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Monday, September 10, 2007

The Virtual Social

Lately, on several sites, I've seen mentioned how writers use the internet as a form of socializing with other writers.

That's fine. Thank goodness for the internet. In the past, writers had to indulge in alcohol and opium to take them to that ether collective. But I wonder if writers expect too much from internet relationships.

I've never done online dating. (Greg would frown on that.) But I imagine maintaining an internet relationship with other writers is a little like that. You really don't know what that person is like in real life.

Let's face it, most of us don't show the side of ourselves that our family and significant others know (and groan about) so well. Greg could tell you stories about me. But I have a restraining order on him, and a death threat on his motorcycle. He so much as breathes about my dark side, and that rocket on wheels is toast. ...but I digress. :o)

I've met several of my online friends in person. And while I've always appreciated the online relationship we've had, it's funny how much warmer and more intimate that relationship becomes after we get to know each other live.

I joke with my online critters all the time, but there's a little part of me that always has to be careful with how I phrase things because email isn't perfect. It doesn't reflect my smile, my warmth, that lilt in my voice that says I'm joking, or the hugs that come afterward.

It is just as easy to destroy a relationship online as it is to build one. I had a critter once who needed a lot of stroking. I imagine we probably could have been great friends had we met live, but we were on different wavelengths.

And then there was another person I met online who was extraordinarily fascinating in his emails, but we discovered we had no chemistry in the flesh. These things happen.

I'm one of these people who likes most everyone. Unless my spidey sense tells me you're creepy on the inside, I am an eager listener and will ask you questions until you're tired of me.

The virtual world has brought socializing to a whole new level where you never have to meet another live human being. Amazing…and scary.

Look at me--I'm a source. One of my friends is writing a column on commuter marriages and asked to use me as a source.

In the beginning, Greg and I thought we were all alone in this lifestyle, but it's amazing how many couples live like this. I'm looking forward to reading her article.