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BS: Cyberspace Friendships

Little Neophyte 19 Mar 00 - 09:19 AM
Amos 19 Mar 00 - 09:36 AM
wysiwyg 19 Mar 00 - 10:00 AM
Jeri 19 Mar 00 - 10:25 AM
Little Neophyte 19 Mar 00 - 11:08 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 19 Mar 00 - 11:18 AM
kendall 19 Mar 00 - 11:38 AM
Jeri 19 Mar 00 - 11:42 AM
catspaw49 19 Mar 00 - 11:51 AM
Rick Fielding 19 Mar 00 - 12:06 PM
Rick Fielding 19 Mar 00 - 12:08 PM
Mbo 19 Mar 00 - 12:50 PM
Amos 19 Mar 00 - 12:52 PM
Mbo 19 Mar 00 - 12:56 PM
Little Neophyte 19 Mar 00 - 01:03 PM
Rick Fielding 19 Mar 00 - 01:04 PM
Bill D 19 Mar 00 - 01:06 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 19 Mar 00 - 01:13 PM
WyoWoman 19 Mar 00 - 01:16 PM
GutBucketeer 19 Mar 00 - 01:17 PM
Jon Freeman 19 Mar 00 - 01:29 PM
catspaw49 19 Mar 00 - 01:34 PM
Metchosin 19 Mar 00 - 01:35 PM
katlaughing 19 Mar 00 - 02:06 PM
Amos 19 Mar 00 - 02:41 PM
catspaw49 19 Mar 00 - 02:52 PM
Amos 19 Mar 00 - 03:02 PM
MK 19 Mar 00 - 03:29 PM
WyoWoman 19 Mar 00 - 04:09 PM
Amos 19 Mar 00 - 04:27 PM
WyoWoman 19 Mar 00 - 04:39 PM
MK 19 Mar 00 - 04:48 PM
The Beanster 19 Mar 00 - 04:50 PM
katlaughing 19 Mar 00 - 05:01 PM
Amos 19 Mar 00 - 05:06 PM
Little Neophyte 19 Mar 00 - 05:17 PM
Amos 19 Mar 00 - 05:46 PM
TerriM 19 Mar 00 - 06:14 PM
SingsIrish Songs 19 Mar 00 - 06:38 PM
Mbo 19 Mar 00 - 06:45 PM
bbc 19 Mar 00 - 07:17 PM
wysiwyg 19 Mar 00 - 07:25 PM
The Shambles 19 Mar 00 - 07:26 PM
JedMarum 19 Mar 00 - 08:51 PM
Little Neophyte 19 Mar 00 - 09:18 PM
Mbo 19 Mar 00 - 10:18 PM
rangeroger 19 Mar 00 - 11:30 PM
GutBucketeer 20 Mar 00 - 12:10 AM
ceitagh 20 Mar 00 - 12:39 AM
GUEST,Homeless (somewhere else) 20 Mar 00 - 12:45 AM
ceitagh 20 Mar 00 - 01:06 AM
canoer 20 Mar 00 - 01:17 AM
Seamus Kennedy 20 Mar 00 - 01:25 AM
Seamus Kennedy 20 Mar 00 - 01:27 AM
The Beanster 20 Mar 00 - 01:29 AM
wysiwyg 20 Mar 00 - 02:15 AM
The Shambles 20 Mar 00 - 03:06 AM
Joe Offer 20 Mar 00 - 03:34 AM
Little Neophyte 20 Mar 00 - 08:07 AM
wysiwyg 20 Mar 00 - 08:41 AM
kendall 20 Mar 00 - 08:50 AM
Amos 20 Mar 00 - 09:00 AM
Little Neophyte 20 Mar 00 - 09:25 AM
wysiwyg 20 Mar 00 - 09:28 AM
Jeri 20 Mar 00 - 09:28 AM
katlaughing 20 Mar 00 - 11:09 AM
JedMarum 20 Mar 00 - 11:10 AM
Amos 20 Mar 00 - 11:29 AM
katlaughing 20 Mar 00 - 11:29 AM
Amos 20 Mar 00 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Anthony 20 Mar 00 - 12:28 PM
Amos 20 Mar 00 - 01:26 PM
Big Mick 20 Mar 00 - 02:54 PM
Seamus Kennedy 20 Mar 00 - 03:14 PM
SDShad 20 Mar 00 - 03:32 PM
Allan C. 20 Mar 00 - 04:05 PM
Allan C. 20 Mar 00 - 04:10 PM
Peter T. 20 Mar 00 - 04:39 PM
MMario 20 Mar 00 - 05:04 PM
catspaw49 20 Mar 00 - 06:24 PM
katlaughing 20 Mar 00 - 06:40 PM
GUEST,Neil Lowe 20 Mar 00 - 06:53 PM
Áine 20 Mar 00 - 07:05 PM
Joe Offer 20 Mar 00 - 07:16 PM
Mbo 20 Mar 00 - 07:29 PM
The Shambles 20 Mar 00 - 07:37 PM
catspaw49 20 Mar 00 - 07:38 PM
Callie 20 Mar 00 - 08:04 PM
Joe Offer 20 Mar 00 - 08:29 PM
Amos 20 Mar 00 - 08:40 PM
SingsIrish Songs 20 Mar 00 - 10:36 PM
catspaw49 20 Mar 00 - 11:02 PM
rangeroger 20 Mar 00 - 11:26 PM
Jon Freeman 20 Mar 00 - 11:33 PM
harpgirl 20 Mar 00 - 11:42 PM
simon-pierre 21 Mar 00 - 12:01 AM
wysiwyg 21 Mar 00 - 12:08 AM
katlaughing 21 Mar 00 - 12:21 AM
GutBucketeer 21 Mar 00 - 12:26 AM
Jon Freeman 21 Mar 00 - 12:27 AM
katlaughing 21 Mar 00 - 12:31 AM
Escamillo 21 Mar 00 - 12:34 AM
Jon Freeman 21 Mar 00 - 12:38 AM
Amos 21 Mar 00 - 12:59 AM
Little Neophyte 21 Mar 00 - 08:15 AM
Little Neophyte 21 Mar 00 - 08:17 AM
wysiwyg 21 Mar 00 - 08:19 AM
Mbo 21 Mar 00 - 08:27 AM
wysiwyg 21 Mar 00 - 08:38 AM
Mbo 21 Mar 00 - 08:51 AM
Amos 21 Mar 00 - 08:56 AM
wysiwyg 21 Mar 00 - 09:07 AM
Amos 21 Mar 00 - 09:25 AM
wysiwyg 21 Mar 00 - 09:27 AM
katlaughing 21 Mar 00 - 09:48 AM
wysiwyg 21 Mar 00 - 10:00 AM
Amos 21 Mar 00 - 10:01 AM
GUEST,Neil Lowe 21 Mar 00 - 10:10 AM
Lady McMoo 21 Mar 00 - 10:21 AM
Jeri 21 Mar 00 - 10:25 AM
dwditty 21 Mar 00 - 10:34 AM
catspaw49 21 Mar 00 - 10:50 AM
Amos 21 Mar 00 - 10:50 AM
Little Neophyte 21 Mar 00 - 11:13 AM
wysiwyg 21 Mar 00 - 11:28 AM
Allan C. 21 Mar 00 - 11:36 AM
SingsIrish Songs 21 Mar 00 - 11:51 AM

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Subject: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 09:19 AM

I have been thinking about this for some time now. Wondering what is going on psychologically when we feel close to people through cyberspace yet we have never met each other personally.
Are these friendships real or are they just a fantasy we create in our minds?
Cyberspace friendships seem to stir the same emotions as any other personal friendship. Does that make them real? There are people I feel close to in 'real life' yet I struggle to have the ease of conversation I can share with my cyberspace friends. I sum this up to the layers of 'fluff' surrounding me that seem to get in the way of deeper intimacy. The walls protecting my fortress when I am scared and my turtle shell that I duck into when I feel threatened.
In cyberspace I do not need much in the way of defenses, I can relax and be at ease when expressing my feelings. It is a strange feeling to feel close to people I have never met.
On some level this makes sense, on another level it does not.
What is it like for other Mudcatters?
What is it like for other Mudcatters who have been friends with people through cyberspace and then one day they eventually meet these people personally?
The cyberspace friendships I have made do mean a great deal to me. But it does leave me asking a lot of questions.
I was hoping some of the other Mudcatters could help me formulate some opinions on this matter.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 09:36 AM

I dunno, Neo -- helping you form opinions could be risky -- what if you formulate 'em, then don't like them? Or what if they don't work?

Seriously, I think the events and perceptions that make up reality are self endowed to a very high degree, and that some large portion of "reality" as we know it is our own work. From this perspective the friendships you have here are as real as any friendship, and perhaps in a way more so since they are built from considered steps (all the thought that precedes _some_ of the posts here). Meatspace friendships are built on noisier exchanges, richer with _somatic_ context, but not necessarily richer in emotion except that they are perhaps more complicated -- because the quiet safe space behind your monitor is traded for a noisier, more random, louder and heavier kind of experience.

Another factor is that because of the elegance of the prequalifying that has to occur for a person to end up here they are sure to have a lot in common with you, and a willingness to engage in dialogue. Just think of the number of choices that we have all made similarly to arrive here, starting with 1folk music .

In a sense, there is just as much communication in thehighly filtered exchange of typing on your video scren, such as this, as there is in the eye-to-eye conversation with a girlfriend, say, over coffee. The messaging context and coding system is much, much leaner, with no voice tones and gestures and smells and touches and colors. But to some degree a consensual style evolves to compensate for that. And the fundamental functional map is the same in that one point of life is contriving to signal another through various intermediary mechanisms, with the intention of inducing understanding. Logisticaly cybercommunication is a lot more convenient.

The quality of the friendships are appropriate for the context...meat friends involve deeper and more solid committments, usually.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 10:00 AM

Amen.

Bonnie, is there more you are asking but not asking?


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 10:25 AM

The friendships made here are based on common interest and how people express themselves in writing. In meatspace, we often begin (or don't begin) relationships based on what people look like - what clothes they wear, how big or small they are, their age, color, hair style, or good-lookingness. Appearance, even for those of us who know better, still has something to do with whether you chose to strike up a first conversation.

Of course, there are a whole lot of things you can't do with a cyberspace friend, mostly involving being in the same place. No hugs, no baking cookies together, no hanging around together.

I've noticed this, and other people have said the same thing to me - no Mudcatter I've met in person has been different than their on-line persona. I've gotten to know people better, because talking is a lot more efficient than typing, but my basic feelings about people have remained the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 11:08 AM

Not really Praise, just interested to know how other people feel about cyberspace friendships.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 11:18 AM

The simple answer to this is yes, one can become very attached to people through computer. I have become very fond of some Mudcatters over the years without meeting them in person. Amos has succintly described the process. One should not be blind to the fact that people are human and can form such attachments. The difficulty is understanding the difference between illusion, and reality, many of us will never meet in person. Therefore one should not become obsessed with ones feelings. May I recommend that you rent the movie 84 Charing Cross Road. Starring Ann Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins, as a prime example and illustration of what this thread is about. Yours,(Affectionately) Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: kendall
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 11:38 AM

Amos, you remind me of Plato in the Beetle Baily comics!! Fact is, we always create our own reality. I cant know what kind of picture you have of me, for instance, but the reality is..I'm a crusty, egotistical prick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 11:42 AM

Oh - just to ammend my previous comments, there are some people who come off as crusty, egotistical pricks, but who are very nice people with big hearts and a hell of a sense of humor. I'm not going to name names, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 11:51 AM

Kendall, you'll be happy to know that you come off here as a crusty, egotistical prick.

But, I think your mood will improve once you come up with a cure for the sinusitis. Sorry the Bass weejun crapping didn't work out, but maybe the munching on Edsel back-up lights will work out for you.

Best of Luck.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 12:06 PM

Great analogy Dave.

Little Neo, I think I understand exactly what you meant by this thread. Like Praise, I also wondered if there was more you wanted to share (or ask). Here are some of my thoughts on it.

For many years, I would meet folks at gigs all over North America, and if someone seemed interesting (for whatever reason) I'd think "must stay in touch". Of course due to time constraints, lost addresses and phone numbers, etc. with few exceptions, the relationships would mostly fall by the wayside. Mudcat changed all that for me (as it did for Sandy Paton, who told me that "this was the kind of community he'd been looking for over many years")

I've been told countless times about the "dangers" implicit in cyber-friendships, such as only knowing "what the other person WANTS you to know about them" and the inevitable "dark side" that can be more easily hidden behind a computer than in face to face relationships. This doesn't trouble me because I accept "dark sides" as part of any package, and if I haven't learned how to recognize a "potential axe-murderer" yet, I never will.

My experience has been that I've made a few very nice "connections" here. Some of the folks in that group I've now met in person and I can truly say I've not been disappointed or surprised in any way. Sometimes my schedule which can get very hectic (at times) makes it difficult to keep the communication at the same level all the time. Someone will send me a 20 paragraph e-mail and I only have time for a 3 line response. That's the result of us not knowing as much about each other's "working life" as we do about our leisure (and hobby) times.

A lot of the "Cats" chat and sing with each other on ICQ or Hearme (or the various "Mudcat tavern etc." threads) and as much as that might be fun, I simply don't have the time to do it. No question that creates "bonds" that often find their way into other threads. Just human nature. I think it also creates a situation where the folks who've done that "bonding" tend to pass very quickly over posts by those who are "not part of their group" in order to respond to those whom they've already made "connections" with. When I first joined Mudcat a year and a half ago, I saw many posts suggesting that it was "cliquish", so things haven't changed that much in that area...but it's just people "making cyber-friends" and wanting to hang out with them.

Good thread Neo. Should be interesting.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 12:08 PM

Besides if it weren't for cyber/friends (at first), I wouldn't be getting ready to make my pro fiddle debut! Thanks Jeri.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Mbo
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 12:50 PM

I take these relationships VERY seriously. These "cyber-friendships" are the only friendships I have. Yes, writing is more cumbersome than actually speaking, but for me, writing what I am feeling is easier to do than express myself in words. You can tell that be listening to me on any Hearme, where just by listening to me speak you can hear the quaver in my voice. I am a nervous and shy person in public, and don't respond well to people, UNLESS I know them very well. In my classes, I'm very taciturn, but at my work study job, my supervisor/colleague Dr.Brown work remarkably well together. It's like talking to your aunt or something. We talk about everything from our childhoods to preferences of bottled water. I'm sure that if I met any of you 'Catters that I have spent so much of my time with, that it would be much the same. So, I have learned my lessons in the past here, and would to anything to preserve these 'cyber-relationships"...we may meet one day, and who know what'll happen then? We may be even BETTER friends thanks to the meeting.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 12:52 PM

kendall,

no matter what catspaw says, it never crossed my mind that you were egotistical...

sorry 'bout the rampant and untrammeled polysyllablism -- I was heavy with wine when I wrote that --


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Mbo
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 12:56 PM

Amos, thou filled thyself so full within with jolly good ale and old?

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:03 PM

When it comes to more I want to share or ask, now that I think about it, maybe there is.
There are some Mudcatters I do feel more deeply connected to in some way and yet I have never met them. Sometimes I wonder if I should remind myself this is just a computer. If I met these people in person would I realize it was just a perception I created in my head.

Dave makes a good point. Not to get obsessed about the relationships, but I could say that about anyone I met in person too.

Yet like Jeri, when I had the opportunity to meet her, Jeri in person was the lovely intelligent persona of who she is on the Mudcat.
When I post, basically what you read is who I am. And I guess maybe I am assuming that when others post I am going to receive the same. Maybe that is being naive.
I am so use to building personal (physically present) relationships, I guess I am trying to understand better the relationships I am building here.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:04 PM

Mbo, one of the benefits of cyber-relationships is the opportunity to find someone (reasonably) quickly who shares a MAJOR interest with us. In my teen years I would have killed to find someone I could be friends with who absolutely LOVED baseball AND folk music. I never did find that person(s) til years later. I knew there must have been someone out there who did...but the search would have taken forever. Because of the "Net" I now count several "folky/baseball" folks among my friends.

Because of my shyness then, I made huge numbers of compromises, that I'd rather not have made. Because I was considered virtually "unteachable" in school, it made me question not only my intelligence, but most certainly my work ethic. What (I now know) I really needed was a "comfortable environment" where whatever gifts I had, could flourish....that turned out (for the most part) to be the "folk community". I also cherish these friendships.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:06 PM

the answer to your question is not easy, as Amos so clearly points out. Here is a different way of looking at it...

There are a couple of kinds of people in cyberspace, (yes, I know, LOTS more than two,,,but...)

1) there are those who simply do NOT treat words on a screen as real people, and do not present themselves as they would in person. Sure, if you press them, they do know that a 'person' typed those words, but they relate in ways they would never do in 'meatspace'? (used to just say RT, for Real Time)...witness the flame wars.

2)There are others who strive to be as real and clear as they can possibly be, even though there are nuances which are hard to project. I am sure that already, there are those whom you are sure you'd like to meet, given the chance, and others you are not sure about.

Fortunately, at the Mudcat, people tend toward 'realness', even when it shows some of their negative sides..(I have a way of being a grumpy curmudgeon at times, though I would temper this a LOT in person). Having met a number of Mudcatters at the often mentioned FSGW Getaway last fall, I am really pleased at how well most of us got along.....still, there were some who, though I can get along with, I know I'd never 'hang out' with them. People in RT are the same as in here....some are overly taken with themselves and their status, some are shallow and 'prickly'....and some are just amazingly kind, generous and aware of the feelings of others! There are several I would LOVE to have for neighbors on my street....and a couple I am just as glad I don't have to interact with every day...*gentle shrug*

There is a quote somewhere, that I have lost. but paraphrased, it goes: "No matter what your cause, religion, organization, party, etc., there is always someone on your side whom you wish were on the other side."

You know, in a few years, the internet/WWW/cyberspace is going to PROFOUNDLY alter a lot of the ways humans interact and conduct their lives, You already see a bit of it, but there are kids who are integrating IRC, ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger, HearMe, etc., into their very consciousness in ways we barely understand. This is not all bad, but it is VERY different.

and that is only about 10% of what I'd like to say on the matter,,,*big grin*....but this is altering my RT, and I have chores...


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:13 PM

In the safety of our homes/offices we have the freedom to say what might take years of "meatspace" acquaintence- so that when we do finally meet, we already know each other more intimately than we do some of our closest acquaintences in our home towns. We put up so many social barriers in "real" life that don't exist here. I echo with Jeri and others th truth that most of the Mudcatters I've met are the same people here in cyberspace as in the flesh. And I can't wait for NEFFA and Old Songs to continue that research!! The only real drawback to cyber friendships is the lack of hugs!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: WyoWoman
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:16 PM

This is a good thread, Neo, thanks for starting it.

The Mudcat is the first (and only) endeavor of this sort that I've gotten involved in, partly because of the time constraints Rick mentions, but partly because it's been so fun (mostly) that I haven't had any interest in going elsewhere. When I only have 20 minutes to cruise around online, I generally check my e-mail, then dip into the 'Cat for a few minutes.

I take the friendships I've made here as seriously as most of my other friendships. I can't tell you how incredibly cool it was to be working on New Year's Eve and to get phone calls from Catspaw and El Swanno from opposite sides of the country, wishing me Nappy Hew Year. And when I finally met up with Alice in Montana, there wasn't but about a two-minute period of awkwardness and then it wasn't as if we were "starting" a friendship, but just resuming a conversation we'd left off a few nights earlier.

When I go to San Francisco in April I'll meet El Swanno and P.J. for the first time -- and hopefully others -- but it won't be as if I'm meeting up with strangers. Over time our personalities can't help but make themselves clear in our postings, and it's these that the friendships are based on. You might be able to keep up some sort of persona for a while, but after a few postings your true colors would come out anyway. (So ... everyone who reads my stuff knows that I'm a playful, music-lovin' smartass who occasionally thinks pretty deeply about stuff and from time to time gets a mite snippy about her point of view...)

But, considering what we all know about Catspaw from HIS posts, it could be so much worse ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:17 PM

Bonnie: Thanks for this thread. I have been thinking about this too for some time. I have asked myself:

"How would my cyber friends think about/relate to me if we met in real life?"

or

"Would we even be friends if we met in real life"?

Every one that I have met (there are a lot of Mudcatters in the D.C. area) has been great. I see myself as being more shy and bumbling in real life than here. That could be because real life socializing has to be practiced or it becomes rusty for me (work and family interactions are different). It could also only be a perception and often our perceptions of ourselves are not as others see us.

Anyway, Music and the Mudcat have become my refuge to some degree from my other life (I'm not sure which is "real" anymore). Consequently, I also wonder at times if I want them to mix. It is an interesting question.

I do know that nothing substitutes for actually meeting and sharing music and other things with people. I caught myself thinking last month that I couldn't go to an Autoharp club meeting and play music with people because it interfered with a Hearme sing. Then I hit myself in the head and asked myself what was I thinking.

We should all get out and share our music, interact with other people in the real world, excersize our socializing muscles! The Mudcat is great but it just isn't the same.

JAB


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:29 PM

I can't be bothered analysing. Suffice it to say that I take my cyberspace relationships as seriously as I take any other relationship and there are several people that I have never met and possibly never will that I consider to be very good friends.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:34 PM

I think most of us agree on the way others portray themselves and agree that most people at Mudcat are pretty much what you see. The question is in the manner we relate to that. Over time I find that my treatment or interactions with people here is also very similar to the way I react to similar personalities in 3-D. I don't know if that should be surprising. If we are the same person here we are in 3-D, then our actions and reactions within relationships should be similar.

I'm finding that to be true over time and in watching the normal ebb and flow of relationships among others, I'm pretty comfortable accepting it as fact. But then again, what the hell do I know?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Metchosin
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 01:35 PM

Actually, I think we are just carrying on the Victorian tradition of letter writing, only in a very immediate time frame. Frequently, strong and lasting friendships were formed during that era, between people who never met.

With the advent of the telephone, we went through a long period, when communication with the written word fell into disuse and the need for literacy, in order to communicate, markedly dimminished.

I think this is great. This brings a higher level of thought and focus into what we are communicating and in time, the ease and fluidity with which we communicate verbally, will combine with the new fluency in the written word. This minor rennaissance may make us feel less like idiots. And in fact, we may become less like idiots. May all our digital dictionaries be leatherbound.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 02:06 PM

Love that analogy, Metchosin.

Jon, I agree with you in honouring these freindship by taking them as seriously as 3-D ones (thanks, Spaw, much prefer that to "meat world"*BG*)

Bonnie, I just emntioned this in an email to you: some of you with whom I have develeped a "cyber-friendship" with, know me much better than some of my family members. I share much more with some of you, I think mostly because there are no entwined family agendas. For instance, if a certain two of my sisters knew I wasn't feeling well, they would go totally off the deep end, call in all the forces of prayer they know of, etc (without asking my permission or without my asking them to) and most importantly, assume the worst. They do this because they don't trust me to tell them when something is going on. I don't tell them because I know this will be their reaction, a real Catch-22.

Conversely, I know I can contact a few of you, ask for help and not have any strings attached, no histrionics, just simple, heartfelt support of love and friendship, much as my Victorian grandmother may have done, as Metchosin suggests above, for one of her *distant* friends.

Thank you all for this beauty of friendship and love.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 02:41 PM

Spaw, I don't believe you would act in public the way you act on the 'Cat! No way!!! :>))


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 02:52 PM

Interesting thought Amos and of course to some degree true. It is relevant to the place and the situation, just as it is here. If your question is, do I often act that way given the same or similar situations as here...yes, I do. Do I enjoy cutting on other people and self-deprecating humor....yep. Put me in a social situation with the same group as I do that with here ind make it 3-D...yeah, I am the same guy. I try to act better in public situations and I'm capable of carrying on as a reasonable person would......but if I'm as generally relaxed as I am here and know the group.....well, HERE'S CATSPAW!!! I spent a long weekend with Karen's family being normal or whatever and Karen commented that it really wasn't me.

Everything becomes relevant to the situation I'm involved in and I suspect that's equally true of others. Do I enjoy doing and saying things which focus attention on me? Yep. Do I always do that here? No. Nor do I in 3-D. But given the right circumstance in either place....

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 03:02 PM

Well, I for one want to see it. So I'm sending you an invitatation to a 4th of July barbeque here in San Diego, with accomodations for you and Karen thrown in. I'll provide the beer. You bring the possum and those little yak buttons -- I understand they're great roasted, although they don't decode well afterwards. They just say things like Toad and his automobile dream -- oh, poot, poot poot....


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: MK
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 03:29 PM

Based on my online experiences (since being involved with electronic bulletein board systems aka BBSs throughout the 80s and graduating to the Internet in the early 90s) I was already acustomed to the chat and message thing..in fact when I first got onto the Internet, it was sort of yawn for me --like a B I G  bulletein board, or to paraphrase Bruce Springstein a gazillion channels with nothin' on --. I can however see the enourmous appeal and excitement of it to relative newcomers of this technology and can look no further to my own parents who are seniors and are absolutely enthralled at doing geniological searches, and corresponding with relatives via email half way around the world, and of course the web has blossomed in the past 5 years, where it is now the quintessential resource utility for whatever you can imagine. Can't beat that.

As for cyber friendships, IMHO those who are introverted and shy, and may not be the most effective communicators in person, thrive and tend to take the online cyber-relationships more seriously than others who perhaps have a more affable an engaging, and OPEN personality in real life.

People in cyber space will reveal the most intimate details, sides of personalities they'd never openly show, and thoughts to strangers whom they have never met, in a relatively quick period of time, perhaps because the anonymity of being behind a computer, shields them, from a tangeble in-person encounter.

...They'll tell you anything except how much money they earn a year.    8-)

If one accepts the fact that the internet and those that frequent it, are a microcosm of society in general, with all its faults and idiosyncracies of human contact, then it is no different being online than what we encounter in our day to day lives...

...BUT, as was stated here earlier, people can and choose to reveal selectively only those aspects of their personalities that they want the recipient to have, and from that formulate an opinion on the sender. This of course can be very manipulative, and sometimes with very deadly repercussions, as in pedophiles in chat rooms, Neo Nazi groups attempting to recruit new members, cyber-romances ending badly or worse upon human contact, stalking, etc..etc..

Personally, life is out THERE --in the real world, with real human contact and exchanges on a day to day basis. The internet is a utility and a communications device not unlike the telephone, but it is even less personal than talking on the phone...because you have this additional buffer of anonymity, and many capitalize on it...

If you are spending more than a few hours each day, on the internet and don't bother to eat, exercise proper hygene, and basically neglect the outside world, because you have only a sense of ''belonging'' and ''completenes'' when online --you have a very serious socal problem requiring treatment. I believe the professionals call this ''cyber-psychosis''. I would be willing to venture that there are at least a few individuals (without naming names) on this forum who suffer from this. (See a shrink and get some counselling.)

Mudcat would appear in many ways to be the exception rather than the norm, as far as the type of people who frequent it.

For the most part, it does seem to be what you see is what you get...and people would not be opening their homes for get-togethers with their cyber-friends, unless there was an underlying gut feeling that those that would come, are in fact decent, caring, honest people....but to me this is still a very risky and somewhat naive (but well-intentioned) gesture, and safety precautions should be taken.

I personally wouldn't do it, unless I knew exactly who was coming, and, if there were strangers coming that I had never met in person, I would want someone who I've already met and trust from a previous cyber relationship and who knows the strangers well enough to vouch for them. Anyone I didn't know, or have advance warning that they were coming, wouldn't get in.

Cyber friends should be explored on a unique and individual basis, and using all the normal screening criterion, defense mechanisms and street smarts one would apply in real life.

A loser online, is a loser in real life. ..and always go with you gut instinct when formulating impressions of those you meet online.

Ulterior motives are rampant.

My .001 cents anyway, and I recognize the cynicism of this post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: WyoWoman
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 04:09 PM

Caution does not equal cynicism...


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 04:27 PM

Ulterior motives may be rampant in some newsgroups and BBS environments, especially those where the central theme is one of personal gain or self-importance or criminality (like a warez site), altho even theives have their own codes.

But this particular "exception to the rule" -- the Mudcat -- because of its central themes and its collection of strong and comapssionate personalities seems to be the reverse: honesty, humor, compassion and straight talk are far more rampant than ulterior motives.

I would say that in all the months i have been scanning the posts at the Cat I have seen less than 10% that I would associate with any underhanded impulse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: WyoWoman
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 04:39 PM

Define underhanded ...

(Isn't that the way a leftie plays the guitar?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: MK
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 04:48 PM

Agreed Amos....but everything in moderation, including the amount of time one spends online, communicating with Cyber friends, and developing cyber-relationships...and not embellishing them in one's own mind to the point where an expection level of the other, is so overblown it falls into the realm of fantasy, and few people can live up to the expectations of someone else's reality of what you really are. Email and chat forums are great vehicles for furthering and feeding that expectation, especially in younger people, and those lacking stability socially and emotionally in there day to day lives.

I see red flags online when an individual's needy-ness is manifested in their postings and emails, and an in-your-face compulsion to be accepted and RECOGNIZED by any cyber community they frequent through those postings. (I ignore them.)

(Thanks for re-phrasing my term, Wyo.)   8-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: The Beanster
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 04:50 PM

Long as this thread is, I just read the whole thing. So interesting. I can't wait until sociologists have enough data to really decipher what's going on in these "relationships." I would say that there are definitely friendships formed via cyberspace. Rick mentioned above that others have said this place is a bit cliquish--which I believe is true. But I also believe that occurs because (and Rick alluded to this, also) people just prefer to speak to those whom they already "know." Perfectly fine.

One of the major limitations of a forum such as this is, we all know that there must be folks out there who read these threads, but who rarely post anything. You have to admit that the level of intellect on here is sometimes very impressive and just as someone who feels socially inadequate in a real-life situation is likely to hang back, someone who feels not quite up to snuff on spelling, grammar, worth of contributions, humor, etc. may think twice about posting a note here. I think that's a great loss to us all, although there is no remedy for it. At least in "meatspace" (as you so eloquently call it!)(lol) there may be an opportunity to coax someone into the discussion, whereas in this forum, there is no effective way to do that. And so we're missing out on those people, unfortunately.

I must say, though, that I, personally, do not feel I form "friendships" via cyberspace, however, I do have strong schizoid (loner) personality features and have never felt the need for these. But I think it's obvious from reading your posts to each other that some of you feel significant affection for certain others. I believe you all when you say it's real and I think it's wonderful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 05:01 PM

For the record, in case some of what I posted is misconstrued, Spaw and I are two peas in a pod, what you see, hear, read, etc. is what you get, in 3D or cyberdom.

katlaughingforreal


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 05:06 PM

To be honest I think (and didn't mention above) that there is an element of telepathic awarerness that gets brought out in some people on a cyber-link -- the very breath of the individual comes through, while the recipient is simply staring at pixels in the strictest material sense, but this only happens in scattered instances. Or perhaps is only acknowledged to happen in scattered instances. Since most schools of psychology don't even admit of such a phenomenon, it is unlikely that aspect of cyber-affinities will ever get documented or researched.

There is certainly a lot more that could be said on that side of the question but I know you're all picking up the whole idea from me as you read this .......(faint background music from Twilight Zone....doodeedoodeedoodeedoodee.....) "God dammit, Mulder! What is happening here??!!!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 05:17 PM

Amos you have brought up such a good point.
Sometimes I am so surprised at the telepathic awareness others have with me. They seem to know exactly what to say to me and when to say it.
I also seem to timely find the exact thread I need read or I come in right after an important posting I would like to respond to.
Sometimes this telepathy is shocking.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 05:46 PM

More you resist it, the shockinger it'll be when it happens, I guess -- and contrariwise, too!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: TerriM
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 06:14 PM

I think there is a lot to be said for NOT having the other baggage that comes along with usual social interaction, judgements about appearance, accent, body language etc. I think it leaves you free to a) judge what you are hearing/seeing on it's merits as pure communication and b)to say what you feel without those you are "speaking" to,wondering about your appearance etc. and how you are being judged. The validity of the interaction is in the thought/written word only which is unique in human relations, not more or less of value, but different.But then, I have just got in from the pub!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 06:38 PM

Lots of good points...

Certainly where you meet cyberfriends can make a big difference as to who they are...how real (honest) they are...Mudcatters have a real and serious common interest in music...chat rooms can be playing with TNT!

I have some cyber friends whom I converse with though there is not as strong a tie as with my in-person friends...I always take a bit of extra caution with online stuff...though at Mudcat I sometimes let my hair down, as they say.

Then I go and truly surprise myself and develop on remarkable cyber friendship--built first due to a common interest in Irish Music...but led into tons of other common interests. This friendship has since has regular postal communications, phone calls, and other internet communications that are available...I never thought I would become so fond of a person I have never met in person, but hope and pray that someday I will...

When you really think about it, there are lots of nutcases that people meet in the "real world" with out knowing it at first. So, in-person doesn't always guarantee "real", "true", "lasting", "honest".....Volumes could be written about all the different types/means of friendship nowadays.

In any situation, online or in real life everyone needs to be cautious to a point.

As for Mudcat, I think it a pretty safe haven...especially since there are lots of "regulars"...who pull together in various situations.

Mary Kate


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Mbo
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 06:45 PM

I love you all!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: bbc
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 07:17 PM

My two cents worth--I have met quite a few Mudcatters in person & it felt just like we were picking up in the middle of a conversation. We started w/ smiles & hugs, because we already knew each other in the most important sense--what we valued & how our minds worked. No one I've met has seemed out of character from what I've expected & there are a bunch of Mudcatters I dearly love who I am really looking forward to meeting in person. I guess this doesn't seem as strange to me as it does to some folks since I met my fiance over the Internet & formed my 1st bond w/ him mind to mind before I ever saw his body & gazed into his eyes or even heard his voice on the phone.

In answer to Michael K--I have had an open Mudcat get-together at my home. Yes, opening your home to strangers involves some risk, as do many things in life. I can only report that I chose to do so & had no bad result. People were friendly, tidy, & we had a wonderful time together. Hope to be doing it again in the future!

love,

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 07:25 PM

I think I'll wait and go last!

I'm busy building up the relationships we're talking about in this thread.

If any of you with whom I am co-building them wants to say more about how that's going, have at it. You know who you are!

~Wartlovin' Babe


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 07:26 PM

I agree with most of the comments above and value all of the individuals but I do not think this forum is well designed for furthering personal friendships. There are so many better ways of doing this and it causes a lot of irritation, when these methods are not used.

Further to the point that Beanster made about those individuals who do not post as often as the folk that have contributed to this thread to date. If you look at the list of posters that have, they probably would constitute what the majority of Mudcatter's may consider to represent a clique, inner core, the most frequent posters or whatever, if such a thing exists..

This perception would be perfectly understandable, mainly because these posters, some more than others, insist on conducting their friendships, publicly on the forum.

I am sorry to be a wet blanket, but I, and I am sure others, have good friends here but do not see the need to constantly display that friendship publicly on the forum. Why should anyone be interested in seeing how friendly you are? If you are friends, great, just get on with it. These public displays are irresistible to the sad individuals that bother The Mudcat from time to time. It is like a 'red rag to a bull'.

I would hate to see a completely dry and impersonal forum but I do feel there is a balance to be reached.

I feel that on the forum, it is always more important what is being said, rather than, who is saying it. In a chat room it may be different?


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: JedMarum
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 08:51 PM

Cyber relationship is human relationship, but it might be what marketeers would call "human relationship-lite."

Good thought in this thread, and I must say that I believe relations here are pretty much straight forward and 'real.' I see the same strengths, weaknesses and wonderful human qualities in my Mudcat acquaintances as I do in the real world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 09:18 PM

Shambles, if I were to not publicly display my friendship to others by verbally expressing to them how much I appreciate them and what they mean to me, well then I would not be being myself.
I am a personal type person, anything other than that would make me feel very uncomfortable.
If I had to stop publicly displaying my affection for others, I would end up not posting very often.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Mbo
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 10:18 PM

Testify, Sister Neo!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: rangeroger
Date: 19 Mar 00 - 11:30 PM

As this is my first attempt at maintaining cyber-relationships I can only say I enjoy it.I think most of that is due to the Mudcat being what it is.
All of my cyber-friendships have been with friends already made.Using e-mail to communicate.I can't say I have any close friends here yet,but you are all friends.
Te other night Praise I and sent some messages to each other and she made the comment, "I think I passed you I the hall"
I knew exactly what she meant.The Mudcat,to me,seems like one of those weeklong pickin' parties where you've just met everyone, but after a couple of hours you are family.
At Strawberry Music Festival I have friends whom I only see twice a year.Thanks to the internet I now communicate with them a lot more.
I'm not much of a letter writer,and I hate long conversations on the phone if it is just chit-chat.I find that the commonality of music creates a lot stronger bond between people than anything else I've seen.And except for one or two notable exceptions I would have all of you to my house.
And even those exceptions wouyld be welcomed until their actions caused me to think otherwise.
rr


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 12:10 AM

There is definitely a place for public postings and private postings. I try to use both. What I've found is that the Internet, ICQ, Mudcat, e-mail is ok for having cyber aquaintences.

It really ENHANCES some of my friendships where I know the person in both worlds.

It's like writing quick letters back and forth. A little more thoughful than being on the phone. Not quite as formal as snail mail. I'm not one to talk on the phone a lot, but much of the chat here is just that. It's like we are sitting around a big lunchroom shooting the breeze. Better in person, but ok on cyberspace too.

JAB.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: ceitagh
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 12:39 AM

I read this entire thread (even tho i really should be going to bed about now) because I find the topic so fascinating, and you guys have some great things to say. Personally, i've been on the 'net 4 or 5 years, and in that time the only people i've consistantly corresponded with are the ones whom I know in real life. I don't know what this says about the quality of my cyber-friendships, tho i do know it corresponds with my personality- I'm not very good with high-maintenance friendships because my time-demands keep shifting.

I think cyberfriendships are easy to start....to a certain extent, it is easier to find people with common interests, and we are more open on the 'net. But when your common interest disappears, so does the tie that keeps you together, because unlike a 3-D relationship, you don't have the ties of location, common experience and just being together and doing things together to flesh out the friendship beyond commonality.

I'm incredibly open, as a rule, and the internet makes it even easier for me to be that way because i don't have to see who i'm talking to. I have one cyber-buddy who has talked me thru every crisis the past 3 years, with kindness and sensitivity. I see him rarely, and it is odd when i do see him, because while i can see how he is the same (kind, generous, etc.) he is also a stranger to me. Our lives are completely different, and we are awkward and unsure with each other off-line.

I guess what i'm trying to say is that i think cyberfriendships only cover part of the territory, but maybe a part that a lot of 3D friendships could benefit from. Despite all the stuff about "only seeing what you're shown", i find that what characterises cyberfriendships is honesty and intimacy...something day to day relationships can lack 'cause we're so dad-blamed busy trying to impress each other. .

darn...i've still got more to say. but this is enough, i think.

ceit


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: GUEST,Homeless (somewhere else)
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 12:45 AM

I've just read thru this (fairly long) thread and noticed a few things I'd like to comment on.

I noticed the 'cliquiness' of the Mudcat within the first couple days of lurking, but upon closer observation I've seen that the people that comprise the cliques are usually people that have the same interests. I.e. when you ask a question or make a post about a specific topic, you usually see the same names answer as did in the last thread on that topic. It's more of knowledge-area question than an actual you-don't-belong-in-our-group kind of thing in my opinion. The same goes for the BS threads - you see a lot of the same names there.

I tend to agree with thought that the personality expressed on Mudcat (not necessarily anywhere else on=line) is a reflection of the person's real personality. I know I for one am that way. I usually don't have much to say, I don't chat on the phone or BS usually. But when I have something to say, I figure it out, say it, and be done with it. My posts tend to be that way too (at least IMO). I don't post unless I have something constructive to add to the thread.

Just my opinion, but I theorize that one of the reasons that some people can be more open on-line is that many of the "filters" that we live with and affect our daily communications are done away with here. Appearance was mention earlier in regards to dealing with people. There are also things like social class that aren't apparent either. In this online world of only words, that lacks so many of the visual cues that we subconsciouly process, I can approach and ask a question without people cowering in fear because I just dismounted a Harley and am covered in tattoos. I can also put forth my opinions and conjectures and have them not rejected immediately. Going the other way, I would probably be to intimidated by someone like Rick Fielding to approach him with a question in person. I would feel that he was too much of a "master" at his art to want to bother him. Other than Rick, I've not gotten enough of an impression of anyone's skills to be uncomfortable asking a question of a specific person.

To address the "friends saying how much they like each other" issue... This is another time where it seems that cyber-lives mimic the offline life. Like Shambles, this, to me, is an annoyance. But it annoys me in the physical world too. I know many people that (need to) validate each other, continually. (One of the reasons I'm in the midst of a divorce is because my wife is a validator, and I'm not.)

To say that spending many hours on-line, specifically at Mudcat, is the symptom of a condition for which one needs counseling is a bit strong. Spending hours here should be viewed as a symptom-not as dis-ease in itself. The reason for the symptom needs to be analyzed, and only then should it be determined if help is needed.
Granted, one should have balance in one's life, but there is not always the resource to find persons with common interests in one's geographic area. I know of 1 other person in this town who is into folk music, and due to a new baby, he's currently unavailable for much social interaction. Besides which, tThe time I spend on-line reading various ideas on a wide variety of topics is much more educational that any college class I've gone to.
What we build here, especially among the 'cliques', ARE personal relationships. Not the same as we would in a face-to-face situation, but not all of those are the same either. I used to dance a couple times a week and always saw the same people. There was one lady in particular who I enjoyed having as a partner. I thought that we had a lot in common and enjoyed each other's presence, but after spending a couple days together found we didn't much care for each other's off-the-dancefloor personalities. So even physical, limited relationships can be misleading at times.
And building relationships, cyber or not, IMO is much preferred to spending hours behind a Nintendo or television.

Amos - I've never met Spaw, but I'd bet he does act that way - I work in an office of 14 guys, 8+ of which are that way.

Spaw - if you ever want to meet a few guys that would fit in with your tastes in humor, and give you a run for the money on quick come-backs, feel free to drop by.

Michael K - 33k


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: ceitagh
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 01:06 AM

one last comment....

taking people at face value has always seemed to me a polite thing, in this space or any other. we have all at one time wanted to be other than we are, or tried to emphasize one part of our personality over another. why not? to dig up someone's hidden side may prevent them from becoming who they strive to be. there is usually a reason people show one face or another...and that shoudl be respected.

this doesn't of course mean we should stop being careful. always use your brains when meeting someone you've never met before.

pax, ceit (who's wired on lack of sleep and beginnning to babble)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: canoer
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 01:17 AM

Neo, I am changing your name. Henceforth thou shalt be known as "Neo-who-loves-big-questions."

Arise, fair Neo, and quest forth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 01:25 AM

Well, I'm a newbie here (thanks to Jed whom I actually did meet), and consequently my observations are formed on the basis of my newness. I thought it was kind of "cliquey" too, when I first started. I felt like a voyeur, or a snoop reading other people's mail, but then I noticed that there are groups of people who share interests in music, sailing, baseball (Hi Rick! I'm a Red Sox fan!) and they behave like close friends. And the others seem to be really good casual acquaintances. I also noted during "the unpleasantness" folks taking both sides - "He's an asshole, get rid of him." and others saying, "He may be an asshole, but he's OUR asshole." Just like a real family squabble, or an argument between close friends. The two I find myself closest to in outlook, humor and age, are Catspaw and Kendall, and they have become my heroes, and the ones I would most like to emasculate. All the best. Seamus


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 01:27 AM

Catspaw, Kendall - Emulate! Emulate! All the best. Seamus


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: The Beanster
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 01:29 AM

Was just pondering this whole deal after updating myself on the new posts and IMHO, of course, it is the wise cyber traveler who is a bit wary of virtual strangers but this is also very true in the real world.

People undoubtedly present to the cyber world what they choose to present, as is true in the 3D world. The potential for danger or unpleasantness exists when one runs across an antisocial personality (aka pyschopath, sociopath). And this does not necessarily mean an ax murderer. There are also passive antisocials who are merely playing an exploitation game or running a con of some sort. If they are good enough at quickly figuring out what it is YOU need and then supplying it, it's very difficult not to fall under the spell and be taken in. They know this. They are just as hard to spot in the real world (Ted Bundy is an extreme case in point) and are so successful because they are so good at what they do--IF they're good enough, you'll never see it coming.

Anyway, don't mean to rain on the parade, but I think caution in any new relationship is a good idea--go slowly, be aware, look for "red flags," notice how they treat other people. But most of us do this in the real world, too. It's the same here. Just approach new people with care, is all I'm saying.

*Please address all correspondence to The Beanster/Dear Abby.

And rangeroger, thanks for the invite--we'll all be right over! LOL (I'll bring the potato salad)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 02:15 AM

I think it's really simple. I think we act here just like we would at a coffeehouse... the genius was in calling this a Cafe.

You know-- we play games, we schmooze, we argue, we look over new people wnadering in, we ARE new people wandering in...

Sometimes we chat with the night's performer, sometimes we swap tunes on our way to gigs or late night after gigs, sometimes we hook up with a hot babe....

Sometimes we break down and cry, sometimes we get a Life Answer we've been really looking for...

Sometimes we act like assholes.... and forget our language... I've been practicing Spanish, other, Gaelic...

See, I don't think the cyber side has that much to do with it. I'd have found ALL of you dear friends in a 3-D Cafe, maybe not as fast, but we were MEANT to connect. It just happnednd to be here, with all the crazy stuff that goes with it. One thing that goes with it is the inner safety to be ourselves, so when we tanglefoot bad, we tangle reel bad. And when we tanglefoot good, we tangle reel gude. But-- we would have done that at the 3-D cafe too, in time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 03:06 AM

Little Neo.

Thank you for starting this thread. This is difficult but it is worth another try. My earlier criticism was not aimed at you for I feel that you are just following the example set. I just don't think that it is a good example to follow.

I do not suggest that you did not show your affection and friendship, openly to individuals, just that the forum was not the best place for it. There will be a lot of people reading such posts and you are not communicating to all of those people. By posting on a thread you are catching their attention, only to say in effect, 'this does not concern you'. Could that not be considered self-indulgent and a little rude? Why must it be done publicly on the forum when there are so many better ways of doing it?

This is probably the cause of the clique, perception that some posters here mentioned on first reading the forum. They obviously persevered and now see it differently but how many more do not persevere? To some, belonging to such a clique is desirable and they will do what is required to be thought part of it. To others it is undesirable. There is room for us all if a little common sense can be shown.

Some recognition, consideration and gratitude should be shown on the forum to the silent majority. They probably will not be reading this thread. They do not insist on conducting their friendships on the forum and by doing so, enable those that do have this need, to do so. For if everyone talked personally to their friends on the forum in this manner, there would be no room left for anything else. We would have succeeded in 'killing the goose that laid the golden egg'

I keep going back to setting an example. It is up to all Mudcatter's to respect ALL other Mudcatter's. To leave room for their views and to behave in such a way that new posters immediately recognise that expectation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 03:34 AM

I've been active in forums like this for about ten years. First was the folk forum on Prodigy. When that closed down weh Prodigy tried charging by the minute, I went to a computer bulletin board in Maine where some of the Prodigy folks had migrated (the board was run by Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary). Then I came here in 1996, and I've found this to be the most interesting of the three. I met many people from all three forums in person, and found most of them to be even nicer in person than they were online. There were some exceptions, but even those encounters were interesting, not dangerous. I got a couple of nice visits in Maine and a three-lobster dinner out of the bulletin board, and I have a plush toy lobster atop my computer monitor, and a blackfly-spattered Maine license plate to remind me of the good times I had with those people.
I did notice that the friendships tended to dissolve once the conversations in the forum started to die. The other two forums lasted about three years, and then people began to say the same things over and over and get mired in trivialisms. I'm hoping this forum will last much longer than that. My friendships here seem much stronger, perhaps because I was able to have multiple encounters with the Washington people last year.
I guess I'd say that my friends here are more "friends of the road," rather than "friends for life." The forum is what ties us together, what we have in common. If that common tie dissolves, so will most of our relationships.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 08:07 AM

Shambles, I think I understand what you are saying.
That the forum would be more inclusive to all the readers if we kept our personal endearments for one another off the threads and expressed them elsewhere like in personal messages and email.
When I first came to the Mudcat one of the attractive features of this forum was the open affection members expressed to one another. I thought, now isn't that beautiful. People here are able to express their love and appreciation for one another.
I think offering another human being love and affection can be more essential than food.
If someone feels uncomfortable around that, maybe they should look at why it bothers them so much.
When you die and pass away from this earth what will your friends remember about you? That you told them when playing Irish ballads to use the I-IV-I-II-V-I-IV-I-V-I chord progression? Not that this information is not important, it is; we are on a Folk Music Forum. But honestly, when you pass away the only thing your friends will remember about you is the kindness, love and affection you offered them.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 08:41 AM

Well Neo, I'd been thinking of Shamb coming into the coffeehouse I described. He'd be one of the quieter ones. His experience of being there, and his observations, would go mostly into his songs. They'd come out of deep recesses and be well worth waiting for. And if that were all he gave, that would be fine with us-- that would be his place there, fully filled, and filled well.

Seeing you and I sitting there laughing and hugging and being very demonstrative, what would he think? You know what? Maybe the look on his face would be one thing, but the warmth of our affection would still go to any spot inside that it needs to go... which would be his business. We wouldn't get up and go ask him to account for it, would we? Wouldn't we mostly leave him in peace and just gently touch his shoulder when we pass by his table? Wouldn't we just let him find his way to what he needs and welcome him if that brought him our way?

There's a note of frustration in your post I find troubling, although the thought is a reasonable one. What I've described above can't accurately speak for Shambles... but I would ask you to clear up what you mean to say, and not leave it as it was said above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: kendall
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 08:50 AM

Thanks for the correction Seamus..you had me worried talking like my ex wife... We New Englanders dont usually go on about things like this forum thread, For instance, there is a classic story here.. Two old New Englanders, married for a hundred years, sitting in rocking chairs on the piazza, he says to her, "When I think of all you've meant to me over the years, it's all I can do to keep from telling you."


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 09:00 AM

That's the Maine character for ye. In a nutshell. But, kendall, since the rest of us are still freemen outside the spell of the ancient stones and all, we can tell ye that we love you! :>) Oh, sorry... did I break a moray? *BG***


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 09:25 AM

Praise, thanks for pointing that out to me. I meant no harm. And I really did not mean to offend Shambles or anyone else. It is so important to think through what I type.
But from my experience of people passing away in my life, what I learned was that the love they offered was the most important thing that I would remember.
I do feel what is most important in life is our connections with other human beings.
Everyone is different. Many will offer what they know in their knowledge of the music as a way of expressing their love, concern and helpfulness to others.
If someone on the forum would misinterpret what I meant to say then I do apologize.
I guess my style is being verbally demonstative.
And I guess if my parents had been vocal about there love for me, I would not be wandering around looking for it all the time.
Sorry guys, do you still love me?

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 09:28 AM

Love you uninterruptedly, Neo, and without reservation.

Paste that into a font you like and put it where you can see it so you don't forget.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 09:28 AM

Clique? It's only a clique if people are shut out. Otherwise, it's a community. When you go to a new session, club, school, job, whatever, don't people there already know more about each others lives than you? Do they not make jokes about one another that you don't understand at first? The test is whether they treat you like an outsider for not knowing this stuff already, or welcome you and explain things.

Granted, some people aren't looking for human interaction, just informational interaction. They want to show up, do their thing, and go home. They perhaps are looking for civility and seriousness. I can understand how they would feel uncomfortable if people were always trying to pull them into the community aspect, and they didn't want to be there. Telling others how to conduct themselves is egotistical, as well as futile. (Does saying "don't tell others what to say" = telling others what to say? Oh well - just being egotistical and futile...)

Joe, I've made many "friends of the road" here. I've also made a few friends for life. The main thing we have in common is folk music, not necessarily this forum, which was simply a meeting place. I believe it takes more communication than what is possible in Mudcat to solidify a relationship.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 11:09 AM

Invariably you will find that those who may be effusive in their affection for one another in the threads, also tend to be part of the Mudcat Welcome Wagon, throwing wide their arms in a warm and accepting welcome to any new guest or member who joins in.

That's the way I was greeted a year and a half ago and I have tried to emulate that kind of welcome as well as the kind of kind helpfullness I found from the get-go.

It is only the ocassional guest/member who does not respond positively to this.

katwhovaluesthepowerofwordsandmeansitwhenshewrites"luvya"


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 11:10 AM

I love it Kendall! Being a Yankee born and raised not-so-old timer, I appreciate your comment!


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 11:29 AM

And here I thought Katlaughing was the ancient Mother of all things Mudcat...shows to go you this community elder rap is more a function of how ye do what ye do, than how long you do it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 11:29 AM

Ayup, that's about what it is like, sometimes, living with a Yankee, thank goodness he's got French Canadian passion, too!*BG*

LilNeo, I am sorry I didn't see your post before my last. I think you made some very good points. There is nothing wrong with being vocally demonstrative. I have read postings by other 'Catters from the UK, joking about their "reserved manner". Maybe it is this which makes some uncomfortable with some of our postings.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 12:25 PM

Neo and Kat,

I say pour your hearts out and let the chips fall where they may. Stretching the British mold is a longstanding tradition with usn's -- especially the New Englanders amongst us. I do not believe anyone has ever been harmed by honest open expression, at least not in any important way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: GUEST,Anthony
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 12:28 PM

Well now ...

It seems to me like Web frienships can lead to great correspondences not unlike those of the 17th and 18th centuries when mountains, rivers and oceans kept many folks from seeing one another as often as they might like. There are lots of cases on record -- long before electricity, let alone computers -- of two people forming deep emotional bonds via the written word without ever meeting.

One of my closest friends happens to be someone I went to college with 25 years ago, and for a variety of reasons we seldom get to see one another or even speak on the phone. But our letters -- taken together -- make up a huge and very real part of my emotional life with which I would not willingly part.

I think the mistake is this notion is that Cyberspace is a "place," a separate reality in which the rules of human interaction and affection are somehow different. My e-correspondences are just as real as any of the other ways in which I express myself.

Speaking of unreality, what could be more tenuous than the bonds created when singing songs to a roomful of strangers? But I would wager that very few of us see the harm in that -- unless we're successful enough to have deranged fans.

As for this site, I'm a newbie. But the folks I've found on it are warm and kind and wonderfully affirming? In my book, those kinds of qualities are about the only thing that is genuine, Cyber speaking or otherwise.

Sing on, sing loud, Tony


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 01:26 PM

Well, if you can see that here, Tony, we're glad to have you. Cuz that's for the most part what we are putting out...'cept for Spaw who keeps us honest (:>){)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Big Mick
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 02:54 PM

Interesting thread, glad I took the few minutes I had to read it. I can remember addressing some of this a long time ago. It seems to me that what makes this place so wonderful is the lack of the visual. That is, we communicate in a way that is unfettered of the visual cues we all take and ascribe perception to. What this leads to is coming to know one another in a very personal way. That is not to say you don't have phonies. But what you are speaks much louder than what you say you are. Those that choose to hang in and become part of the community cannot hide their true selves. That is why I, for one, just love Little Neo. Her wit, and the hugeness of her heart come through constantly. There are those who are not comfortable with the intimacy of some of the threads, and I pass no judgement on them. They should not contribute to those, just stay where they are comfortable. That is another beauty of the 'Cat. Participate on whatever level YOU are comfortable. Just don't tell the rest what they should be doing.

Back to the subject. I can tell you categorically that the friendships that I have made here are real. The depth of the interaction, and the level of genuine affection is real. The actual meeting of these folks enhances what is already a very deep and abiding sense of friendship. There are those I have met, and had my suspicions confirmed (good or bad). There are those whom I have yet to meet. But when I do, it will go just as each of us might hope. Why? Because we already know one another on a very intimate level from the free sharing of love, friendship, hurt feelings, moods, knowledge, music,etc. Many of you have written me to say that my posting with regard to Vietnam touched you. In no other forum, in the flesh or written word, have I been able to express with such clarity my feelings and experiences of that time. This is the first place that I was able to do that since 1972.

So, yeah, Little Neo. I definitely feel like we can have real relationships. I feel like I know you in ways that some of your "meatspace" friends probably don't. And I like what I "see". And tell my friend, Mr. Fielding that I can't wait to meet him for real. But there will be very few surprises.

All the best,

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 03:14 PM

Kendall, having lived in New England for 13 years when I came here, I can identify with that story. It is reminiscent of an Irishman's proposal of marriage: "How would you like to be buried my people?" When I perform at shows now, I've started asking "Are there any Mudcatters here?" from the stage, so I can get to meet some of you nice folks in person. Unfortunately, I didn't to do it at NTIF, being a newbie an'all, and I didn't realize that there were a whole bunch of them there. Met Jed, though. All the best. Seamus


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: SDShad
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 03:32 PM

Well, I'm pretty new to Mudcat, at least as the message boards go. I've used the site to search/download Digital Tradition for quite a while. It took me quite a while to venture into the message boards, and then really only to search for more songs. But slowly, and more recently, I've begun to get a sense, at least from a lurker's view, of the Cafe's feel of community.

And it's a familiar feeling. I first got on the 'Net when I was hired to the job I stil have...*counts on fingers*...eight years later. One of the first things I stumbled onto was a telnet-based, text-only BBS that had made the transition from local dial-up board in Omaha to Internet BBS. My Mudcat handle is a tip o' th' hat to my original handle there. And I do know that I've made lasting, important friendships _there_. I work in computer networks, and attend a fair number of conferences and such in different areas, and three times in the last five years, I've been met/dropped off at the airport or otherwise met with friends from that BBS.

That BBS has since been driven underground by a couple of hacking 'Net psychopaths from its distant past, but it still exists in its secret corner where old friends, just a few of us now, still gather. Many of my closest friends from the BBS I've actually met in meatspace, and a few who've fallen away from the BBS I still stay in touch with. But that little cadre who still come around there includes a number of dear friends (some of whom call me "Uncle Shad") whom I've never met and probably never will due to geographic obstacles. Can't travel _everywhere_ you might want.

I hope I'll find the Cafe to be a similar place in terms of friendship and community. From what I've thus far seen, I think I will.

So, my short response to the original post: online friendships are a different kind of friendship from meatspace friendships, even when the two overlap. But I wouldn't trade away a single one of 'em. Lasting, meaningful bonds are formed in such places as this.

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Allan C.
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 04:05 PM

At the end of May, one of my best "live and in person" friends and a former cyberfriend and I will be heading out to tour through approximately 25 states along with a visit to Toronto. Our travels will lead us more or less to the doorsteps of nearly thirty 'Catters. Or at least, we hope to meet at least that many en route. My own suspicion is that we will meet more than that.

I have already had the pleasure of meeting close to fifty Mudcatters at various times and places and agree that nearly all have been as expected. Some have been even nicer than expected. So far, there have been only pleasant surprises.

We embark upon our trip with the greatest confidence that our encounters with fellow 'Catters will be pleasant ones. We really have no reason to suspect otherwise. Many of the folks we will visit, I will have known cyberly for slightly more than three years. (I logged my first posting in May of 1998.) It has always been at the very least interesting to meet cyberfriends in person. Generally, it has enriched the mix of the mortar which was already bonding us.

The whole business of discovering that these cyberfolks really ARE people is an amazing experience. That very reason is among the purposes of our trip. We really want to meet our cyberfriends on their own turf. We really want to hear your music. We hope to share a bit of the spirit of the Mudcat with all we meet and we want very much to share our music as well.

An interesting aspect of the trip could be that if anyone were to really turn out to be very negatively different than the image portrayed here at the Mudcat, I suppose it would behoove us to tell you about it. But I sincerely doubt that we will encounter anything but wonderful people whose idea of a good time is an evening spent with folks making music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Allan C.
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 04:10 PM

In my posting (above) I mentioned a "former cyberfriend". I listed him that way because now that we have met in the flesh, we are simply friends.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 04:39 PM

Actually, to be totally honest, being a shy sort, I should say that meeting the Mudcatters I have met in person has always been shocking and disconcerting for a few seconds. Not bad shocking -- just disorienting. I am so used to their existence in cyberspace, that to see them in reality is quite weird for me. I think it is because I get so locked into the way people write. Also I am actually embarrassed about how well we know each other already. It is very weird: sort of like meeting your next door neighbour after you have inadvertantly seen her sunbathing in print or something. Meeting Michael or Davey or Jeri or Susan or whoever has always had the same effect on me. The first time I met Little Neo at one of Rick's concerts -- she didn't introduce herself for a few moments -- I had no idea what this person was talking about (she was making reference to a very recent Mudcat thread), and why she was talking to me. Even when I knew who she was! It took me 10 seconds to connect the two universes. Then it was alright.

On the other hand, one of the great things about the Mudcat is all the anticipation I have about all the great people I have never met, and will meet someday, God willing. But the first few seconds are really, really weird.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: MMario
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 05:04 PM

This is the second cyber-community where I have met in 3-D some of the people I have communicated with on a forum. There are some people I feel I can "connect" with,(whether I ever meet them face to face or not) others whom I would like to meet, thought doubt we would hit it off. there are some I would love to follow around with a video camara for a few weeks, for various reasons.

There are people I know whom I met first in 3D but formed a friendship through e-mail and forums. There are others whom I met through electronic media and then face to face.

And there has been the occasional time where I have "known" someone for a while and then found out they were "so and so" ; again, in both directions....3D to cyber and cyber to 3D.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 06:24 PM

Congrats Jeri.....excellent post that pretty well sums up my feelings too. I don't see anyone being excluded unless its of their own volition.

Shambles, I understand what you keep trying to say, but I just don't agree. The same thing happens in 3-D and everyone deals with it within the parameters of their own personality. Personally, I always worry when anyone speaks of a "silent majority" since the last time that phrase was popular here, we elected Nixon. I would not walk up to Joe Offer and give him a big hug....I respect Joe's feelings and know him well enough I believe to not wish to make him uncomfortable. And I didn't shake hands with Mick. Its not our relationship or our personalities. We each got a bear hug from the other. I think you read those personality traits right here.

Most of the threads after awhile, regardless of type, can be counted on to have the "usual suspects." Depending on the subject, you can generally figure out who is going to show up, and often, just from the thread title, you can guess who started it. Depending on that, I try to post appropriately to the thread and the participants. Early on here, I probably went over the line in a lot of cases, but that has not been true in a long time. Same situation in 3-D.

There are lots of things in this cyber-world that are strange to me, but I cannot address them through some other persona or through a means that's not within my personality. If you find me a jerk here, you would in real life too. And if you enjoy my company here, it would again be the same.

Amos is probably another story. I think he's a closet hat blocker.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 06:40 PM

Amen to that, Spaw, all of it.

PeterT, darlin', just don't inhale and it won't be such a weird *trip*.**BG**


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: GUEST,Neil Lowe
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 06:53 PM

It strengthens the feeling of like-mindedness when previous posters make every point I had intended on making, better than I could've made it myself. Saves lots of keystrokes, too.

Such exchanges have probably spawned research vis-a-vis social interaction on the Internet. Cyberspace relationships would be a good subject for a postgraduate or doctoral thesis, I would think. I can envision the next generation having to satisfy a general studies requirement at the undergraduate level by enrolling in "Soc 101: Principles of Socio-cultural Cyberspace," taught by the esteemed pioneer in the field, Dr. B. Neo.

Neil


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Áine
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 07:05 PM

Well, I've been following this thread and have found it very interesting. I didn't add anything because, to quote Neil, ". . . previous posters make every point I had intended on making, better than I could've made it myself.". The one thing I can add is that it was just great to meet Jed Marum at the North Texas Irish Festival, and I wouldn't have passed up his "meatspace/3-D/realtime" hug for anything. I don't know how he felt, but I felt like I was meeting an old friend. My point here being -- if you have a chance to meet a fellow 'Catter -- DON'T pass it up! Somehow, just meeting one of us brings all the others closer.

That's my $.02, for what it's worth.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 07:16 PM

Actually, Spaw, I'd kinda appreciate that hug. We've had our disagreements, but it's downright impossible not to like you.
-Joe, who ordinarily prefers a hearty handshake-


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Mbo
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 07:29 PM

Praise--hot babes? YE-YES!!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 07:37 PM

Catspaw

I would be grateful if you could explain a little, just what it is that I have said that you are disagreeing with?


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 07:38 PM

Well thanks Joe, sincerely........Because I do know you would normally prefer the hearty handshake.

And Neo.....You would/will of course get a big hug, but you need an extra for starting this thread. There have been so many well stated posts and I believe that alone speaks volumes about cyber friendships.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Callie
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 08:04 PM

This is a wonderful thread and for me it couldn't have come at a better time ...

On the weekend I came face to face with a Mudcatter with whom I've had great cyber-discussions on many subjects. This person uses a real name on Mudcat whereas I use a different name. While we DO know one another in meatspace, he does not associate the physical me with 'Callie'. When I said a cheery 'hello!' this person looked straight through me and kept walking. We were at a music festival, so it is difficult to imagine that in that context, I was not recognised.

Now the NEXT time I cyber-converse with this person, I'll have this in my mind. (Not that I was upset - it was just a VERY strange experience!!!!)

I do envy those of you who are more closely geographically connected and can meet up in person. I think Mudcat is a wonderful thing, but a physical presence would take the friendship to another plane.

--Callie


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 08:29 PM

Yeah, Spaw, I guess that's right, about me and handshakes. I had a nice blind date with a woman a month ago, and we closed the evening with a nice handshake. The second and third dates ended with a hug. On the fourth date, we walked across the Golden Gate bridge, and we stopped to watch the sparkle of the moonlight on the water. All of a sudden, fireworks started going off on the other side of San Francisco Bay. She decided that was the perfect time for our first kiss. Wow!
Maybe there's a value in saving unrestricted displays of affection for perfect persons at perfect moments.
But I do put a lot of affection into my handshakes...
-Joe Offer-
(no, I didn't meet her online)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 08:40 PM

And Spaw, there's no way I am a closet hat blocker. You're getting too many tranqs, man. And I don't live in Modesto, either, in case you're gonna come looking for me to join your closet-hat football team. And anyway, closets don't wear hats any more. Redo, redo....but you are absolutely right about the plain evidence for cyberfriendship, quality and veracity of, right in this series here as well as so many others... -- what kind of friends do you speak to so thoughfully in 3D time? Only the safest and best, if you're like most people I know.



Joe, congratulations!!! You lil ol wizard, you!

So when is the fourth date? (You don't have to answer that, Joe...I know you're a shy guy :>) )

I really like you guys a lot...y'know what I mean?....

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 10:36 PM

Joe--Fireworks and the Golden Gate Bridge....WOW! That is certainly a romantic setting! Personally, I love the lookout point on the Marin side (the old battery[?] area)...at first I thought you might have been talking in metaphors when mentioning fireworks!

-----------

Even though I may not contribute a lot at Mudcat or get into many of the discussions, I do enjoy reading what everyone has to say...'course there are things I skip over...like in everyday group conversations, some stuff applies to you, some doesn't (selective listening/reading)....I like that about Mudcat--from the specific music threads to the BS to the periodic flirts and teases mixed in (yes, I am guilty)...I think all of that makes Mudcat what it is. The "personal conversations" that are seen sometimes at Mudcat often bring a smile to my face...even though it doesn't concern me, I know the comradery evoked in such portions of threads helps give Mudcat a homey feel. (IMHO)To be "sterile" with the thread contents would ruin Mudcat...You simply skip over what doesn't interest ya--it's as easy as that!

I admit there are names I look for in the thread responses...and it is nice seeing new names appearing all the time.

In my personal experience, Mudcat has helped me relax when it comes to cyberspace connections. I feel comfortable asking the friends here for assistance.

Yes, there have been other threads in the past that are related to this one...and it is good that the topic comes up over and over again! Hopefully it helps the newcomers feel more welcome and helps them know what Mudcat Cafe is all about!!! Little Neo you might want to dig up the past thread "Falling in Love with Mudcatters" from a few months ago...(if I remember the name correctly)...it is truly related.

Cheers everyone!

Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 11:02 PM

Shambles........Sorry we posted at the same time and I missed your post. To answer, I think you believe that expressions of friendship or affection (for lack of a better word) are inappropriate in the forum and are better done by e-mail or private message. The bantering that many of us enjoy alienates some people and since they are uncomfortable and may feel excluded, they are not likely to come back or at the least, are afraid to post. These people are a silent majority. If this is one of your points, then I am saying that I disagree that the forum postings are inappropriate.

Friends often express these feelings in 3-D conversation and inter-relationships and to do so here is only natural. If some are put off by that here, then I expect that's true in 3-D. As I said previously, I don't jump in on some serious music thread with some outlandish thing or another, but in some of the BS...sure. We have had a lot of new members who have come in and enjoyed the banter. Some don't...I know that. There are an awful lot of threads where they feel more comfortable.

I have been reading the Uganda thread and as I have often said, your songs and poetry are simply superb and the power of your lyric in this case (and written in '96) was overwhelming. Equally, I'm sure that the very subject is troublesome or bothers some folks and they may feel that the thread and your work is not appropriate here. Or a gun thread. Or an Ireland thread. I know some would propose that we omit all of this.

A large part of what this place has come to mean for many includes the ability to discuss these and other topics with people who are well above the norm we meet in 3-D. All of us have multifaceted personalities and what upsets me may not upset you and vice versa. In relation to cyber or 3-D friendships, be they "life" or "road," I want to see all the best and all the worst, and I want to see the truth of both.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: rangeroger
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 11:26 PM

So, when are you all coming to my place? I'll need alittle time to prepare.The garage is bigger than the house so that is where the party will be.
I'll put all the furiture outside to open up floor space for sleeping(in shifts).And bring on that potato salad!
rr


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 11:33 PM

I was interested in reading the comments regarding "friends of the road". That is pretty much how I view it but that is also pretty much how I view the 3D world and it is not really in my nature to make close friends.

Having said that, although it may sound daft, on very rare occasions I have been known to say to somebody, "for what it's worth, you have a friend for life here" and this has happened both in the cyber world and the real world and I do not draw any distincton between the 2 worlds.

I don't even understand it myself. I enjoy company but I tend to move on and friends of the past tend to belong to that past and I forget them (not to say I wouldn't be friendly if I met them and would likely to be pleased to see them) but that would that would be the same with "friends of the road" and "friends for life" and yet I feel closer to "friends for life" and would share more with them...

(A very confused) Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: harpgirl
Date: 20 Mar 00 - 11:42 PM

...my goal is to have friends who don't know me well enough to get mad at me...harpgirl


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: simon-pierre
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 12:01 AM

Nice thread, indeed... It made me wonder what I was doing every night, looking for what's up in the Mudcat. I may be the most taciturn of the 'catters because-you-know- my-english-second-language... It's hard to develop a «friendship» when you're always in your dictionnary (needless to say that I didn't read entirely this thread, it would have take me weeks). But I found here something that is strictely impossible in Québec city: people gathered together on the solely base of their love of folk music. Of course, for many of you here, you develop a deeper relationship... but since I can't write too much, I don't have the only thing contact required by the situation - writing. So I'm stuck with the idea that I have to meet you to really enjoy people here. It's nice to chat with people, but I'd prefer to sing with them!

Yours

SP


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 12:08 AM

s-p--- can you come to HearMe when it is on?

Also-- you inspired me to practice writing to Escamillo en Espanol muy malo. PLEASE keep posting-- your messages have brightened many a day here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 12:21 AM

Simon-Pierre, at the bottom of each posting it says "Translate". You can use that to translate any posting into French, which even though it may not come exact, will at least give an idea of what someone is saying without your having to use the dictionary too much.

Here is an example. Please keep in mind, I do not know French, so I have no idea if this is correct or not.

Simon-Pierre, au bas de chacun qui le signale indique que " traduisez ". Vous pouvez employer cela pour copier et coller la signalisation en fonction ici et la traduire en Français, qui quoiqu'elle puisse ne pas venir exact, donnera au moins une idée de ce que quelqu'un dit sans votre devoir utiliser le dictionnaire trop.

Bon nuit,

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 12:26 AM

Yes: Simon-Pierre--- Please come sing with us on the Hearme channel. Every Sunday at 7:30 pm EST, also people seem to be singing after the Mudcat Radio show every Weds.

I have a CD by Nightingale that has some Quebec folk songs on it. Its one of my favorite.

I don't know why I am so fascinated by this thread. Maybe it's trying to understand my addiction to the Mudcat, and the sense of knowing everyone. As I said before, I don't hang out in the BS threads much so it may be that I feel that I know some of you, and you may not feel that you know me. What a strange thought.

Anyway. Joe... Fantastic... Spring is always in the air when you have just kissed on your 3rd date! I'm remembering the memories...

Callie: Now I won't be able to sleep thinking of the tidbit you dropped and the mystery of it. Sounds like mudcat has our own version of "You've Got Mail".

See everyone, some time, some place, some how.

JAB


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 12:27 AM

Thought Id try to translate back again using the function:

Simon-Pierre, to the bottom of each one which announces it indicates that " translate ". You can employ that to copy and to stick indication in function here and to translate it into French, who though it can not come exact, will give at least an idea of what somebody called without your duty to use the dictionary too much.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 12:31 AM

Oh, shite! Thanks for double-checking it, Jon. That ought to give him a real chuckle or have him scratching his head in puzzlement!*BG*


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Escamillo
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 12:34 AM

What can I say about cyber-friends, when I've just received and incredible flood of the warmest support and encouraging words I ever heard ! I take this matter seriously too. Please Simon-Pierre, make a little effort and write more often, we enjoy your messages which (in my opinion) are perfectly written.
Un abrazo - Andrés (French descendant too, from Finisterre)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 12:38 AM

kat, I must just say that it is a little unfair of me to translate it back again. It would need a French speaker to say how accurate the original translation was.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 12:59 AM

The biggest warp in it is the use of signalization for posting -- the translater isn't hip to newsgroup "posts" or BBS style use of the word. So it is using a word which means something closer to a signpost. It wouuld be closer to use "une poste" meaning something more like a mail service message but I don't know if that is accurate French or not...

I think this thread is compelling, because I think it proves something about us as humans -- that we have a layer of existence that is just a godamn bit more than and in wondrous ways senior to the purely mechanistic, Crickian-Skinnerian stimulus response biomechanism of meatspace. Namely, we can communicate. Do you know there are actually schools of [hilosophy who assert that cmmunication is a logical impossibility? That kind of tortured logic makes me mad enough to spit sometimes.

Anyway, I think it is in that bandwidth where the addicition of friendship and good communication occurs.

I was juts noticing, finsihing the days duties, with what energy and interest I run down to the Mudcat Cafe, just as one would do in earlier years to a sidewalk bistro in Paris , to pick up some real and meaningful conversation.

Here, even the humor is part of a meaningful context which is richer and often more meaningful to me than most anything immediately around me, except for my closest family and friends. But those are rare, rare treasures in 3D living, and here I open up this silly box on my desk and there's a whole closet full of them! What a treat.



Affectionately,

Amos


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 08:15 AM

Amos, you know how when you are thinking about someone, a person you feel close to in your personal (3D) life, and you have all kinds of wonderful thoughts about them. You imagine how it will be the next time you get together. How you will express your feelings, show some affection, laugh and share some quality time. But then, you get together and once again the walls of fluff get in the way.
It drives me nuts, but it happens all the time.
On the Mudcat I don't have to deal with the layers of goo around me. I can feel free and playful like a baby running around naked.
But I do still believe when in the presents of those we love, it is important to work on removing the the walls of fluff and goo that come between us and someone else you truly love.
When Mudcatter friends get together I think they will have to deal with this kind of thing too.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 08:17 AM

My last posting was for everybody


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 08:19 AM

"We're coming to you live from the small closet on the desk of one Amos Jessup, where..."

Silly-box? Syllabus?

Looks like box but is closet?

Images tumbling like a mixed load of laundry at the Washerama.

Affectionately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Mbo
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 08:27 AM

Praise, Praise, Praise...

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 08:38 AM

OK, OK, OK....

Mbo... a gentle smile and a question... does being shocked in the 3D world make it hard to let friendship happen?


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Mbo
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 08:51 AM

Umm...I don't know if I've ever been shocked in the 3D world.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 08:56 AM

Absolutely.

It stuns the sense of agreement and suppositions about how things are, which is a primary ingredient of any bond. So it makes it harder to hold affection. Friendship depends on some set of strong agreements, if not in all things at least in important ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 09:07 AM

Addressed to Little Neo (threadstarter) and anyone whose heart would reply...

People have been saying what's good/bad, easy/hard, etc. about cyberpalling, particularly 'Catpalling. I would have myself a turn on that. I am not optimistic about being able to have a turn without starting a whole bunch of crap. So why start. Why? Because... it's boiling over... no wait it's just warm water on dry ice, a fog machine needing a vent.

[Relationship] for me is governed by my faith.

You know what is really hard for me here as a cyberChristian, here at Mudcat? Loving each of you I have come to love so strongly, so Christianly in my better moments, so... deeply--

And knowing what Source my ability to love like that comes from, while--

Also knowing that to get into that part of it will be SUCH a problem for SO MANY (many of whom I love and would love)--

That it is better to just DO the loving and not SAY the rest--

And why that's HARD is that part of what makes Christian love CHRISTIAN love is staying clear about it not being about ME ME ME.

And all I am free to offer here, IS me.

And that is hard. [hard] = [difficult]

And sometimes it FEELS REAL hard. [hard] = [sorrow, hurt] (Through everyone's filters about what ME may be.)

And I hold that as my own struggle to resolve [with God's help] [see even a little thing to say has Him all OVER it].

And often say nothing because the love I have, in that specific moment of reading what someone has said, I haven't learned how to [purely] give yet.

That moment of loving-not-saying is a prayer.

And put it in the personal pages? Even to maintain the level of pale messages people are able to accept, that I put in the threads now, I would have to be there ALL DAY. I do have some lovely close and more openly Christian friendships starting in the personals and I LOVE these. But sometimes I just want to start a thread headed "Jesus Loves You-- March 22, 2000" because there are getting to be enough of you I correspond with that it almost IS a thread, only each conversation is a separate thread instead of a group speak like other threads.

What's hard for me about being a Christian here isn't all the non-Christian or anti-Christian stuff I read here. It's just BEING a Christian, here. Sometimes I think I'm practicing here for a 3D ministry. But actually it's more that the 3D ministry is already there, and where I may be needed is right here. So I stay.

BUT-- PLEASE just hear me on this, I DO NOT want advice... it's just my add-on to the discussion, for today....

~Vented


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 09:25 AM

Well vented, Praise. I hear you. Appreciate the forebearance you have shown. I have a similar problem as a pagan SNAG

It's hard to come into a highly relativistic context with a core of strong certainties that aren't part of the environment. I think you're right about the walking instead of talking part. It's the only thing that makes sense in a forum such as this one, IMHO.

I told my daughter Barky that Áine had called me a SNAG, and Barky reckoned I wasn't sensitive enough to be a SNAG, that I was just a NAG. Hmmmmmmphhhh.

:>) A


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 09:27 AM

SNAG?


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 09:48 AM

Sensitive New Age Guy/Gal and I am glad you wrote about this, Praise and Amos.

It has been difficult to curb some of what I have wanted to post, at times, due to anti-whatevers which fly around here at times. I guess enough Catters now know me for who and what I am (mongrel mix of Buddhism, Rosicrucianism, Native American metaphysics) that we can do it in the personals or by email, but it gets frustrating, esp. when someone needs help from any of us willing to give and I don't dare start a thread for them, Christian or no.

Thanks, Praise.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 10:00 AM

Oh yeah, SNAG, duh!! Thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 10:01 AM

Better to walk the walk of the universe than to argue about what to call it.:>)


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: GUEST,Neil Lowe
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 10:10 AM

Salons...I heard a little snippet of info that salons were making a comeback - parlors where *intelligent* or *thoughtful* (however one chooses to define *intelligent* or *thoughtful*) conversation is the rule rather than the exception. 3-D/Real Time/Meatspace versions of what we do here...a phenomenon, I understand, once popular many moons ago that now reemerges to fill a...need?

Metchosin made the observation that forums like these have revived interest in the fine art of letter writing. Are we now on the threshold of a resurgence in the fine art of conversation? What a radical idea. People might actually turn off their TV's and start talking to each other again. Is it "the end of the world as we know it?" Is The Mudcat Salon not far behind?

Just pondering,

Neil


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 10:21 AM

Your points are very well taken Praise... one or two here could learn from your generosity of spirit.

Peace,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 10:25 AM

Amos, do you mind if I appropriate your comment and change it a bit for the next "what is folk" argument?

I never mind people talking about what they believe, it only bothers me if people persist in expecting me to believe the same things as they do - about anything.

Little Neo - one of the things about written communication is people seem to get past the small talk and into their beliefs, opinion, and feelings a lot faster. We may actually know more about those aspects of people from an internet forum than from 3D. Uh...I think I'm just paraphrasing what you already said...


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: dwditty
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 10:34 AM

Dear Mudcatters,
I have not been around in quite a while, and, in fact, have not even had time to read this whole thread. I do feel the need to post here, though. Last Thursday, my sister's 25 year old son died tragically in a canoe accident in New Jersey. Jeremy was an unbelieveable spirit gifted with the ability to connect with everyone he met. His great love was fishing, and he reeled in people with the same degree of love and respect. So many referred to him as their best friend - what a wonderful testimony! Anyway, someone posted the news on the bulletin board of a stock he had invested his modest tip money in. Hundreds of people responded with thoughts and prayers for Jeremy, his family, and his many, many friends. It meant so much to our family to receive this cyber-love. (I am sure Catspaw will attest to the meaning of this friendship.) Since that time, through email, I have shared my feelings deeply with the person who started that post. She is without a doubt a wonderful and meaningful part of my life - a true friend. Maybe we'll meet someday, maybe we won't. The friendship will continue though.

From my Mudcat experience, I am no longer surprised at the relationships that can develop over the internet. I, too, think that, being unencumbered by a physical presence, we are all much more free with our feelings than we are in our day to day lives. So it is with great love that I consider so many of you my friends.

DWDitty


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 10:50 AM

Very well put dw.....I'm sorry for the loss to your family and his friends, but you have summed up the feelings of many on this thread quite beautifully.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 10:50 AM

DWDitty:

I am suddenly and seriously saddened at the loss of your nephew even though neither he nor you and I have met. I can only offer my condolences. And I do.

You both make and speak your point well.

Maybe the connectedness from which I feel a small portion of your loss about Jeremy (which is tragic beyond words), and many others here will also, is our natural condition, and the "civilized" insulated sense of sharp boundaries separating us from really knowing each other is an arbitrary misconception. If connectedness is our more natural state and we simply get trained out of it through various tricks and misbehaviors (language, cultural practices, pain, and communication hassles come to mind) then the path we are all on when we practice connecting is one of getting back in touch with ourselves through the practice of getting in touch with others.

This speaks to Karl Pribram's notion of the universe itself as a sort of hologram, even if that seems a bit farfetched from these beginnings.

Anyway, from this perspective, the computer networks we use are like a crutch or an excuse for simply learning to do what we basically do naturally.

My sympathy again, about Jeremy. It is a hard time to go through when something like that happens. Speak out if I can be of any help.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 11:13 AM

Amos, I would rather look at this cyberspace form of communication as a tool rather than a crutch or excuse to do what we basically do naturally.
We now have an opportunity to get passed 'how's the weather' type conversations Jeri has mentioned and communicate the essense of who we really are.
Isn't that wonderful!

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 11:28 AM

DWDitty,

I would love to hear more about Jeremy, here or in the personals. How did he do what he did-- in reeling in people?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: Allan C.
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 11:36 AM

This thread is continued in part II here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Cyberspace Friendships
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 21 Mar 00 - 11:51 AM

DW--my deepest condolences I offer to you and your family...

---------------

The Healing threads that have been seen at Mudcat really changed my already good views of Mudcat and made them even stronger...I think it started when Spaw took ill--I was still "new" here and the emotions and pulling together that came through in those threads really touched me. And in other threads, not just Healing threads, there are some thoughts shared that have caused me to get a bit "misty eyed"...

The thread name tags are surely helpful, and maybe more will be added for not all "non-music" stuff is accurately labeled BS...

When people here share their inner most thoughts on sensitive and serious issues (and not so serious, too) what they are made of shines through...and that is true even if you "hold back" some strong views. Christian, non-Christian, etc, have all pulled together in times of great need. That is important...With so much violence and war due to differing views, it is nice when people from all over the world can get together and focus more on the commonalities and show our individuality in our views without it being a problem...(at least that's my feeling here at Mudcat.)

I enjoy the community here! I also know I can call you fellow 'catters friends!

Mary


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 18 January 5:36 AM EST

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