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Virtual and real friendships

The Mommy Chronicles

October 26, 2012
Anne Blankenship - Managing Editor ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

Larry and I have been online gaming for a year or so now, and we both really enjoy it. We've made some very good friends and have had a lot of laughs. I guess that's the old married couple version of a night out. My parents would play bridge with their friends, Larry and I slay dragons in a virtual world. The funny thing is, I think we're as close to some of our friends in the virtual world as my parents were to their friends are in the real world.

I don't think it's a matter of being physically close, Larry and I started our relationship via email and text chat, after all. But it's spending time together. In the process of playing the game, we have probably spent hundreds of hours talking, joking, and just generally getting to know our on-line friends.

There is one couple that lives in Canada, another friend who lives in Colorado and works for the state, one friend is an EMT in Indiana, and another does defense work in Texas. His two kids, one in high school and one in college are also part of our group.

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I'm not a big science fiction reader, but my husband says that this is a major theme in the genre, that that eventually we won't even see each other at all, we'll just spend all day in our homes, connected to the rest of the world through realistic 3-D displays and fiber optic cable.

Admittedly, it does seem attractive sometimes, when I've gotten cut off in traffic, or a sales clerk has been rude, or someone's gotten upset with me. It would be nice to just cocoon at home, and not deal with any of that, especially when I think about all the times I've cut someone else off in traffic, been rude to someone, or called and given someone a piece of my mind. It does go both ways.

But then Larry, Daniel and I do things like go to the Lion Pancake Breakfast, or Daniel's middle school band concert, a football game or community theater play, and I realize how much this community makes a difference to our collective quality of life. It's the time we spend together on things that matter to us that's really important. Webster City is a great place to call home.

So while I wouldn't give up our online friends for anything, I'll always have appreciation for the people here in Webster City as well. There is always so much going on -?the opportunities are endless and the rewards of making friends and contributing to the community are priceless.



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