I've mentioned before that I'm a little bit late to the dance, the technology dance. I didn't get a Facebook page until January, I didn't own an e-reader until Christmas and I didn't discover the wonder of online groups and forums until last spring.
It's not that I dislike new technological ideas, but it's that I didn't have time to explore them. I still don't have time, but I changed some priorities. (I still can't get my blog to do some things I want it to do and my Transitional-Woman Facebook page needs a lot of help. However, these are tales for another time.)
Today's focus is the world of virtual friends. We were all suspicious of online forums in the early days, thinking they were full of stalkers and weirdos. But as I was obliviously rushing through life these somehow became legitimate places on the web.
Last year, when we finally got WiFi, I started exploring this land with a vengeance and soon became part of many, many groups connecting me to nice strangers who shared the same interests I have.
It didn't take me long to realize that I could not keep up with all of these groups and still stay connected with the flesh and blood world. So I whittled down my list to a few groups and have found myself amazed that I am friends with strangers.
We share our love for our hobbies, we know each others kids names, we share spiritual lessons learned, we know each others birthdays and we sometimes confess our foibles and sins. Just like Real Friends.
My family was amused by my growing circle of virtual friends. As I shared this and that about their lives, my kids got this little, "Oh isn't Mama cute," look on their faces and my husband smiled at me indulgently as he often does. But I've come to realize these women are no different than the penpals that people used to have in bygone days.
My virtual friends are slowly becoming real friends. We share our concerns and pray for each other. We keep up with the events in each others lives and grow concerned when we don't hear from each other for a while. If that's not real friendship, what is?
What do you think about virtual friends. Are they as real as real friends?