|My son, Geoffrey,
got me onto irc, and then the Web in 1995 when we bought our first computer.
(He was an old hand at it already.) I've been hooked ever since.
I used to talk to my son's irc friends on #usa.
Even though I was the oldest person to frequent the channel, they always
made me feel welcome. They even called me mom or mommy!
I especially liked meeting people from other countries. It was hard to always meet up with these new friends because of the time difference, but I also loved to email with them. I have some wonderful friends from Egypt, Singapore, the Netherlands, Australia and South Africa, some of whom I've been corresponding with for many years now.
Since I started, I've branched out into other online venues - AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Instant Messenger and others, but the oldest and greatest thing to come along (for me) since irc is ICQ.
I've met really wonderful people on ICQ, including Jan in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada who we had the good fortune of meeting in September 1999. Her husband, Johnny, not only gave us a wonderful tour of the area, but cooked us a fabulous meal! They are friends FOREVER!!!
It's really special when I get to meet an irc friend in person. I've met a bunch from #usa: Angie - from Peoria, IL, Sean and Ravi- San Francisco, CA, Kat - San Antonio, TX, James (Geoffrey's old roommate), Erin and Kether in San Luis Obispo, CA, Julie - Iowa.
It was really cool having our friend, David from Australia ( and #usa), stay with us on the first leg of his US/Canada Odyssey. It was really fun showing our irc friend all the fun places in the Los Angeles area: Disneyland, Universal Studios, Venice Beach, Vasquez Rocks, Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
It was an awesome experience for my family to meet my irc friend, Dennis , and his family visiting from South Africa. It was so wonderful meeting them, that I felt happy, but sad at the same time at the possibility/probability of never seeing them again. South Africa is very far from Los Angeles!
In 1996 before going to Europe for the second time, I was playing around with a new program - FreeTel, a voice talking program. I saw Johnny in Holland. I messaged him, and then we got to take a 30 minute train ride from Amsterdam to Zaanfoord by the sea to meet him in person!
I met Shari on FreeTel. We were both so shy about "talking" online that we typed most of the time. Talking or typing Shari became one of my closest and dearest friends in the world. She was "there" for me when I was down, and I think I've been "there" for her too. It was such a thrill when she came from Singapore to visit for about a week and a half in 1997. It was fun showing her and her friend our part of the world. I was surprise how "American" Shari is. Did you know that English is one of the common languages spoken in Singapore? I know now! We stayed up sooooo late talking! I wish she could come back to Los Angeles again.
I was so cool having Bruno from France visit in 1998. He was even able to attend our 20 Somethingth Annual Forth of July Games Potluck/BBQ Fireworks Extravaganza Party! And, it took Bruno visiting LA to get me to finally ride the Blue Line all the way to Long Beach and the new Long Beach Aquarium! Thanks Bruno!
I've also met many friends online who I haven't yet met in person. Manar in Egypt, who I've known since 1995, is truly a close lifelong friend even without meeting in person. We have kind of an "online mother/daughter" thing happening. I've been through so many life experiences with her, that the only thing missing is actually meeting in person.
I continue meeting new friends online with the hope that I will one day get to meet them in their country (Australia, Israel, Brazil, China, Saudi Arabia, Canada, England, and all over the USA and more) or mine one day. Oh well, maybe some day. The world is truly smaller than it used to be!
Talk about meeting people online! My son, Geoffrey, met Tera on irc and after several short visits with one another, she came to Los Angeles to spend the summer with him. She lived with us for about 3 months! She's a very sweet girl and it felt like I had 3 kids - Geoffrey, his sister, Sandi and Tera, my newest kid. She moved to Los Angeles to live in 1997. Geoffrey and Tera will be married on July 30, 2000!!!
I've almost forgotten a huge group of new online friends - MsHelaineous! This group consisting of Helaines deserves a page by itself. Click MsHelaineous to go to that page.
To "meet" my online friends who I've met in person go to my OnLine Friends in Person and ME in person page!
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