Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Virtual World; Replete With Imagination In The Absence of Facts.

How does one find closure when a virtual friend drops off the virtual radar?

Based on my own personal reaction to a rather sudden cessation of what had been friendly and interesting exchanges with someone in the virtual world, the so-called Blogosphere, I got to wondering, questioning what a real person can do in trying to get closure in such a situation.

If you're still curious about where I'm going with this, here's some background.

A couple of years ago the editor of the blog, The Old New Englander, posted a comment on my blog, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness. That was the beginning of an online correspondence, which, in time, led to emails, which became a virtual friendship, judging by the sharing of what was going on in our lives. That included the using of our real names and towns in which we live. It also included references to our mates, by name.

The last post to The Old New Englander blog was well more than a month ago, clearly out of pattern. In the past he told his readers when and how long he would be away, and if there were a brief hiatus in his posts, when he returned to posting he cited his schedule as an active lawyer, busy with cases.

It's any individual's business of course with respect to with whom one maintains contact, and how often one posts. That's not the issue.

What I'm waking up to is a previously unacknowledged(on my part) limit of virtual friendships, online communication, and ability to find out what's behind a sudden change in pattern.

In this case it was friendly, interesting and satisfying, but not at a personal level such that one would feel comfortable digging further. It would feel like prying into places uninvited. After two or three emails, whatever the reason for a lack of response, one is wise to it go.

Nevertheless, imagination replaces fact, including possibility of serious illness, accident, even sudden death.

The online relationship is limited to two people, and others who could clear up the mystery might not be aware of the level of the virtual friendship.

Of such is the limit of online life. Come to think of it pen pals of old must have experienced similar frustrations.

Just in case though, if anyone reading this knows anything about the Old New Englander which might help this blogger understand please pass it along. I'm aware that some readers have visited both his site and mine from time to time. "The River", if you see this please leave a comment.

I miss The Old New Englander's contributions to the public discourse, his patient tutoring and mentoring with respect to all things Israel and, most of all, his friendship.



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