They met on the forum as Stasis17 and ScaryBearyGurl. In time, they found common ground: their corporate wage-slave jobs, their bad luck with relationships, an irrational proclivity for Nic Cage movies.
Let’s meet, ScaryBearyGurl wrote one day. I’m Kiley.
Name’s Bruce, he replied. I hope you’re not disappointed. I haven’t been completely honest with you. His tour in Iraq, he explained, had taken both legs.
The next day, she spotted his wheelchair in the coffee shop. He was handsome. “Bruce,” she called, but when he saw her, he screamed.
Kiley looked exactly like her avatar: a monstrous zombie Care Bear.
I’m crawling out of study-hibernation this afternoon to bring you this little story, my own send-up to that wonderful and strange phenomenon I like to call “internet friendships”.
The first real friendships I formed with people on the ‘net came about during my MMO phase years and years ago. I remember fondly the novelty of talking with people from around the world and gradually to share in each other’s daily struggles and triumphs, all mediated through a common hobby. While internet friends will never replace face-to-face friendships, this special category of relationship made possible through technological advances is still worth celebrating.
The thing I love most about the friends I’ve made on the internet is how geographical location doesn’t matter. As a person who’s moved quite a bit in my short life, it’s amazing to live in an age where distance doesn’t have to be a factor anymore. If you move lots, you don’t have to say goodbye to everyone. When you arrive in a new town, your social circle may even precede you.
How about you? Do you enjoy friendships with people you meet online? Have any of ’em resembled their avatars in unfortunate ways?