotions that are words only... no matter if we can't see the tears, hear le laught... it is all the same, but also different...
I keep thinking of those who were in touch with Betcha... and mailing to her... expecting a reply... and all coming back being the silence...
No one to ask what it is about... no one to call, no one who knows about them and care to tell... That is probably a very strange feeling...

KFarmer said...

I just read about that sweet young woman today. I know her friends and family are just heart broken. So, so sad...

I tell my family and friends about all of ya'll. So and so said this, so and so did that... You all are very real and special to me and I adore each and everyone person I visit for their own sence of humor, creativity, outlook on life, etc.- or I wouldn't. It's really kind of magical that we manage to find each other and "hang out" :)

Anonymous said...

I keep reading this type of thing...I lucked out...my ex husband loved my blog. My original blog. He knew you were and still does know you are all real people on the other end of a computer just like me. Just like him when he yahoo ims people.

Then again, I have a stalker ex who also knows you are all real.

:-) Yes, though, I have gotten the looks. The look givers get the finger. 3D Asshats.

Boysenberry said...

You've hit the nail on the head, Lime. Although in my case, MrsB doesn't know about the blog.

Anonymous said...

I think online friendships can be very strong. I'm fortunate that the Baltimore blogging community is strong and enjoys frequently meeting at bars to get drunk. Wooh!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
lime said...

anonymous has serious issues

Anonymous said...

couldn't agree with you more about the whole 'shock horror' attitude of some people i know on finding out that i have 'online' friends...all that 'nudge nudge wink wink' stuff is starting to grate on me a lot...

hope you're doing ok Lime my dear...yay, i can comment again...!!! take care, xxx