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Are online friends weird?

I spend quite a bit of time hanging out at the online message board called “The Rumor Forum“. It is a group of people who are loosely grouped as fans of the group Caedmon’s Call. Many of them have known each other for several years, have attended concerts and other get-togethers as a group, and in general are pretty good friends in real life. I, on the other hand, just started hanging out there about a year ago, haven’t met any of them, etc. And yet somehow I find myself drawn in, wishing for acceptance and looking forward to each day’s interaction. Why?

If I could answer that question, it’d make my wife happier for sure, and might even make me happier… although I’m not that grumpy to begin with. 🙂 I don’t know why it’s addicting. I don’t know why I consider these people friends… and yet I do. Is it weird to have a friend you’ve never met in person? Is it strange to consider interactions carried out entirely through your web browser as “friendships” in the first place? Such are my random thoughts on this Saturday morning.

I’d really like to meet some of these people. One of them might be coming to town on business sometime this spring, so I could get together with him for dinner or something… but many of the others may be people that I never really “know”, whose only face I see is the little avatar they put next to their online posts, whose history I know from reading their blogs… kinda weird, I guess. I’d like to meet some of them for real. Somehow it would validate some of the thoughts I’ve had towards them, which would be nice. And hey, it’s always nice to make more friends… my friend list is rather limited, although I consider that the way God has it for now, rather than a complaint.

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