Angelina Kalahari

"Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself." by Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Are virtual friends real? What do you think?

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Even though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK as our American friends did yesterday, I feel everyone probably should at least look at the people and things they are grateful for. I’m grateful for so many things.

I was asked this question the other day, “Are virtual friends real?”

I’m grateful for all my friends, including my virtual friends, and I am lucky to have several virtual friends whom I’ve never met in real life, but who have become very important to me. Actually, I don’t even like the phrase, virtual friends, but to avoid confusion, I’ll stick to it for this post.

I regularly Skype for two to three hours every week or so with friends I have never actually met before.

A very dear and important virtual friend lives in Texas near a forest. She’s a writer and a musician, and when we Skype, we talk about writerly things and everything else under the sun. Perhaps because we share writing and music (voice, in my case), a love of nature and forests, we have a great understanding of each other, and exchange tips and advise about writing and life. We support each other and share in each other’s lives – our heartaches, sorrows, madness, creativity, lows and highs. She brings such deep joy to my life.

A much loved, treasured and significant virtual friend lives in Atlanta, America. When we Skype, I get a real measure of her essence and energy. I see parts of her home behind her, share in her joy of her dogs, and in her life, in a far more immediate way than only writing can allow. We discuss singing and voice, especially Adam Lambert’s amazing voice, life, our families, our careers, and we share ourselves in the knowledge that everything we tell each other is safe with the other. She is also my most important beta reader, and she enriches my life beyond measure.

Another friend, who lives on a ranch in Texas, became a virtual friend after we met one crazy night in New Orleans at an Adam Lambert show, when we danced together in a gay club until around four o’clock in the morning.  It’s always wonderful to catch up with her and to hear her tales of their goats and horses, and of her lovely family.

In 2015 one of my very first, wonderful, much loved virtual friends suddenly died. I can assure you, my heartache and sadness was very real. I still miss her every day.

I’m immensely grateful for the amazing opportunity to have met these special friends. I cherish them and the time I get to spend with them, in the same way that I value my friends who live near me. We share ourselves and talk on the phone, Skype, via email or Facebook regularly in the same way that friends who live near me, and I, share our lives and talk on the phone, WhatsApp, SMS, or meet up once in a while for lunch, dinner or just a coffee. I really don’t see any difference.

I have lived in other countries, and my friends who were once my real friends there, have since become virtual friends because of distance, but they are nevertheless still very much a part of my life. Thanks to technology, our world is now much smaller, and it’s always an amazing experience to Skype with someone across an ocean in another continent.

 

2 Comments

  1. Marilyn Cole

    07/12/2016 at 12:28 am

    I too have friends who live in other places, some of whom I’ve met at Adam Lambert concerts — including you in Hammersmith with Queen. It’s been wonderful to share my enthusiasm for this masterful artist with like-minded people. There are also people whom I have met in my travels and we keep in touch, even if it’s just a Facebook comment. I’m old enough to recall that the only way of communicating with one another was either by mail or by telephone — the old-fashioned kind that hung on the wall — and am glad to have the opportunity to communicate electronically. As I live alone, in a tiny village, it is my conduit to the outside world. I’m glad you’re doing the blog, and I wish you much success. Today I’ve ordered George and the Gargoyle in the Garden, and look forward to reading it! Congratulations on your writing endeavours, and I wish you much success. I haven’t tried a book, but do write articles for a local magazine called Sideroad & Sidelines.

    • Angelina Kalahari

      07/12/2016 at 3:52 pm

      Hi Marilyn,

      How lovely of you to visit my blog here – thank you!

      Yes, I remember sharing the show at Hammersmith with you – a truly wonderful experience. You’re right that we live in a much small world now because of easier connection electronically with others. I’m really pleased for you that it is a way for you to connect with other, like-minded people, especially if you live alone. Like you, I now have many friends around the world whom I never otherwise would have met – my life is so much richer for the experience.

      Thank you for your kind words about the blog and for your lovely wishes for my success. If I was still singing, writing for public consumption would never have happened, so there is good, I feel, in even the darkest experiences – I’m enjoying writing enormously. To be successful at it would be a wonderful bonus.

      Thank you for ordering George and the Gargoyle – although it’s aimed at children, a number of adults have read it and reported that they’d enjoyed it, so I hope you enjoy it too – thank you for your support – I appreciate it deeply.

      Loving the title of the magazine! I would love to read your articles – are they posted anywhere? Writing books can be cathartic and also huge fun – try it! 🙂

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