feeling groovy…

Woke up this morning feeling pretty good. Then Mahendra memorialized me in a jazzy poem. And I am now feeling groovy. Isn’t it great how we can do that for each other?

There are people all over the world who are literal strangers but virtual friends. It seems like we need new words for friend and stranger in this technology savvy world. Because, for me, there are some of you who I consider my friends. And, with a few checks for security, I would probably do anything you needed, because I care about you – as I care for all of my friends.

I do not think this is unhealthy. There is always a risk that people are writing lies. But I do not think it is likely with the few who I now consider within the circle of people that I call friends. And, if any of them ever needed to meet for any reason, it would take about 5 minutes and $100 to find out everything about their history. If I even felt that I needed to do that. Which I have not yet. One of the most interesting (and one of the best) side-effects of this whole journal thing has been the change in my attitude about online friendships.

I totally discredited them before. Now, not so much. There are still issues, but they don’t really apply to me. People disappear in this virtual world. And, if I were someone who expected anything from others, then that would hurt. But, I have never taken such a thing personally. Probably because I, also, am a disappear-er. And my ‘running aways’ are not ‘running aways’ from others, but ‘running aways’ from myself.

So, the language of friendship. I think we need a new word. Or we need to expand the current definition.

On a completely different topic, I leave tomorrow for Wales – if not sooner. There is a tropical depression brewing in the gulf and I might check out earlier to avoid any possible delays. We will see. I am feeling good about it now, excited. Stumbling upon things in the woods is always a favorite activity. As is stumbling upon things in general.

I am still having shoe issues. I usually pack an entire suitcase of shoes. But I have to transfer between trains and handle my own luggage. Which necessitates one suitcase for both clothes and shoes. It is, by far, the most perplexing problem I have had in a while. At this point, I am hoping that my physics background will help me to rearrange the atomic structure of my clothing to allow more room for the shoes.

I am staring intently at the suitcase full of clothes….. nothing is happening.

Oh well, it’s not that big of deal. I’ll survive.


~ by aikaterine on August 15, 2007.

13 Responses to “feeling groovy…”

  1. I’ve never felt online friendships to be strange or different, probably because I grew up having a few serious ones. In 1994, I was a lone soul in Mumbai, India, communicating over email with a Texan middle-aged woman.

    There was no instant messaging, no blogs, only email. Ultimately when I visited the US for the first time in 97, she flew over from Houston to California just to meet me, and we spent a couple of nice romantic days together!

    It was easier to trust online friends then. It is not now. After the web exploded, every tom, dick, and harry joined in playing tom-tom with their hairy dicks, and thus you now get these google searches on your blog!

  2. I know there are some very strange people out there. But luckily, I really don’t believe that any of the people who I consider friends are part of that group. And there are always checks that you can do before actually meeting anyone.

    So, I think it is still fairly safe. You just have to be smart about it.

  3. mahendrap:

    I absolutely agree. I started doing this stuff back in 1989, but on local BBS’s. We had a “teleconference” as it was called then where about 30 of us could talk together. It was really fun and because we were all local we could easily descend upon Denny’s at 2am.

    In about 1993 I discovered the Internet and it was a completely different world. I was used to “online” friendships by then (even though we’d all met, we mostly communicated with each other via computer) but I was not prepared for the Internet. I was burned right off by someone I assumed was telling the truth. It still happens, even though I’m much more cautious, but that has more to do with people in general I think.

    My mom used to tell me, “You are truly yourself only when no one is looking,” and I think the danger on the Internet is that people feel that no one is looking. This is a double edged sword: Generally we see the ugliest sides of people (as in your search terms), but it also allows us to see the most beautiful parts of the people we love. I think the later outweighs the former.

  4. I am very very strange.
    There are no checks for my strangeness. Stealth strange. Under the radar strange. Just when you think you’re safe.
    Bam. Strange tentacles shoot out and strange you up.

  5. I tend to trust people easily and that means online too! I have not had a bad experience so far with anyone I have considered an online friend, but then I have not yet ever actually met any of my online friends. In fact on our mutiny group I trust each and every member and would love to meet them. In fact some of them met in Bangalore and I felt bad that I missed that blog camp. Harsha and me almost met in a Pune blog camp but I sort of made a mistake about the date…
    But maybe its because I am married, but I would not meet any man I know online alone. In a blog camp, at a party or in a group, its fine. But a woman would happily meet alone. Guess its my conservative upbringing. In my real life, I do have some male friends from college but they know my husband well and we usually meet with wives etc. I would feel odd meeting any of them without their wives, unless my husband was around too! Maybe this would seem very odd to you Aikaterne and you might think I am pretty conservative, but thats how I feel. I don’t think I would like it either if my husband met any woman friend for a movie alone (he has woman colleages who call up and are friendly with me, and we at times go for movies or for dinner or something) or anything unless her husband or me was present. Pretty old fashioned huh!
    Have a good trip to Wales.

  6. Actually, I agree with you. If I were married or in a monogamous relationship, I would not meet a male online friend alone either. I bet that is a bit surprising. But I have learned that men and women (or at least men and I) cannot be ‘just friends’, most of my friends are women. And I would not want to put my partner in that position. I would have a very real problem if he wanted to meet a female online friend alone. It cuts both ways.

    So, I absolutely agree with you.

  7. My close friends are all women.
    The only close male friend I had is now my husband!

  8. Since I do not have a partner/husband, all of my non-virtual friends are female. If I ever meet someone who I consider worthy enough to be a long term partner, then he will be my only male friend.

    I do appreciate the male perspective. And part of me wishes that things could be different. I have given male friends a good honest try, and I might again in the future. Who knows, maybe there are some who can appreciate a woman’s mind and companionship without also wanting to bed her (outside of the virtual arena).

  9. Yes, I’m just strange too but not scary or dangerous. Actually, sometimes I can be rather non-strange. Maybe that’s part of my strangeness?

    *PA ponders self*

  10. Velinn: thanks! I completely missed out on the BBS world, as I was living in a ‘developing’ country. I used to read and find so many references to BBSes, and Compuserve, it really made me aware of how backward we Indians were then.

    //I think the danger on the Internet is that people feel that no one is looking//
    I couldn’t agree more.

    And I like your and Aikaterine’s optimism that we get an opportunity like never before to discover the good side of people on the Internet, which we otherwise wouldn’t have. That’s what makes it so compelling!

  11. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  12. Heh.. Sometimes I can’t help but show you my fortunate venture A joke for you peoples! What did the painter say to the wall? One more crack and I’ll plaster you!

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