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By The Way, Are We On The Same Continent?
Iím amused how little geographic location matters on the Internet. I often smile when I wonder if the person Iím chatting with is even on the same continent. Everyone in the world might as well be just across the street, if they are using the same messenger program or in the same chat room.
The irrelevance of distance and location is on my mind because I am expecting to have a rush of new Internet friends. Iíve just started an online novel writing course with Forward Movement Writers (FMWriter.com.). My classmates and I will all be looking at each othersí work, giving encouragement and ideas to each other. Three weeks in, having barely started out on the two year course, Iíve already got one great suggestion that inspired a new subplot. Iím sure I will Ďclickí with some of these aspiring writers and not with others. Iíll find some people who like the same books, think like me, and write the same way that I do. Plus Iíll encounter others who write and think very differently. Iím not sure which of these people I will create lasting friendships with, since difference is often interesting, and I want to chat with writers with different strengths and weaknesses. I dream of finding a complementary writer, and co-writing great books filled with my terrific plots and their awesome descriptions. This person probably exists somewhere in the world, and thanks to the Internet where they are located is fairly irrelevant.
So far I know the physical location of only two of my classmates out of dozens. I know that one lives in the same city as I do since she belongs to the same local writing group and is the one who told me about the course. The other lives on a different continent. It doesnít matter much with Internet friends. It just means that they are having breakfast after Iíve finished dinner. Iíll sometimes be asked, ĎHow was your day?í before breakfast. Actually thatís often when the question of geographic location comes up-when one of us realizes the time difference, or that we have different public holidays. It sue makes the world seem more like a single global village when someone in another country is also your friend Ďacross the streetí.
This article was posted on February 06, 2006