Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Summer Valentine

Some people look at us SLifers and think we may be living in isolation – tethered as we are to our computers. We’re imagined sitting in lonely rooms, isolated, ignoring the actual world around us. Maybe that’s true for some. But for most, we spend enormous amounts of time maintaining robust online friendships that compliment our real lives.

I didn’t start SL to find friends, probably because I’d kept a skeptical eye on cyberspace. I thought I was just playing a little game like Myst. But friends happened...

When I was a kid, I had two pen pals for years (until I became a teenager and turned all my writing inward, making melodramatic entries in my diaries, pretending I was the girlfriend of Baudelaire). I still have all their letters, their photographs, and other ephemera that could be folded into an envelope and mailed under one stamp. I learned from them; each person, a gift.

Making friends in SL reminds me a bit of cultivating a pen we are finding people from around the world, throwing our energies into getting to know one another. The “getting-to-know” you part is so thrilling. I’ve been blown away by the kindness of virtual strangers willing to reveal parts of themselves, whether through their art, their ear, their heart. I’m thankful for the trust my friends have shown me by sharing themselves, and for their kindness, their goofiness and their individuality. Thank you. :)) <333