Saturday, August 20, 2011
Making the world a friendlier place
It's true: blogging helps to bridge the divide. It helps to make the world a friendlier place.
There is an aura about friendships made through the virtual world: that they are not the same as friendships in the real world; that people always have ulterior motives; that what you 'get' is not necessarily what you 'see'. Yes, all that COULD be true. But equally true to friendships forged in the real world of a pub, or a soccer team, or a choir, or a writing group. Maybe what is meant is that virtual friendships can not replace reality friendships. Oh, I would agree with that.
So, it is up to the individuals to convert virtual friendships into real friendships. By meeting. By taking a punt that the person/people at the other end of the mouse are as genuine as you are. And if YOU are not genuine? Then, you DO have strife.
Virtual friendship is the art of telling the book from its cover. Frequently, in real friendships, the 'cover' - what a person looks like, what they dress like, whether they are fat or thin, tall or short - overwhelms the inner person of ideas and emotions. I digress to the political scene at the moment, where the politics of nearly all isssues is overwhelming the policies of nearly all issues. I look for the sausage, not the sizzle, to use an analogy favoured by a RL friend.
So, this week, I caught up with two virtual friends who have crossed the divide into real life friends. Diane and Bill were down from Brissie to catch up with their children and grandchild - the fantastic Mr Fox! After a couple of texts and calls we sorted the possible time slices allowed by grandparently duties - theirs and mine - and had lunch together at 'Blue Orange' in Hall Street, Bondi. We yakked for two hours: illnesses, grandkids, travel, photography, ageing. It was wonderful. The wind battened down the hatches. The rain pelted in sideways. Umbrellas turned inside out and littered the footpath. But did we care? Not a jot.
Diane and Bill are virtually real life friends of mine now.