You know what an Internet friend is, don't you? Sure you do. Odds are that if you are reading this, you probably have some yourself.
Internet friends are those people that you frequently interact with, but, solely (or mostly) online. They are your correspondents via blogs, bulletin boards, forums, mail lists or listservs etc... For those of you that have them, have you ever stopped to think about how weird all of this would sound to someone just 15 years ago? I mean, in 1991 we weren't even talking about this internet thing, were we? I guess that some people were if they were technogeeks (and I mean no offense to techy-types (God bless 'em). I am certain that in 1991, I had never even heard the terms "Internet" or "World Wide Web".
I only became 'net-aware in 1994 or thereabouts.
In 1999, I found a website called Canadian World Domination. The people there were a wacky and fun lot. We existed, and still exist elsewhere, as a group of people from across the breadth of Canada, the United States, England, Scotland, Sweden, and even Australia and Germany from time to time. Nice people, all of them (well, most of them).
Over the years,I have made many Internet friends. Some from the aforementioned Canadian World Domination group, some of them from some of the Disney forums that I use, and some of them from a literary website dedicated to discussing the novels of PatrickO'Brien.
At first blush, it may sound weird to some, but some of these people seem every bit as close to me as those few friends that I keep close to me in real life. Hmmm. Perhaps I should have said "real life"... my internet friends are real too, aren't they? I know about their lives, loves, spouses, children, occupations, habits, and oddities... that makes them real, doesn't it?
I want to tell you, briefly, about my friend Janet (Janet, if you are reading this, don't be alarmed... what follows is high praise): Janet is an internet friend that I have actually met in person a few times. Janet lives in a mid-western state, but has family here in the DC area... when she comes to see her brothers, we sometimes get to meet for a burger at a place on Capitol Hill. Janet is a nice person with a heart of gold, although she might try to deny that. There is nothing pretentious about Janet. She is smart... and I like smart. I have only met Janet face-to-face three times since I have known her (since 1999) but Janet is my good friend, and I value her friendship.
OK, praise time for Janet is over (sorry dear!).
The people that read my blog, those two, maybe three people out there in cyberland are all Internet friends, people I know through the web.
I am glad that I met them.
So here they are... if I have left anyone out, and they are reading this... please Email me, and I'll edit my list:
Fulda (both of you)
Genevieve ("You're as cold as ice" remember that?)
Janet (of Chicken Picatta fame)
Kathi & Brian (and Cara)
Laini (who really needs to leave Texas)
Lloyd (who, oddly enough is married to a Clydesdale horse)
Marianne (my favorite wee fish doctor)
Sammie G (and family)
SPU (pronounced Shpoo)
Suzanne (who probably lives less then 5 miles from my office)
The Generals: Claire and Jenny (peace be upon them)
I am pleased to know you and call all of you my friends.