Recently I have had cause to reflect on how much the internet has changed
the way people interact with one another, and how different all of our
lives would be without it. Previously one would make friends with people
that one met in day to day life, perhaps through correspondence. Now it
is possible to acquire friends from all over the world, and to communicate
with them in real time. In my case I spend most of my online time chatting
with a couple on Australia or my IM partners in the USA. None of whom
I would have met without the internet. A friend of mine recently got married,
and one of the guests was a person she had never actually met in person,
but whom she had emailed with for many years. On my recent trip through
the US, I traveled with one person I had met on the WW1 list, and stayed
with three others.
In my hometown, I know of no one else with the specific interest in
First World War aircraft that I have, yet I can dial up any number of
people with a like interest on ICQ or AIM. Additionally there is a mailing
list, forum and numerous websites devoted to them.
The above is the upside of the internet, now for the downside ... contact
with real people may be diminished. In my case I spend far too many hours
a day at the computer, so it I find it is necessary to take a break and
go for a long walk and meet up with real people, if for no other reason
than to keep my sanity.
By all means use the internet .. but also get out .. have fun. . . and
then go online and tell your friends about it