Worlds Collide to become Virtually Real and Really Virtual.

“Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things.”  ~ Unknown

In this day and age, worlds collide and when they do it can be for good and bad.  Bad and good.

Let’s start with the good.

As you are all aware, Saturday night was our holiday party and it was both amazing and crazy at the same time. I had been running around for days;  busy buying candles, and food, and plates and of course alcohol.  We stayed up late wallpapering and rearranging furniture and organizing.  Busy busy all the time, and yet something, it felt was missing, my mind drifted to a place I had been neglecting…Facebook. My community page. The place where I have met so many fascinating and interesting people who are supportive and encouraging for no real reason other than to be supportive and encouraging. I worried that my “faves” as I call them and my friends as they are also called, would forget me and leave me behind for other communities where the people weren’t so focused on the real world. And then everyone arrived.

Our friends poured in the house. I was running around like a crazy person taking coats, bottles of wine and kissing and hugging everyone.  And then I looked over by the fireplace. There was an attractive young couple who were not someone I immediately recognized, but within in seconds it clicked.  It was my friend Deb aka “The Monster in Your Closet.” She was standing in my living room. looking lovely and luminous next to the fire place. I ran to her and gave her a hug almost before saying anything. In meeting her and Ba’D as she calls him, I couldn’t help but think, this is you, this is you in real life. Not the virtual world, where I see you all the time, this is the real you. Worlds collide for good.

Several minutes later after fighting several fires (figurative) and greeting several other guests who had arrived, in walks another friend I met virtually, Y.  We had met once before but I have known her for months. She was wearing a fab pink coat and beautiful black dress and I wanted to hug her for standing there, and for being there for me both in the real and virtual world. Worlds collide.

As I spoke with both of them, we laughed about how much I had been offline. How I must have been busy because we hadn’t been in touch and they hadn’t seen much of me, nor me them. As I started to say I had been spending time with my real world friends, I realized I could no longer truly differentiate. For isn’t a friend, one that supports you, thinks of you, spreads acts of kindness on your behalf and treasures you for who you are?  These 2 and so many others do that for me and more every day.  To say that they only existed in the virtual world, is not true for when I was away, I missed them. Not in the way that people care what I say through a status update but for the supportive camaraderie that exists and lifts your spirits on the days when you need it, and keeps your spirits high when you are already feeling light and happy. Worlds Collide.

And now for the not so good:  Tonight, as I came home and was doing some PT with E, and making Q giggle, I turned on ABC News.  As I watched this video, my heart broke into pieces and the plates shifted

The inspiration that all started with young Jonah Mowry and his YouTube video at 4 am crying for help for support of his being” different,” for acceptance, for his resolve that “he is not going anywhere.’ The fact that every day 160,000 children stay home from school everyday to avoid bullying (Source: National Education Association) and 1 in 4 teens admit to being bullied (Source: National Crime Victimization Society) is tragic.  Bullying is no longer limited to school playgrounds, hallways and prank phone calls. It has invaded and spreads like a virus digitally. The space of influence for so many of us.

Having been 1 in 4 teens myself, with horrible things said behind my back and to my face in middle school, I am now grateful that the internet, email, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and any other social media platform did not exist.  Now for all these kids, and adults. Worlds collide for bad. There is no way to get away and but there is away out using the same vehicles being used against them…and so hooray.  Hooray, for Jonah and for all the others that can fight back and enlist the power of people like Lady Gaga who care so passionately for this cause that they will support it on their own time in the real world. Not just on Twitter, or YouTube, but both.  Worlds collide for good.

Worlds collide everyday, in a million little ways. Today after talking to one of my dear friends on the phone, I got home and went back online. There I was so surprised and touched to find that a woman, named Topaz on Facebook with a lovely page called “Be a Leading Lady” kindly trying to help me get to a 1,000 likes today.  There was no reason outside of our interaction in this virtual community for her to do this. We had just met.  But her inspiring page and words were appealing to me so I was so delighted.  Later tonight as I typed this post, I checked in again.  With 8 likes away to 1,000 I posted a thank you to everyone, all of you, and others who helped me get to my 992 number.  For liking me before I had 1,000 likes. 900 likes, 75 likes, 0 likes.  For all the pages that took me under their wing to get me to those 992 likes. And then suddenly, a page who I have been interacting with for some time, “Don’t Pet the Sweaty Stuff”, with  an owner D, who I so enjoy, shared my page with her nearly 8,200 friends and asked them to come on over and help me get over 1,000.  When I tell you I was so touched, and excited, I was nearly crying.  Then she posted a picture of a firework on my page as she tracked what was happening.  This is what friends do for friends. They listen. They listen whether by ear or by reading, and then when you need it or don’t ask for it or least expect it, they reach out a hand and pull you up or give you a hug or send you a note.  Or they send 45 of their fans crashing over to your page to say hi and push you way over 1,000, to feel like a million.

Real or virtual, virtual or real. Friends, bullies, we all live in the same space.  It’s all a million little things.  They all add up to friendship if you are lucky and kind to others and bullying if you are insecure and frightened and prey on others.

I am delighted to say that I am lucky in the real world and the virtual world …friends who have done a million little things. Most of which  noone, even them, will ever really know how much those little things mean to me.  I wish the same for you.  As you sit here reading this, for which I am so grateful, know that in my own small way I hope I can give you some small olive branch of friendship.  To say thank you.  To say, I appreciate you.  You all make each day ‘mynewfavoriteday’ and I hope that others do this for you as well. To take all those small moments real, virtual and in between, and add them up to make them ‘yournewfavoriteday.’

Worlds collide.

19 thoughts on “Worlds Collide to become Virtually Real and Really Virtual.

  1. LOVE this!! Love the concept of virtual and real worlds colliding, and I agree that real friendships can and do develop online. Great blog–thank you for writing it!!!!

  2. I’m so glad your worlds collided. As for the video, that sort of stuff breaks my heart. I teach online and many of my kids are with us because of bullying. 😦

    1. Thank you! I know, that must be so hard to help those children as it’s such difficult time. You believe you will never make it through but how lovely that there is a safe place like you to go and how beautiful you can give them compassion and empathy and reinforce what makes the wonderful about who they are. Teachers can be our greatest gifts and assets in these situations, one of my teachers was actually the one who finally took the final stand against the girls bullying me in middle school and I will always remember that. Real or virtual, doesn’t matter, whatever compassion you can give those kids goes a long way and often the world collide so it’s all the same:)

  3. You have me in tears. It’s been a real hard couple of days, and this was such a wonderful post to read. I love so many of you, and I have to leave the inbox for a while. Dont forget me too, k?! Lol

    1. I meant to say “interwebz” instead of “inbox”, but my phone thought it would TRY and be “smart”!! 😉

  4. Shannon,

    You never cease to amaze me with your eloquence. I love that you are a part of my virtual world, and my “real world” in that I carry your messages with me every day. I am so grateful to share interaction with you and many of the same people you do in the virtual world. You all make me work to be a better writer and woman.

    Thanks for sharing another beautiful post, Shannon.

    1. Thank you TM:) I love that we have our virtual life together and I too appreciate your messages. I so appreciate all your support and kindness and your sharing of my words as it brings me so much joy and gratitude to have the opportunity to meet you all.

      You are an inspiration yourself and I wish you a lovely day, my friend:)

  5. Awwww…I am so touched to be included in your article! ♥ I am so glad we connected! I love my real life friends and my online friends who become my real life friends! Love it when both worlds collide! ♥Topaz

  6. I know exactly what you mean. These last few days my connectivity has been very limited, and the thing I’ve missed most are my FB and blog friends. And sure enough, waiting on my page this morning were messages of support from people I’ve never been in the same room with. So I don’t ever want anyone to call my online friends ‘imaginary’ again. Mwah!

  7. Love the title 🙂 you made my day and I got all misty after this post. Glad to call you my sister and friend xoxo

      1. Thank you honey…xoxox I need to hear some nice things after the last two weeks. I’m feeling a little exhausted, defeated and lacking the energy at this moment. Lunch soon?

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