Old friends

Wondering about people who’ve left your life applies to those in the virtual world as much as the real world.

One of my favorite things to check on when I check my site stats is to see what countries my readers are coming from.

Now, of course, this could be deceptive. With VPNs, you can be from anywhere.

But, I assume that most people aren’t geeks like me and even know what a VPN is, so more than likely the country statistics are accurate.

There are always two countries I look for: Ireland and India.

Why? Glad you asked.

I used to be a regular on The Obama Diary before I got lassoed into running The People’s View. And I had two very dear friends there.

The first was the blog owner, who went by the name of Chipsticks. She had several tragedies occur to her, and she ceded day-to-day running of the blog to another regular, Nerdy Wonka. Although she never said where she lived—the abuse she received from Obama-haters presaged the Trumpist moment—we knew she was Irish. And when I first branched out here, I would always see at least one person from Ireland reading my blog. So I’ve always wondered if it’s her. How is she? Has she healed? Has she found joy in her life?

The same applies to my other friend, who went by the handle of AMK for Obama. He was from India, and traveled the world on business. He would often ask me whether it was worth purchasing a particular whiskey for clients at the duty free. He invariably wound up buying them. He had left the blog a couple of times after increasing frustration with American voters. He left it and, as far as I can tell, any social media for good after November 2016. I ask similar questions about him as I do about Chipsticks. How is he? How is his genius daughter? How is his tolerant wifey? Has he turned his attentions to the troubles in his own country, and left us Americans to our own devices?

I’ve been on social media for more than half my life. I haunted chat rooms and BBS’s from the early 90s. I was a habitue of IRC in the late 90s. I’ve made friends and I’ve lost them. I even met my wife online. This is to say that even though connections made virtually are looked at askance, just like with any relationships, you can make friendships which are real and valid. They may last, or they may fade, just like with friendships in the flesh and blood world. When I disappoint someone I’ve grown close to online, the feelings are the same as when I disappoint a friend offline.

I’ve forgotten many people I’ve met online, just as many people met offline have faded from memory. But some stick with you. So I see Ireland and India reading my little scribblings, and I wonder: Is it them? And are they happy? In the end, if they are, then that’s all that matters.

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