The Miracle of the Internet


This is disjointed and rambly and definitely not the best thing I've ever written but I've tried to edit and I feel like it loses the importance of the topic. So just bear with me here while I ramble a bit, okay? 

The internet is not always a good place. People can be downright cruel to others when they have the ability to hide behind a computer screen. Your information can be stolen, your private pictures posted without your consent and various other unpleasant encounters. 

"Internet friends" is an interesting term. A lot of people simply do not understand how anyone could create a friendship through the internet, with someone or multiple someones they've never met. Even though the internet, chat rooms and message boards have been around for quite some time and it's rather common to meet your significant other on a message board or dating website, there is a large group of people who simply just do not understand this and give you weird looks when you mention it. 

To be honest, I never thought I'd have internet friends. I've never been good at making friends. I'm fairly certain that all of my friendships have started by the other person wanting to be friends with me and then for whatever reason, deciding I was cool enough to keep around. So the fact that I'm part of a message board who don't mind me coming back is pretty neat. 

But I'm getting ahead of myself. This all started somewhere in the early fall of 2010 when I found a website called The Knot. It's for wedding planning and one of the biggest features on the site were the message boards. Intrigued, I started posting and over time, sharing wedding planning, wedding stories and then just the things that happen in our general lives, this group of women who wanted to talk to each other on a regular basis formed. Fast forward a few years later, we decided to move over to another message board. 

And now it's been over a year since we've taken up residence on this new board. A lot has changed, many people have left and we've welcomed some newcomers. And for what its worth, a lot of us have met each other too. Two years ago (has it really been that long?) we had a massive get together where I informed my husband that two of my internet friends would be staying with us. 

He doesn't really get it, he talks to people in the games he plays but never really forms relationships like this. I think he finds it amusing though, since he'll lean over sometimes and ask what we're talking about on the boards or he'll look at a particular signature picture  and comment that it's funny/amusing/whatnot. 

What in the world do you talk about? You might wonder. Well, everything. It's no different than any conversation you'd have with a friend in person. We ask if this dress looks right or what jewelry to wear with this outfit. We talk about favorite tv shows, books and movies. We talk about food and parties, birthdays and anniversaries. Jobs, husbands, pets, children and the daily occurrences of our lives. We send each other Christmas cards and gifts and even random pieces of mail or swap coupons. We give advice, we make suggestions, we offer support. 

Words are important. You can never underestimate the power of hearing or reading someone supporting you in a choice you are making, whether it be as simple as picking new furniture or as serious as separating from your husband.  

And that's what lead me to this post. Support. This group of women that I have the honor of typing to on a daily basis are, in some cases, more supportive than people I know in real life. And have done some miraculous things when the opportunity arose. 

I don't want to discredit anything that we've done, from purchasing gift cards in celebration of graduating law school to gathering money for someone who was just having a rough financial time, to sending cards when someone lost a family member or even a pet and a ton of other things that would make this post way too long if I ever listed them all out here. All of those things should have prompted me to write a post like this and I don't want it to seem like this is more important than anything else we have done, because it's not. It just happened to fall at a time where the words flowed freely from my fingertips and I had an overwhelming desire to share how awesome these people are with the rest of the world. (Or the 116 regular readers I have.) 

One of the posters, let's call her J, lives in Kosovo and came about a hurt puppy limping about outside. Being the kindhearted person she is, she took in said puppy and named her Shelby. Not being a dog person and not having planned on this at all, she ended up going through quite the adventure. In posting on the board for advice on how to deal with this new four-legged friend they couldn't keep, another poster said she'd be interested in taking the dog. That poster, M, lives in the DC area. Like there wasn't an entire ocean and quite a few countries between the United States and Kosovo, the discussion changed ask to how the puppy could get here. Like it was the most natural thing in the world for someone in an entirely different country to just offer to give this puppy her forever home. 
(her paw is much better by the way)

If that doesn't touch you on some level, I have a hard time believing you're human. 

As I stated above, the internet is not always a friendly place. But it can be. You can also make friendships and meet some incredible people who are so giving, so caring and end up meaning so much to you that you have a hard time writing a post like this, because you can't find the words to express it all. People who make you proud to be a part of the group that maintains this little happy corner of the internet. 

And who do tiny little things like arrange puppies with hurt paws across the Atlantic ocean to their forever homes. 

And that, is the power, is the miracle of the internet.

This is where I need your help though, and if you're a frequent reader you know I never do things like this. We've tried to get Shelby to fly along with humans to the US which greatly reduces her costs, but it just hasn't worked out for various reasons. Shelby still wants to come to the US and meet her new doggy siblings and human parents. Could you spare a few dollars to make this happen?

If so, just go here to her YouCaring link. Help Shelby to her Fur-ever home

If any additional funds are raised, the money will be donated to a non-profit animal organization in Kosovo. I feel it necessary to mention that animal organizations there aren't what they are here. Getting Shelby here would be a miracle in and of itself, but having additional funds for the homeless animals that run rampant there... that's powerful.

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