People, life, solitude, online

A random title because I don’t know how to frame it. This is about people you only know from their online presence, and how they effect your own life in unforeseen ways.

I just found out about an amazing person called vga256 (yup, old computer nerds, there’s someone who called themselves this and walked away with it!), and he posts about archiving pages he wants to keep. And then one of his posts resonates:

But what lanced me through the heart was this single paragraph:

I’m 48, female, shy about relationships, and tired of being alone. I want to find my gamer guy! I’m intelligent, witty, clever, very loyal and honest. I’m artistic and creative and interested in all the things I just listed, and I want to find my soulmate out there. I don’t judge a book by its cover; I’m attracted to what’s inside. If you’re intelligent, can converse as equals, share similar interests, and are prepared to treat me like a lady, then send me an email and let’s talk.

Jeanette died a few years after posting that Wanted ad on her homepage. She was only 53 years old.

Tired of being alone.

For days I choked back tears wondering if Jeanette had ever found that special person to fulfill that lonely place in her heart. I’ve felt that kind of loneliness before. I’ve been alone and broken-up-with and separated and divorced. It hurts. Even when you think you’re finally happy being alone with yourself, you still feel that tug of something missing.

But I’ve never felt that loneliness for years or decades.

When I started archiving Jeanette’s homepage it was because I thought the world was missing some world-class 32x32 pixel Simpsons icons.

But when I finished archiving her homepage, it was archived as a memorial for Jeanette herself. She was a special person, someone that I did not know. Someone that I wished I had. Perhaps this tiny fragment of her life will remind others to seek out that special person in your life.

(Side note: I fixed some code, see “computer nerds” above.)

This strikes a nerve. I’m 53. I’m alone right now. I don’t really know how to fix that, because I’m an online person, still wary of dating platforms, and I haven’t found local people who could be interested in me.

And yes, she seemed like an interesting person. Every time I think of all the people I’ve never met in real life but whom I feel close to, because the Web (which turned 35 this week, by the way) made me feel like we stumbled upon each other now and again at a café terrace.
The Jeffrey Zeldmans and the Greg Storeys and the Eric Meyers and so many, many others — the list would be too long.

Also, in passing: I’m so lucky to have met IRL so many people I had met online — again, the list would be too long (but boy is it long!).

I’m so grateful for all of this.

(See how an emotional story can also trigger one’s realization of one’s luck? I’m glad it did. Thank you vga256.)


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