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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Giving Thanks, the Twelfth

Having a good friend doesn't mean having to see that person every day, or even talk to her.  Friendships can remain strong, even though you're when you're far apart.  In this digital age, friendship can be with people you've never met in person.

I have been fortunate to have 'met' a bunch of good people on a message board and chat room dedicated to a TV show.  We 'talked' sometimes every day; we 'talked' more at times than we talked to real life friends.  There was the introduction (or perhaps I should say interrogation!): where are you (basic location more to know what time zone and temperature zone you're in), how old are you (we tried to keep things clean when the kids were around), what was the episode that drew you into the show and its fandom? And from there, our chats about the characters, the actors, the stories lead to questions about how work was today, about what was on the stove that you said brb to go check, about what plans you had for the weekend besides being online.

After a couple of years, I started to get opportunities to meet some of these friends in person.  It started with a girl from one of the Chicago suburbs (and my asking her online if her mom knew we were going to meet - she was only 16 and I just wanted to cover my bases). I met another when she arrived by train in Chicago and stayed with me for two days.  Even though we had created a 'yearbook' with pictures, I wore a tee shirt from the TV show that brought us together when I went to pick her up.  I met others later and with each meeting it was like seeing an old friend. There are still people I have met online and 'talked' to for years who I haven't met in person, but they are no less my friends than those I have met.

I am thankful for these friends, who started as a name on a screen, with conversations typed far away, who became important people in my life.


houndstooth said...

I'm awfully curious about what the show is! And I feel the same way about some of the online communities I've been a part of over the years. :)

dw said...

The show was The X-Files. It was the first show to have a strong internet following while it was in first run (the timing of when the internet really took off matched up with the show). Even 10+ years after the show's been off the air, we still get together to chat sometimes, make TXF references in our Facebook posts and read/write fanfic. Many times, however, our conversations that start about Mulder and Scully end up about pizza and roasted potatoes - we almost always get to food!!