No, that doesn't refer to my husband. But it does refer to a handful of friends, both old and new -- a fact that recently came into the light. It wasn't that it was being intentionally hidden, just didn't really come up.
What was curious is the reaction from friends that I had made 'traditionally' -- we met in school or at work or through other friends. They were shocked, maybe even put off that I could have *gasp!* made friends online. That sort of bias that I only thought went with folks who met on Match.com (which I never thought was a big deal...and my best friend met her now-husband on Match so it must work!!) also goes along with friendships made online. Like it's some sort of sect.
This prejudice, mind you, was coming from friends who work in Tech and not just any tech, but social media and networking. Doesn't a bias against making friends online defeat the purpose of social networking? If we're to get out of the rut of 'real space' and truly go into the realm of cyberspace, that shit needs to end. Cyberspace or not, friends are still people.
I met Red in the mid-90s through an online community called LiveWire that was run by a newspaper I used to write for. I love that I was part of this community. I love being part of the revolution that started it all. Facebook? Yeah, it's fun and yeah, I'm on there a lot. But like enjoying today's hip hop, you gotta know your roots. ;) Facebook, Bebo, LinkedIn didn't just happen now. People were connecting online and forging friendships and having fun when we had to dial in.
Basically, on LiveWire there were groups where I used to post (probably something involving grungy rock or skateboarding and snowboarding) and she would always be one of the people who would regularly reply with some really funny and witty comment. We soon were IM friends. Then the online community decided to have a barcrawl. The rest is history. We've been friends though graduate school, dating craziness, drunken crawls through San Diego and San Francisco. She flew to Amsterdam from the UK where she's now living for my bachlorette party and then flew to Carmel for my wedding a few months after. We still try to touchbase. I treasure her.
I made really great friends through LiveWire (you rock Dan Pulcrano!), friends that I've kept all these years. Friends who aren't weird or couldn't make friends in the real world so they had to go online, but true early adopters of this social networking thing.
I met M on Craigslist while I was living in Paris. There's a pretty intertwined American community in Paris. A lot of the ones I met knew each other and met other incoming Ex-Pats through Craigslist. I soon got to know this type of 'underground help system' for newbies in the City of Light. M was coming into Paris for a weekend. She knew no French and wanted tips on where to go. I gave her some tips -- places to shop, where to eat, where to watch out for sleezy French 'mecs'. We decided to have drinks and go out that weekend. We kept in touch. We laughed like we had known each other for years. She came to Amsterdam the following Spring for my bachlorette party. She met Red. Funny how that goes. She came to my wedding. All intertwined with other friends.
I don't lack for friends. I don't go online and troll for people. I just live part of my life online, which is as normal for me as going to a networking event at a local bar or going to a friend of a friend of a friend's party and meeting awesome people there. (Hi Maire!! Pub crawl, gotcha!:P)
One of the things I'm most proud of in my life is that I have a great group of girlfriends. They're all unique in their own way. I love that they're all diverse and I have a story to tell for each of them. They fill my heart with a lot of love and laughter.
And that, is never a waste of (cyber)space.