We don’t call them ‘Pen Pals’ any more.

We call them friends.

Since I started playing World of Warcraft I’ve met piles of people I never would have met before. I’ve been around for marriages, births, new jobs, new homes, graduations, etc (though at times indirectly) for people who just 5 years ago I never knew existed.

I’m a better man for knowing them.

When I once long ago tried to explain people met over the internet to my parents I tried to go with the Pen Pal analogy. In trying to explain it, I realized it’s much more than that. I never would have traveled (even with my parents) someplace far away with the express idea of meeting my Pen Pal. Yet here I am, I’ve traveled to the West Coast and back, driven down to a convention I may never have tried to attend (twice), gone out camping, and been invited to a wedding where the best man speech referenced those like me who had met the groom in an online environment and made a beneficial impact on his life.

Was there a point in human history where this type of distant relationship building occurred before? Or is this something new, starting with those around my generation and the children being born today.

As I’ve mentioned before I use facebook. I’ve reconnected with some people there, but  due to the nature of the declared future of that site I’ve kept my interactions on it down low. used it to get back in touch with people I haven’t seen since high school, etc.  I don’t see myself planning a trip based around a group of people who ‘like’ the same ‘page’ of content on that site.

Catch ya’ll later.

 

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