I actually wrote this on July 10th, 2002, just a little under a year ago. Given recent events on this bulletin board, I decided to pull it out. . . again. I re-read it. Just a little under a year later since this was first written, I still stand by my words. Cyberfriends are wonderful. To me, though, nothing beats the feeling of a real hug from a real person.
I "surf" to about six different bulletin boards. "Allnurses.com" is the only nursing related bulletin board leaving the other five forums music & video recording related.
I've met some pretty cool people at these bulletin boards. Some I've corresponded via email . . . some, I've just read their posts. . . some, I've even talked to on the phone. . . one bulletin board member (from "Allnurses.com" as a matter of fact!), is coming to my house for a home-cooked meal! (She's doing a "camp-nurse" gig for a "Summer Camp for Rich Kids" that's located about 1/2 hours drive from my house!) (4/15/2003: Note, this event took place already! We had a wonderful time!)
I go to the music/video/recording-related bulletin boards to learn the tricks of producing good-quality recordings as well as to learn how to better use some of the computer software/hardware "toys" that I own. I go to "Allnurses.com" usually ignore anything nursing-related and unwind here at the "Off Topic - Just Conversation" forum.
What's interesting is that I wasn't doing any of this stuff a few years ago. I met people the old-fashioned way. . . face to face. We'd go out, have dinner, watch a movie, go hiking, play music together, go shopping, watch a Broadway show, go to church, go on a picnic, and/or sit around and just talk.
Here's my thought:
Interesting how technology enables us to meet people who literally lives thousands of miles away from ourselves. At times, we share some fairly personal stuff here. I've shares thoughts on some topics that I haven't even shared with my own church pastor (remember the thread, "Do you Believe in Life After Death" ?) Sometimes it just seems easier to share things to people via "keyboard" than it is share thoughts to a warm-blooded human being who's actually standing (or sitting) next to me.
On one hand, I find "Cyber Friendships" pretty cool. Without a doubt, I've grown to appreciate and respect several individuals from this "Allnurses.com" bulletin board. Without this form of "meeting" I would have never had the pleasure to meet these wonderful people. It is nice talking to a "cyber crowd" about topics I may not have otherwise had a chance to discuss. . . whether it's nursing related, music related, or just plain life related. It's easy to learn about other cultures and be exposed to different and new ideas from people around the world via the internet. . . this is way cool!!! Finally, I find if fun to goof around these "cyber halls" for a harmless way to unwind.
On the other hand. . . I enjoy meeting people face to face. Can't do that over the internet. No real hugs; no opportunity to see how people may be really reacting to a comment posted via "cyber conversation"; can't see the eyes. . . it's important for me to see eyes - the "gateway to the soul".
Will the internet ever replace "up close" relationships? No, at least not for me. But I can't deny the realness of the "cyber friendships" founded at these "computer-based meeting rooms". It's interesting how technology can expose a person to new things and wonderfully different people.
. . . and yet, there's nothing like a real, warm hug where people can see "eye to eye" and view eachother's souls.
I have a modestly large computer-based music studio. Thanks to modern technology and the computer, I can compose and record music where I am the "lone" musician playing the drums, the bass, the piano, the strings, the woodwinds, and even the "guitar". We use this technology-produced canned music for live gigs, actually, as well as for albums and other things.
But there's nothing like playing with live musicians!!! No matter how sophisicated modern technology can be for musicians - even to the point of recording a whole album that sounds like a 100 piece orchestra with only one musician. . . there is nothing like playing with a live band!!! Computers and other high-tech gadgets will never take the place of live musicians playing real instruments!!!
And no matter how many wonderful people one may meet at the "Allnurses.com" bulletin board . . . . nothing will ever replace the actual touch of one's hand holding another person's hand in friendship.
Long live technology!!! Long live friendship of all kinds!!! Long live real eyes seeing real eyes just a few inches away during a caring and heart-felt hug.
Peace. . .
Apr 15, '03
Well said in the current state of affairs, Ted.
Apr 15, '03
Very thoughtful, very nice, very true.
Thank you, Ted.
Apr 15, '03
agree, ted. i think very few are actually confused on this issue tho. that's all i will say here. a beautiful post that bore repeating nonetheless. thank you ted.
Apr 15, '03
mmmmm......love that saying Ted......."Eyes.......the gateway to the soul." I agree whole heartedly!
Just my personal take on friendship: Friendship requires one to be a friend first. This may be where many people trip up in their ability to form friendships! :kiss
Apr 15, '03
I have met two people in real life, whom I first became acquanted with on The Net. One was a nurse from my own nursing web site, another was a cyber-friend from a weight loss site.
We didn't "click" as well in real life as we did on The Net. So, the friendships faded away after meeting. I've talked to two people by phone, whom I first met on The Net. One, several times. We clicked well on the phone, and continue to communicate via message boards, emails, and phone.
Apr 15, '03
Very well said, Ted. Long live friendship of all kinds, indeed!
Apr 16, '03
I've had people "PM" me when I first posted this note. . . nearly a year ago. A few people said that they met their significant other on the internet!
I was truly impressed!
I use the internet and all of its technology to communicate to family members miles away. . . we all do now, I'm sure. It's amazing that just about 15 years ago, it was the phone or "snail mail".
Now, my father and I, on occasion, do video conferences with each other over the internet!!!! Way, way, way cool, in my books!
Peace and love to you all.