Bright Ideas

Online - Good, Bad and Ugly
A Letter to my Friend

Stand on your own morals, your own knowledge,
your own beliefs

My Dear Friend -

I want to write to you today of the reality of online interactions. I want to express the good, the bad, and the ugly of what happens online. These are simply my opinions, your mileage may vary.

Online realms can be a wonderful tool for exchanging information, for making friends, for learning about one's self, and at times learning of the lifestyle (D/s). It is as real as you allow it to be.

I have made a few very close friends online. Some I have met offline, and some I have not yet had the priviledge of meeting face to face. I hold all of them very dear to my heart. They are important additions to my life, to my journey in the realm of D/s, and to my learning.

I have also met others, who though they have added to my learning, and I'm sure this must be a good thing, they have not become my friends for various reasons. You see, the online realm is a wonderful place for people to be other than who and what they are. They allow people to be more anonymous.

It's easy, when being anonymous to attempt to bring pain to others. Do I think it is purposeful? In all honesty, with some I do. Oh they mask it in the guise of being 'totally honest', but perhaps there are times, when some things are better left unsaid.

Each person has their own opinions about things, whether they know facts or not. Everyone judges, it's a must to judge others based on their actions, to decide if this is someone you'd like to grow close with, someone you can trust, or someone best kept at arm's length.

Unfortunately, the number of people best kept at arm's length, is proportionately higher than those with whom one can form a close and endearing friendship. I suppose it is the same in the offline world, but it seems a much higher ratio online.

It seems to be incredibly easy to want to trust the words of everyone online, to want to believe their motives are true and real, that they are speaking these things out of kindness, because as human beings we want...perhaps need to be trusting. And yet, without the advantage of body language, facial expressions, and inflection of voice, it is *almost* impossible to know the motives of those who "only wish to help you".

It is in my opinion, too easy to accept the words of strangers as truth, and to allow their words to form your thoughts, allow them to permeate your thinking to the point of making you doubt your own judgement. I strongly suggest...DON'T DO IT.

Stand on your own morals, your own knowledge, your own beliefs. Your gut will tell you when to believe and when not to. Your heart will signal you when it is time to excuse yourself, and allow those people to wander onto their next victim. Oops, did I say victim? Yes, because if you allow yourself to be lead by those who will lead you down the wrong path, you have become their vicitim.

All that can be the most wonderful place in the world. It can allow you to grow, to understand yourself, to look within and know where you are headed, what you seek, and what you must risk, to be where you need to be. It can help you form ideals of your desires.
Online can also be a place for entertainment. Many times, I've sat in front of my computer, chatting with friends online and laughed until I've cried. I savor those moments. They are, as my friends are, very special to me.

Many times as well, I've known the pain of deceit, of feeling vicitimized, the pain shared when a friend is hurting, the tears of loss as a friend misunderstands, all just as in the offline realm.

Online is real, perhaps too much so at times. However, as long as you can stand strong in your own thinking, your own morals, your own needs and not allow the games, the intensity to bring you down, it is a wonderful experience.

And know that whether I've known you online 'only' or offline, you are my friend, and I am grateful for your friendship.


2003 indigo

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