One of things I like about the Internet is the way that what might be barriers in the real world when it comes to making friends are no longer there.
I'm not just talking about distance here, more about the limits of our social groups and surroundings and the places we go to actually be able to interact with different people. On the web there are no barriers, and the friends that I have made don't just come from all corners of the planet, but all walks of life and all ages.
And I do consider some of them to be real friends, even though we have never met. After all if someone asked you to describe what makes a good friend many of the attributes you would give them do not require them to be sat in the same room.
The vast numbers of anonymous blogs about very personal subjects is testament to that.
But if someone knows the intimate details of your life, has discussed them with you and perhaps offered words of wisdom, or maybe shares similar experiences to the point where you feel some degree of empathy with each other are they really a stranger ?
If the dialogue, in whatever medium you are using, occurs over any length of time then surely there comes a point where that person is regarded as a friend.
There's a point to this, I want to tell you all a story.
Amongst the people that I have met online is a young (well a lot younger then me) woman, I'll call her Ria. We got chatting in a forum for a while before I read Ria's blog, but when I did there was something there about a personal tragedy that I related to.
Then life dealt her another really awful shitty blow. WAY below the belt.
And it was that, and the fact that it made me want to share some private stuff about me which I thought might be of some value in a difficult decision she needed to make, that prompted us to begin conversing privately away from the forum.
During this time we had the pleasure of Ria's ex boyfriends company in the forum for a while, since he came there and abused her for a bit when he found out about the latest piece of news.
Trust me when I say this - if she was my daughter I would've called the police because what he was saying was harassment. Actually scrap that, if Ria was my daughter I would've found the cunt and kicked his fucking head in. What I did do was contact the forum moderator and get him removed.
So a little time goes on and I get a comment on my blog FROM THE EX. Saying some very personal things about Ria, absolutely not his business to divulge. Fucker tried to make it sound as if he was doing this out of some misplaced concern, that he was worried about her, and as he 'knew' she and I were talking he was hoping I would help her.
WHAT THE FUCK ?
He even gave me her phone number.
I already had it - but he didn't know that. To him I was a stranger on the Internet, for all he knew I could've been a 60 year old pervert.
Around the same time Ria's best friend sent me an email, she wanted to let me know that Ria was ill, saying she had her phone as an explanation of how she got my address. I did find this a bit intrusive, but I figured she's young, worried about her best mate, and genuinely thought I would want to know - which of course I did, so I just thanked her.
I tell Ria about this. The issue for her then was how did her ex know all the stuff he was 'telling' me, and how did he know that we were friends. In the times that he had been in the forum there were lots of other people, nothing was exchanged there between Ria and I to suggest we chatted elsewhere.
Well guess what. He knew all this because her so called best friend was fucking him.
Apparently they are 'in love'. . . like either of these two low lifes even know the meaning of the word. And she got my email by snooping on Ria's phone.
Even without all the crap Ria has had to deal with - and believe me at her age most people would just crumble under the weight - fucking your friends ex is still a betrayal of the worst kind. And it turned out that they were actually fucking each other when Ria and him were still together.
Why would you even want to ?
Especially when you, more then anyone else, know what a total cunt he was to her and what an utter loser he really is.
These two have continued to leave messages in my comment box here, and the slut of an ex friend has emailed me several times trying to convince me that Ria is messed up (I'd be surprised if she wasn't), and trying to turn me against her with yet more personal stuff.
Which I already know as like I say, she and I are friends.
I ignore it. I've no desire to enter into any dialogue with a fucked up slapper who clearly has no morals and no fucking idea of what constitutes a true friend.
It's really none of my business, but she made it so by mailing me.
And she really is the one who's fucked up.
In every sense of that expression.
What I've written here is a tiny bit of what has happened, but the worst is that this bitch altered the one long email conversation we had (after her pestering my inbox all night, I told her what I thought of her and her actions) so it reads as if I'm telling her that I don't want anything to do with her or Ria, then forwarded it to Ria.
I've seen it, Ria sent it on to me.
Actually I've kept all the various comments and emails both of them have left me, as it's getting annoying and another mate who's a legal advisor has suggested I could take action against them for harassment.
But just how sick do you have to be to not only do the dirty on your best friend in the worst way - the main result of which is that right when she needs you the most you're gone from her life - but to also try and ruin any other friendship she might have.
Even if it is just an online one.
As far as those two (the ex and the ex friend) go, I'd say good riddance to bad rubbish whatever their motivations are. Not that that's much comfort to Ria.
But when a real life friend whose known you all you life can sink to actions so low and disgusting perhaps online friendships are in fact a better kind.
Even those of us who 'hide' behind user names are probably being far more honest about who we really are underneath our online facades. There are lot of people out there who discuss things with strangers on the net that even their nearest and dearest have no clue about.
Strange to think that someone on the other side of the world might just know you better then the friends you see every day ?
Part of my lottery winning fantasy involves hiring an entire resort somewhere hot and sunny and paying for all the various people I've met via the Internet to fly in and join me.
Whose coming ???