Thursday, 25 July 2019

Losing Online Friends

I'm sure Bonnie won't mind me using her blog, she's given me permission so don't worry. But I wanted to say something that can't be said in a few characters in a tweet.

I received very sad news this week that a long standing and dear friend on Twitter had passed away. Scott Blystone @oliviackcs Miss Olivia's Scribe.  He was a big, gentle, highly intelligent, clever and talented man with an even bigger heart. His humour and zest for life were infectious. He would reach out and touch anyone who was going through a personal crisis even while he struggled with his own health issues. He was much respected and much loved on Twitter and also on Facebook.

People say that it's no good spending so much time online talking to friends we may never meet, they say those friends are not real life friends and only exist in our virtual world, so they're not really our friends. Well I think all of us that spend a lot of our time online talking to our friends in our 'virtual world' know that isn't correct. Our online friends are as real to us as those friends we meet in our day to day lives. Those online friends are often closer and more valuable than real life friends. We sometimes confide in them. Relationships evolve, groups and clubs form, and before you know it, you're a member of several groups and clubs of like minded people and your online life can be more rewarding and be more fullfilling and mean more than any friendship we may forge in real life.

For some, those that are housebound for different reasons, their online friendships are their only contact with other people they may be at home week in week out and never see or speak to another soul in the real world, for others they may not have such a great private real life and it helps them cope with their personal problems, and for all of us it's an escape from reality although it is actually another level of reality, I think you'll know what I mean.  And for those who live alone and live an isolated existence, it gives great comfort to know that our friends are just a keystroke away.

Since joining twitter in 2009 or 2010 I can't remember now, I've had the privilige to know and become friends with so many people all over the world and lucky enough to meet some of them in person. They have made my life so much richer and made me feel more motivated. They've helped me feel appreciated and worthy, given me a purpose and shown me I'm loved. And they've been there for me when I have been through traumatic and lifechanging periods of my life. Yes,  we love our online friends because they mean so much to each us.

So when we lose one of them, even one that may have been in a group we are a member of but we didn't follow them or know them personally, it's like losing a member of the family. That's because they were a member of our virtual family. They touched our lives and became part of us.

Several dear friends and people I, we, have known have passed away since first coming to Twitter. One instance was a lady, Gwen,  who had passed away at home, Gwen had lived alone with her cat, and only due to an online friend the alarm was raised and she was discovered and her cat rehomed and cared for. I didn't know that lady personally, but I still had a feeling of loss when I heard the sad news because she was 'one of us' and part of our virtual family.

Others I knew more personally that have passed hits me harder. Hugodad and Scott 'Scribe' to name just two. The pain of loss is almost unbearable. And it's not just those human beings that are special to me, to us, it's the pets that they speak for/as on Twitter. Sometimes we may never again converse with those pets, and sometimes wonder what becomes of them. Someone stops tweeting and you never find out the reason, the account is left in limbo. We worry about the human and the pet, are they ok, what happened?

Sometimes some pets stand out from the crowd more than others, Alfie, Bonnie, Winston, for instance. They leave their mark on people's hearts and leave a legacy for others, Winston founder of Zombie Squad, Alfie the heart throb, Bonnie Matron of Zombie Squad and Gatekeeper of The Bridge, Bella who helped SpanielHarry with Woofstock and loved everything pink. They leave something behind that we can all still share and enjoy. They teach us things in life that make us better  individuals and give us the opportunity to show empathy and love and kindess to everyone and everyfur.

Then there are all the hundreds of other sweet souls that make the journey otrb. They are all special in their own way and they all mean so much to each of us. And on their  passing the Twitter family come together, hundreds of friends, to give support and send messages of sympathy and condolences. That means so much to the owners that they can share their grief with so many who totally understand and are there for them at such a sad time.

Although it is heartbreaking to lose these dear friends and pets, rather than dwell on the fact they are lost from both the real and the virtual world, I, we should feel grateful we had them for a while in our lives and for making our lives richer, for the privilige of having their friendship and companionship in our world. We will keep them alive in our hearts forever, all those very special humans, those very special pets will live on and be loved by their Twitter family.

So let us celebrate all those dear friends who are now at peace, and thank them for making a difference in our lives by knowing them and for offering us their friendship.  They are now our Guardian Angels.

Muvver
xx


No comments:

Post a comment