::Tangent:: Previous post: Highschool
Growing up, I wasn’t your typical teenager. My dad was and still is a huge IT nerd. He always gave me the latest and greatest in the world of technology. I remember I was in 8th grade when he gave me my first laptop computer. My world changed once my friend told me over the phone about this chat room/website that she would go on to chat with other teens. It was called Cyberteens. This place was literally a brand new world to me. I could create any (and multiple) screen names, I could be whoever I felt like being. Any gender, any age, any location (the three main questions typically summed up in A/S/L?).
Because of this and the frequent use of AIM, MSN, and Yahoo messenger, I “met” many people over the internet. Throughout high school, I would go through online “relationships” where someone would ask me out via messenger, and I would agree. I had more relationships than screen-names. I wouldn’t even know where to begin to try and remember them all. But there was one person that stuck out to me.
I found myself growing closer and closer to this person, slowly opening up my world to him. He wasn’t anything spectacular, he was just a good friend who was always there to listen/talk to me. Over time, I found myself falling for him whenever I was single, aka not in a real life (other world) relationship, or other online relationship. We even tried the whole online relationship thing, but it wasn’t enough for us. And if anything, it made me feel more awkward around him. Weird how that works.
Over time, as we grew up and were in college, during my freshman year (which I haven’t gotten to yet so kind of getting ahead of myself here) I found myself single after breaking up with someone in my very real life. I somehow found myself back in the same pattern with my friend from the internet. Just this time, I found myself calling him often and hearing his voice made what was still not real seem more real to me. After awhile and some really hard and sad times on me, he ended up basically laying out reality for me. He helped me realize that what I was imagining was just that: imagination. Reality was that we were 800+ miles apart with no realistic chance of meeting any time soon.
And even if we met, it wouldn’t change anything. Long distance relationships don’t work. I took the advice, and actually grew from it. I did utilize the internet after that, but that was to find a local guy rather than a distant one. I ended up using internet dating websites several times to meet several potential dates, but I never met anyone else via chat rooms after high school. I’ve fallen out of contact with many of those people minus a few. And I did eventually meet that guy I thought I loved. He actually currently lives in the same city as me. And we’re both happily married now, to the right people. Funny how that works.
Next post: Freshman year