Saturday, 6 May 2017

Virtually Friends

For a long time I considered modern technology as a great way to keep in touch with family and friends, people that I was already fond of. Facebook, what's app, Face time are wonderful for enriching relationships and strengthening bonds that already exist.

Something unexpected has happened now though and I have grown fond of fellow bloggers, fellow members of various groups with common interests. I am fond of people that I have never met, I have warmed to many people just through their writing, the photos they share, the views they express, their interests, passions and enthusiasm.

When I was a child we had pen-pals. At school we were given addresses of children our age in far off lands and then we would write to them saying what we liked doing, how old we were, if we had a dog, what music we liked. Some of these pen friends carried on corresponding for years, sometimes there would even be an exchange.  So people reaching out to each other to make the world a friendlier place is nothing new.

A friend of mine has three children, one is in Japan, one is in Germany and one is still at home. When I asked her if they missed each other, if they suffered from homesickness or nostalgia, she thought for a moment and then told me that in her opinion young people today don't know what it feels like to miss someone the way we did. they don't have that wrenching, tearing feeling when they have to part with their loved ones.
They don't experience these feelings because no sooner are they out of sight than they can be on what's app or Facebook, sending photos of what they're doing. Never feeling out of touch, never feeling left out and unwanted. They can skype the minute they get home and sit and chat with a cup of coffee.

Homesickness is terrible, it's like a chronic illness, you have to deal with it, to accept it as a part of your life and develop strategies to cope with it. The pain I felt when leaving my parents was akin to agony, like being stabbed in my heart, but you have to carry on, putting on a brave face, accepting.
It can only be a good thing that homesickness is a thing of the past.

Going back to my virtual friends, you who I have never met, yet you have comforted and warmed me, helped me learn about different ways of life, taste in music, films, books, dealing with problems, letting off steam, oh so many ways. Thank you to all my fellow bloggers, I love reading your blogs. thank you to all the members of the various groups I belong to, you have all enriched my life.

The sort of photo we collected from Boots before smart phones

we can keep in touch the moment we leave loved ones, no time to feel the wrench


  1. Love this & so true ~ my virtual friends are awesome & yet I still remember through rose tinted glasses the era pre internet & social media (showing my age). However, I find these virtual connections and friendships we have now equally strong as those we had in "real life" era. Perhaps due to my chronic illnesses of late and limited social interactions because of them I find these virtual connections so nourishing 💜

  2. Angela - you are one of the sweetest and most genuine people I have never met! Ditto, I love our little community and without doubt would now count yourself and Tanya as "friends" - I've come to know you both so well - and Val on her wee boat up in Holland. My mother had to go to England in her 20s and you can still hear the sadness in her voice when she recalls her homesickness and all the Christmases she was refused leave to go home. I went to France when I was 17 to au pair and cried every day bar about three when I got pissed on a bottle of Martini! (I know - but I was young and foolish).
    I love that have learnt so much about Italy, family and yummy food from you. About strength of character and the will to go on from Tanya. And stood behind the lens with Val looking at all those lovely views up the Dutch canals.
    It's been amazing ... long may it continue! XX

  3. What a lovely piece Angela - this world may be virtual, yet the people in it are so real - a source of never-ending interest.

  4. I am with Derval, Angela. You are just a lovely, lovely soul and it pours out through your blogs. I too cherish these contacts even though we will likely never meet. I also like it that even in the blogging world we can have have different 'circles' of friends, and here, you, Derval, Tanya and Donalene are very special to me. Thank you for being you!

  5. I love this! Sometimes I think my online family know me better than my friends! Keep being awesome xxx

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