“Would you say you’ve met people you could call your friends online?”
“Of course. I flew out in less that 24 hours to be by the side of a friend whom I consider to be one of the closest I have ever had whom I met online and had only met in person three times before that.”
“Oh, wow. So…but that must be pretty rare right?”
“No, it’s not rare, I daresay every single person who has developed any sort of online community has that one person they’d get to anyway they could if they needed them. I have plenty of friends I’d give or do anything for even though I’ve never met them in person. This is not a unique situation. This is our community.”
Maybe I’m naive. But it seems to me that we all have each others backs. It may be strange to those who don’t live in “our world” (my husband likes to call it my little Internet world) but if a cry for help goes up on the Internet? It gets answered. Sometimes in different degrees. But as far as I can tell?
It always gets answered.
People are skeptical of online relationships. But the key word here is ‘community’. Community is “a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage .”
Online is our common cultural and historical heritage. Maybe some folks don’t understand why we can derive from folks we have never met…but why do we put so much emphasis on seeing people. If we were all blind would that make us less of a community because we interacted with people we didn’t see? NO! This community is amazing, can be amazing and yet it mirrors our everyday face to face life, in many ways.
In both online and face to face communities there can be viciousness, anger, trollish behavior,apathy, etc. And in both online and face to face communities we find support, love, comfort and understanding.
The only difference is one community is carried out on line….that is the only difference
Just because I haven’t seen your face doesn’t mean I’m not going to giggle over your child trying to replace you with a Barbie sticker. Or ignore the fact that you’re hurting. Or deny how freakishly in common we are and oh my gosh we have to get together and eat cupcakes and spy on the celebrities in Bryant Park.
Bloggers I know aren’t trying to take over the world and beat everyone else down in the process.
Most of us are honestly just trying to make it a little more cozy and a little better than we found it.
With swag and product reviews for all. (On the side of course. No community survives without food and/or commercialism. At least not one I know of.)
Have you found your Internet warm fuzzies?