While it is true that you can meet some people online and develop what appears to be a TRUE and REAL friendship, it is, sadly, in the end nothing of the kind. I have learned, the hard way (as I tend to do) that if a relationship remains strictly virtual and online then that relationship will ultimately die a horrible death. If, on the other hand, you take the next step and actually meet this virtual friend in the flesh, then there is a great chance that the relationship will ultimately grow and become True and Real because it will have crossed into Reality. I know it seems simplistic and perhaps idiotic, but this the conclusion that I’ve come to in my life. Even if you disagree with me on this matter, it does not mean that I am wrong. It is my truth and my reality because it is based on my life experiences.
For example, I’ve had a very dear friendship with someone for over 4 years. We had a wonderful connection online, mostly in chat, where we would flow into long and deep conversations about anything and everything in life. We never had a serious argument or even any big disagreements! It was unbelievable! The other great thing about our friendship was the fact that it based on a mutual respect for each other’s freedom and time (or so it seemed!). I loved it that we would never demand anything from the other.
If we had the time to chat, then great! If not, then no problem. If we went weeks without communicating, then that was fine too. When we did get to chat we would catch up on all of our adventures in life.
We did eventually start talking to each other on the phone many months after our friendship began and it was great. We kept the calls few and far between. It was as if we didn’t want to spoil our blissful virtual friendship.
Then reality reared its ugly head. I think I should take most of the blame for the friendship’s death as I tended to neglect my friend more and more. Those weeks eventually turned into months of absence and I only remembered to search for my friend when major events took place in my life and I wanted to share it with them. My friend never complained much about the changes in our friendship, but I do recall subtle hints and remarks here and there that they made. I guess I just wanted to keep things status quo…and keep things as they were.
Ultimately, I think the actual death blow came when my friend told me that they were coming to my town, Atlanta, earlier this year and they told me that they could not fit me into their schedule because they were visiting other friends they made online. I will confess that I am a big ole sensitive baby and took it hard. I just wanted to meet my friend in person one time, just to have a cup of coffee and laugh about our long virtual friendship, but for whatever reason they couldn’t or didn’t want to meet me in person anymore. They did many years ago, but I guess I killed the friendship over time with my neglect? I do not know for sure. All I know is that this special friend has changed in so many ways that I can hardly recognize the sweet, sensitive soul that they once were.
I know we all grow and change in life, but I don’t know if it’s always for the best.
I think we either get better with time or we get worse. It all depends on the path we take and whom we choose to take along with us.
Maybe my ex-friend has a point. Maybe we need to spend more time cultivating our real life friends instead of wasting time with online virtual friends? Still, while my friendship with this person was merely online, it did have many “real” moments of bliss and deep connections. It might not have turned out the way I thought it would, but it did serve its purpose in the end.
I still have a couple of long time virtual friends that still seem to be there for me, but after this shocking conclusion to my longest running virtual friendship I don’t know how much longer they will last either. I guess it’s like life itself… we shouldn’t worry about how long we’ve got, we should just enjoy the ride while it lasts, huh?
Take care old friend. I wish you well.
Virtual vs Reality