Transient Playgrounds and Fleeting Friendships

01 Mar

off switchYears ago I read a science fiction short story about a wildlife reserve that one could experience in two ways – as a tribesman who is a full participant in all the activities of the habitat or as a spectator who could observe every event that took place but not engage in any of it. Reading posts often gives me similar sensation to the latter experience: of being an observer and witnessing the experiences of another person without actually being a part of the event. Other times I feel like I’m reading a constantly evolving autobiography in small parts as opposed to reading a summary of someone’s life that has been whittled down and prettied up for public consumption. This past year I have been a part of many life stories and events and learned so much about the daily experiences of other members of the LGBT family (and friends) and how different (yet so similar) our lives are.

While relating to people online does not take so much time and effort to nurture and is without the many binding strings of the usual interpersonal relationships, these web-based bonds have a certain temporal quality that can occasionally be disconcerting: we exchange so much information and knowledge via comments, tagging and what-not but there is no lasting connection: emails, pictures, phone numbers are rarely ever exchanged; someone who’s a regular goneblogger can suddenly disappear for weeks, swallowed up by the real world (your internet bill must paid after all). Sometimes they come back and other times they don’t. When you go looking for them you discover that their blog has been deleted like it never existed. It’s almost like going to a new friend’s house and being informed that s/he packed up and moved away without telling you or worse, that s/he died.  Even worse is for this new friend to vanish without a trace and you’re left wondering what happened.

Recently an online blogger whose posts particularly reminded me of my own struggles deleted her blog and disappeared and I found myself asking:

Should I be worried at all?

Am I allowed to be worried?

Why am I so sad? It’s not like she’s dead.

Is she dead?

Is she even a ‘she’?

Were we actually friends?

Who is a friend?

Do I even know this person?

Should I be worried at all?

Though I feel sad that she’s gone (from this online space), I hope that wherever she is, she is okay.


Posted by on March 1, 2013 in Mind, Body and Soul, Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

8 responses to “Transient Playgrounds and Fleeting Friendships

  1. angryricky

    March 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Yes. There’s a lot of emotional work we put into this blog experience, and it’s unsettling when someone vanishes, either by deleting or just not posting any more. On the other side of that, one of the most affirming experiences of the past year was when I came back from a weekend away and commented on someone’s blog, and he asked, “Where have you been?”

    • D.C.

      March 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      That was very sweet. It is nice when people let you know that you mean something to them..

  2. aguywithoutboxers

    March 2, 2013 at 12:46 am

    I understand you completely. Sometimes, the thoughts, dreams, hopes and angst of others become a part of our routine and our lives and then…? We’re left wondering, “What happened next?” Great post, my friend. 🙂

    • D.C.

      March 2, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Very true. At this point I go into withdrawal if I can’t check WP everyday. Thanks 🙂

  3. jukk888

    March 3, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    This has happened and I missed some of those who disappeared. But then there are the new ones. Somehow real life works that way too. One thing better about being bloggers is that we don’t gossip and talk behind other people’s backs.

    • D.C.

      March 3, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      LOL! I’ve never thought about that beore but you’re right 😀

  4. Libby

    April 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    This is a great post, the topic and writing. I did feel that it died a bit in the end and was left wanting more. 🙂

    • D.C.

      April 4, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      LOL I suppose it did..a little bit
      Thanks for the comment 🙂


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