A Testament to Online Friends, Family, and Community

RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature EnthusiastNew Mexico
edited April 2012 in The Pub
I recently learned that a good friend of mine passed away this weekend. I'm not gonna post a big memorial thread. I've already done that at the appropriate places.

I was wanting to start a little discussion about the potential of "social networking" and just how the internet is being used to create widespread networks of friends, family, and community.

She and I became friends by playing World of Warcraft. In the same guild, made friends with everyone in it, and became a sort of small family, bent on wreaking havoc and having fun together. Time goes by, people move on, but we stay connected with Facebook and other games, despite never even having seen these people in the first place. She lived up in Michigan and I was actually planning on possibly dropping by to meet her in person for the first time when I went up to EpIC. Shows how different networks can cross and create opportunities for both sides. I've seen the repercussions of her passing ripple throughout various networks she was and was not a part of, connecting them. This post is an example. She and her boyfriend maintained a great relationship despite living on almost opposite ends of the country. We learned a lot from each other, supported each other when needed, and had fun all around.

While the direct connection to her can no longer grow, the resulting connections made from knowing her, and the loss of her serve to strengthen her memory and the bonds between her friends and family. When I think about it, I see a web form and expand over time. Now a center point of that web is being built upon, a monument of a sort. A creation of a legacy, and it's influence and meaning stretches out into other webs. Creating new connections.

So despite the infamous internet communities and cultures, there are many great communities and relationships that are born of the connections made around the world. These communities can be, and are, very meaningful and influential. Icrontic's community, Facebook and other various social networks, and in-game communities are each a testament to this.

P.S. I'm not sure what category to put this in so feel free to adjust that should you feel it need be.

Comments

  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA
    I can't speak words that do proper justice to how important my online friendships mean to me. They've changed my life in more ways than I can mention.

    The first time I ever met a friend in person that I knew online was Dan, a guy I met on ICQ and played Delta Force and Tribes with. It was surreal, seeing a face to go with the voice i had heard so many times before, but we were friends as if we had lived near one another our entire lives.

    Icrontic was no different, just a larger scale. You become connected with so many people and you don't even realize how much of an impact it all has on you. It's hard to think that there is a living, breathing person behind the words you see posted next to an alias every day until you meet them in person, then everything changes.

    People who haven't grown up with the internet will ever understand. They think online friends are strange, or dangerous, or whatever else, but it's all untrue. Friends online are the best friends I've ever had, and they're more real and honest than the majority of local friends I've had through the years.
  • WinfreyWinfrey waddafuh Missouri
    One of the things I found to be really cool about Icrontic was that even only being a part of the community for a year or so I still got to know a lot of the people here pretty well. When I met a lot of them in person at ICLan 2008 it was great to put faces to names. The best part, and probably a strong indicator of how good this community is, was that everyone was pretty much the same in real life as they were on the internet. It was a surreal kind of feeling "meeting" someone you've already met before.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX
    Icrontic has given me pretty much everything I value the most. Even two or three times removed, somehow it all comes back right here.
  • QCHQCH Ancient Guru Chicago Area - USA
    I have my local friends and I have my Icrontic friends. My local friends are a tough group to be friends with all the time. Too many interest, too many egg shells, too many feelings to watch out for, and it is real work. I have to hide different aspects of myself depending on which friend(s) I'm around. But it works.

    Icrontic... I am me and nothing changes. I like what I like and I have friends here that I share interests with in many of the facets of my personality. I am humbled by the knowledge and quality of friendships here. Some of it is the shear number of people here verses my friend circle but really, it's the common bond that makes Icrontic so attractive. We have Icrontic in common... then it just builds from there. Also, I know more about many of you than my local friends even though I've been friends with them for 20+ years. Do I love everyone here, no. Do I agree with everyone, no. But I really like most of you. I truly consider my best, truest, most understanding, supportive friends to be Icrontic friends. I've grown through the years and I've watched Icrontic and it's members grow... I watch Brian's kids grow up. I've watched this "mister know-it-all" 16 year old AMD freak grow up to be a gentleman that really knows-it-all AND work for AMD (poke @Thrax). I've seen relationships begin and end. I've seen births of Icrontic babies. I've seen a few deaths, job losses, divorces, breakups, but to be turned into budding relationships, once in a million job opportunities...

    Icrontic is what I think of when someone talks about what small town life was like 50 years ago. It is wonderful, beautiful, and encouraging. I love you, Icrontic.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX
    Thanks, Q. I think. ;) <3
  • LincLinc Bard Detroit
    I've dedicated my life to online communities (job, hobbies, and social life). Clicking 'register' on Icrontic was the most important thing I did in college.
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego
    I've thought about this a lot, and I'll probably never come up with the reasoning as to why things are the way they are, here. I've also come to the conclusion that it's that same reason that'll keep me coming back. I echo Q's sentiments - we seem to learn a lot about one another here quicker than we do friends IRL, people are genuine and honest. We don't agree with everyone, we get in little tiffs here and there, but at the end of the day we all 'go home' and enjoy each other's company in some way, shape, or form.

    In all honestly, I really feel like it's because we've got Brian up on this giant squishy red throne with goldleaf accents and Matt feeding him grapes.

    Seriously, though - the heads of our community are the most patient, caring, stepping out of comfort zoning, brave, generous (despite, by their own admission, barely having anything to give), outgoing, and did I mention patient (seriously, Brian's patient) men I've ever known. Brian does not hold grudges, he does not judge, he does not wish ill will, he is always offering help (often times, the first), ...I mean hell he (well, Matt) just practically bankrupted himself buying a damn house so we could hang out in it in the future. Matt's always willing to listen, always willing to prop up a Mac product, always willing to counter with an argument he read on DaringFireball (those last two might not actually be good qualities), offers his time, money, and home for us. Together they're the coolest 'parents' of a community you could ask for.

    Their actions are contagious, too. Members of this same community have returned suit - offering to help pay for small gifts like a new DSLR for events, their time to help write for the site, ...we're even helping renovate their house (and not just monetarily, people offered their own bodies for sacrifice during St. Patrick's day).

    I really believe that a community, team, group, what-have-you is only as strong as who they have at the top. We happen to have two very strong pillars to build off of, and I think they should be recognized for it.
  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico
    Brian up on this giant squishy red throne with goldleaf accents and Matt feeding him grapes.

    We're even helping renovate their house (and not just monetarily, people offered their own bodies for sacrifice during St. Patrick's day).
    Did I mention you all give GREAT ideas for my drawing needs?
  • IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy Canadian Toronto, Ontario
    ^If you don't draw it Rahnal I will!
  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico
    If I really knew how they looked then it would be easy. All I got are head shots.
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! TX
    Prepare young @RahnalH102, I Give You....

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/icrontic/

    -Digi
  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico
    I know what I'm doing in my free time now.
    Thread go back on track now.
  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat Head Cheezy Knob Pflugerville with a "P"
    I've thought about this a lot, and I'll probably never come up with the reasoning as to why things are the way they are, here. I've also come to the conclusion that it's that same reason that'll keep me coming back. I echo Q's sentiments - we seem to learn a lot about one another here quicker than we do friends IRL, people are genuine and honest. We don't agree with everyone, we get in little tiffs here and there, but at the end of the day we all 'go home' and enjoy each other's company in some way, shape, or form.

    In all honestly, I really feel like it's because we've got Brian up on this giant squishy red throne with goldleaf accents and Matt feeding him grapes.
    I will be one of the last to take anything away from Brian and Matt. But I feel that there is much more to what makes this place what it is and what is has been for so long. One of them is "the people", without the people behind this place it would not be anything close to what it is or ever has been! Another is "the vast generosity of both the cast and crew". So many that stumble on this place and stick around have been some of the most giving people I have ever come across. There is only one other site I have been on that was in the same caliber as here. And it was that outdoors site where I met the person who directed me here! It might also be wort mentioning that the other site has since fragmented into obscurity. Hence I recall the fracture of this place that had sorted people into different camps as well. But the big difference was that this place was able to pull itself back together!!! I can also credit Icrontic for my own personal growth and development. It was here that I got the momentum behind me to make my late in life change and completely changed my career at the ripe old age of 53! I realized that I I could make my tech hobie and past time into my new life. I am now so much happier than I Used to be that it can not go without mentioning. Icrontic is the only online community where I have got to meet so many of its members.

    I have loved, I have lost, I have come and I have gone but this is the only place I keep coming back to!!!!!

    And I have shared with as well as shared in the many events of Icrontic!

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