I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people. Philemon 1:4-7
I had another post in mind but when I saw Duane Scott's topic I decided to chime in with my two cents worth and answer the question he put forth. Let me give a wholehearted emphatical "Yes" to the question of whether online friendships are real.
When I entered the blogging world way back in 2009 I had no idea where it would lead. But God gave me a wonderful surprise. Along this journey, I have read heartfelt words full of laughter, tears and emotions that have moved me greatly. And as it turns out these were all attached to people. Real live living people.
And I have become very attached to some of you. In fact, I sincerely hope we are friends because that is how I think of you. And even though we have never met? You are almost as real to me as someone dear I can touch and feel each day.
Along the way, you became real to me. Your words touched me, became a part of the fabric of my life.
Each day I know you a little bit more, and I hope you know me better too. Because in this journey toward Heaven, we are starting our eternal friendships right here.....
You have become my prayer partners and I hope you know that in my little place of prayer at first light, when your name crosses my heart I pray for you, and I think about your life and the people in it.
I could call you all by name but you know who you are, and I don't want to leave anyone out!
I know there should be a disclaimer now, we have all heard the stories. Someone masquerades on Facebook as someone else with someone else's picture.....people are hurt, lives and relationships are destroyed, and I guess that is real too.
But that's not you.
Today as I walked down the pathway that led to work, I smiled as I passed by the spot where about two months ago I actually talked to Duane Scott on the phone for the first time. He became more than beautiful words on a page as we talked and laughed about writing, and life, and my ineptitude on the computer.
He became a real person, and because of that conversation, that little place beside the walkway has permanantly changed for me, it has become a good memory. And it all started online.
I remember how ill at ease and self concious I felt about calling, because I have really never escaped my shyness about meeting new people, but I smile when I remember how his friendliness and kindness put me at ease.
Online friendships I don't know about, but online friends? They are real, and I treasure every one of you.