In this modern age, the old practice of writing letters between penpals has pretty much faded into the anals of history. Now it is all social media, online communities, email, and chat programs. Sometimes you get lucky and find yourself extended family online, and if you are really lucky you will find someone who is like a real family member. Just because you never meet physically does not mean the friendship you built is any less valid or important to you.
I have been fortunate enough to be a part of one such family, I belong to a community on a 3d environment platform called Activeworlds (www.activeworlds.com) and have been building 3d cities and worlds for decades along side some of the most unique individuals I have ever known. Sure the community is like a somewhat dysfunctional family at times but I love everyone there. Even those who probably do not like me very much.
Just like in real life, I have lost quite a few people who were like real family to me, most of them to death a few to circumstances or they just moved on for one reason or another. Each one of them as they left our community took a piece of me and the community with them. Currently, I am praying for a few of those people in Activeworlds that are dealing with some medical issues of their own. I also worry over one or two that decided to either leave the community or just decided to no longer communicate with me.
The point is, does not matter if it is online, or if its in real life. Friends are friends, and they all mean something to your heart and soul. Just don’t forget those friends online are real people and need your support and deserve respect as well. Cherrish them for there is no guarantee of how long any of us are here on this shiny blue marble we call home. That really goes for both online and real-life people, life is short so forgive, forget and embrace those in your life that you have been blessed with to have as family and friends.
Be good to one another, rememebr to be kind and respectful.
2 thoughts on “Online Families, Real and Important”
Even though I’ve lived a successful and productive life, I’ve always been a bit socially awkward. I never quite sure how to fit in with the others, as my interests are often different from theirs – I love science, art, and philosophy, while everyone else is more interested in more mainstream vocationally-based pursuits.
It’s not that I don’t want to have friends. I crave connection and companionship just like anyone else. But I find it hard to relate to people who don’t share my passions and interests. I long for friends who are just as intelligent and curious as I am, who can engage in deep conversations about the mysteries of the universe and the complexities of the human mind.
And yet, even in virtual spaces, I find it difficult to fit in, almost as if the virtual world is a direct though artificial imitation of the real one. Your description of Active Worlds seems enticing, though at the same time, I must admit that I will likely never try it simply due to my fears of being rejected by the group in much the same ways I have been rejected in real life.
Too True, Virtual communities also are akin to real communities. But just like in the real world there is those you can relate with and those you dont. Good thing about Activeworlds you can be yourself or you can be a fictional version of yourself. Most of us are pretty real in there and yuo are always welcome to visit. I admit we don’t always talk about the mysteries of the universe etc., but there is some in there that are like minded to you I know of. I am pretty down to earth but will talk to a brick wall if it will listen lol.
You have to get out of your comfort zone occasionaly. You never know if you like it or not until you give it a real try. As in come in and try to socialize, not just lurk and leave like some people do. I usually dj parties in there where the fake dance to music and chat.
I used to have Indepth chat with a retired physiatric nurse as well.
Well either way always enjoy your replies and you are always welcome to visit me there in activeworlds, I go by Dovestar 🙂