Saturday's highlight was definitely a couple of shipmates rolling in on the tide, fresh from nautical adventures exploring the glories of the canals around Brum. We had not seen M since her wedding 18 months ago, and it was our first real chance to chat to her other half, as we had only met him previously at the wedding! This may seem strange, until you consider that M is a virtual friend, and our interaction has been mainly online, but with regular meetings over the years. One of the advantage of virtual friendships is that you waste less time on the superficial stuff. You often know more about the joys and sorrows of online buddies, as things that can be impossible to verbalise, can be shared with just the pressing of a few keys.
Times change. The golden era of internet chatrooms came and went. The opportunity for constructing a network of friendships within common interest groups, often from different parts of the country or globe, has largely gone. Ironically to be replaced by superficial friendships from within our existing social networks. Opportunities for new friendships flounder, as we play safe and interact with those we know and those we don't really know and probably never really will. Evenings when I sat at my keyboard laughing until the tears ran down my face, or as I watched as someone haltingly typed out their fears and anguish and offered prayers, have been replaced by watching catch up TV and often futile attempts to reach my target score on Words With Friends.
The online world was my life raft at a time in my life when I was quite isolated. Now my time is spent in different ways, and much more of it is spent in face to face interaction. The online world helped me to be where I am now. When I went for selection for Reader training, I had to give a five-minute talk, and I referred to the online Christian community where I had learnt so much. My opening sentence made them all sit up.
"You may think I am a Rose, but actually I am a Daffodil..."
Now that is what I call Flower Power ;)
Here endeth the fifth day.