*Magnify*
    February     ►
SMTWTFS
   
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
Archive RSS
SPONSORED LINKS
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/action/view/entry_id/1036942
by Ned
Rated: 13+ · Book · Entertainment · #2199980
Thoughts destined to be washed away by the tides of life.
<<< Previous · Entry List · Next >>>
#1036942 added August 26, 2022 at 6:47am
Restrictions: None
Strangers I Miss
I used to believe that the internet was the safest place to be, that virtual friends are best. It can be as anonymous as you desire, hiding under pseudonyms and behind avatars. Or if you prefer, you can let it all hang out and chronicle every moment of your life on Instagram and Twitter, gathering followers, stalkers and admirers. But even when you think it´s safe, you can be reminded that we´re all human, even the digital people are just human when you strip away their virtual selves.

A couple of years ago, I was watching a cooking video on YouTube. There was a recommendation to make this other YouTuber's pie crust. So I sought out the video and watched it. The woman in the video had some solid tips on pastry and I definitely use her method now. But when I returned to her channel to subscribe to her videos, I discovered she had passed away. She had passed before I saw the first video. And her husband who had taste-tested her tomato pie was dead, too, having predeceased her by several months. I had met, grown to like and lost these people all at once. I still watched her videos, learning from her and about her. Her life had meaning to many, and now it had meaning to me. I don't make pie anymore, and I don't think I will watch those videos again, but I won't forget her.

Then, just yesterday, I discovered a crafting YouTuber who demonstrated her patterns for crocheted items. Young, blonde, pretty and perky, she seemed to break the stereotype of crocheters being old women with nothing better to do with their time once the cats were all fed. I liked her approach to patterns and tutorials and subscribed right away. The first video I saw pop up was her memorial service. She died in January of a rare form of cancer at the age of 36.

I can't explain how this news hit me. To see someone full of life one minute, then to find that one day not too long ago, without any warning, she was handed a death sentence. To see how cancer just steals lives....

I think it was the sudden nature of her death, at least, it was sudden to me. For one minute she was smiling and chatting happily - the picture of health - and the next she was dead.

I have changed my mind about the internet. The deaths of virtual people have too profound an effect on me. The feeling of helplessness is even greater due to the utter remoteness of these strangers. The connection to them isn't real, and I cannot even grieve a loss that isn't really mine. Virtual people often disappear suddenly without explanation. Virtual friendships are broken every day with nothing more than a change of user name.

The internet is crowded with humanity and yet, so empty.





© Copyright 2022 Ned (UN: nordicnoir at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Ned has granted Writing.Com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.
<<< Previous · Entry List · Next >>>
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/action/view/entry_id/1036942