Recently I've attended a few group discussions on relationships at my church. Twice, comments were made about "real" relationships needing to be face to face. Once, the remarks were quite pointed about internet relationships being shallow. The guy who made that comment was talking about Facebook, which, as you know, I am now considering. Obviously, I don't agree that online = unreal.
I've had shallow relationships that were live, in person, face to face. Who hasn't? I don't understand why it would be any different online. Most people you know in life will be casual acquaintances. To me, that is okay. It's nice to know people, be friendly with them, enjoy their company occasionally. Wouldn't it be strange if all your casual acquaintances suddenly started acting like your very best friend? Creepy. Like a bad movie where brains get eaten in the end.
Friends are another thing entirely. What a blessing - wherever you meet them!
Remember way back before the internet existed and people wrote letters with pens and pencils? I wrote letters to family and friends, but never had a penpal. I knew people who did. I knew a girl who married her international penpal. I wonder if their parents freaked out about that? I remember a friend telling me about her parents' courtship. WWII - her mom's parents encouraged her to write to her brother's best friend, because he was in combat and her brother told his parents that his friend didn't receive much mail. They were married after the war.
That's a digression.
What I have really been thinking about is friendship and the internet in my life. The internet has allowed me to keep in touch with family and friends who are far away. The whole point of the blog is to keep in touch, especially with photos. I wouldn't remember to tell anyone I got my hair cut, much less send pictures. Often, when I get on the phone, I'm so busy asking about them, I forget to tell about us. I'd much rather hear about what others are doing than talk about myself. (I know, sounds funny coming from someone with a blog, but that is why I blog.)
The internet has also made it possible for me to meet people who have become friends in the truest sense. Friends who will go out of their way to see me if I'm even on the same coast as them. Friends who check up on me when they don't hear from me. Friends who pray for me, laugh with me, encourage me, know me, and love me. As I do them.
So to my friends - however I met you - consider yourself real.