|Yanna, Rick, and I|
One of the phenomena of the internet age is the ability to make connections with people separated by geography and joined by common interest.
I've been participating in online communities since the early 1990s and have, in the intervening years, had the chance to meet in 'real life' aka 'meat space' many of the people I've enjoyed computer-based relationships with.
Not one of them has been an ax murderer.
I think it's a function of connecting over shared interests. The reality is that friendships are initially forged through those interests no matter where the friends are located. Relationships are nurtured through shared experiences.
Many people believe that online relationships cannot be 'real' friends. I beg to differ.
Perhaps because I am a writer and have a long history of communicating through words, I took to the internet like a duck to water. Some of my dearest and longest standing friends are ones I made on web forums.
I am currently in Denver, Colorado, staying in the home of one such friend. I initially met Yanna through Google Plus several years ago. I got to meet her in physical life a year and a half ago when her family summered in Vermont. (I live in the Boston area and drove up for a holiday.)
The tall gentleman standing between us in this photo is Rick Wayne, a writer who I also met through Google plus. He and I quickly became fans of each other's writing and became friends. We've corresponded through threads on G+, through email, and through video chats over the years. We're in the planning stages of co-writing a novel.
We've never met.
He drove nearly 8 hours from his home in Kansas to meet us in Denver.
And it feel like a reunion with an old friend.
There have been long conversations, laughter, and comfortable silences.
Yanna has been an amazing host, welcoming all of us with open arms and gentle hospitality. My husband and I feel like we are staying with long lost family and happily pitch in with meal prep and clean up, playing with Yanna's dogs, and hanging out with her children.
I feel so blessed to have these people in my life.
No ax murderers need apply.