The People We Meet Online

people
I don’t know when Leon Noone stopped commenting on my blog but I know that I noticed it.

For a while he was a regular fixture here and someone who I looked forward to seeing.

Maybe it was because he seemed like this warm, affable fellow who was filled with all sorts of interesting quotes or because I thought he was a sharp man I could learn from.

Most of our exchanges were in the comment section here or elsewhere around the blogosphere but every now and then there would be an email and  a promise to look each other up should I be in Australia or he in the states.

It never happened, we never did grab a pint together or get a chance to connect in person and I am sorry for that.

Every time I look at the quote in the photo above I smile and I think of where it came from.

It was part of a comment he left on Mean Girls Come From Mean Moms. It was preceded by “Take care Jack. That 5 year old horror will grow up to be somebody’s teenage daughter.”

I almost led with that part, but I didn’t want people to think Leon was a mean man so I saved it.

Truth is I don’t really know if he was. A person can be anyone and anything online, but I really just don’t believe Leon was a bad guy.

And now I found out I won’t ever get to make that decision from personal experience.

Readers Come & Go

During my time as a blogger I have had a series of regulars that read and comment here but there are very few that have been around since the start.

I don’t know about any other bloggers but I would guess the old timers have similar experiences to mine.

People come and go and you don’t always know why.

There have been a few times where I had it out with someone and they stopped because they didn’t like my politics or were offended.

My best guess is others may have been bored or found other places that they got more out of and moved on. That is ok, when you are busy you have to make choices about how and where to spend your time.

I noticed when Leon stopped coming around because his comments were usually well thought out and often witty but I didn’t write to ask why he wasn’t here because I figured it was his business.

The People We Meet Online

It took a long time before I met any of my online friends in person.

There wasn’t any particular reason for it other than for a long while I saw my blog as nothing but an online journal. It wasn’t until I tried to monetize it and started thinking about using it to get work that I really thought about connections with people.

I feel sort of foolish writing that because it sounds not just obvious but silly.  What can I say, sometimes I am slow on the uptake but the good news is once I catch on I am pretty damn fast.

Anyhow that is not the point.

I would have liked to have met Leon and now I won’t.  But I think he would appreciate the sentiment.

And since Leon and I liked to exchange Mark Twain quotes I’ll close this post with some in his honor

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

“Go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company.”

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

― Mark Twain

Here is to you Leon, may your friends and loved ones be comforted and forever retain warm memories of you.

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Comments

  1. @KDaukas:disqus Sorry for the delayed response, DISQUS spam filter caught you, don’t know why.
    It reminds me a bit of some college friends that you might hang out with around campus but never quite transitioned into something else. You’d think about how one day you needed to do more than grab a beer or lunch on campus and then they were just gone.

    Except here we know they really are…gone.

  2. Like Renee, this post is timely as Sunday was the birthday of one person I spent hours getting to know but will never get to meet. This online community of mine also lost another, that we know of anyway. I remember the reactions to the news… a mix of coming together, but then also some withdrew when they realized the depth of how much they felt. In time, those that have stayed in touch, take the opportunities to tell each other that they do mean a lot. I’ve been lucky to meet 8 people. While I’m a relative newbie to your community here, I look forward to the the posts and commentary. Thank you!

    • @ionfooddrinklife:disqus I am sorry to hear about your loss as well. I think sometimes we are surprised by how deep the connections we make with others online. It is a good surprise.

      I am glad you are part of the community too.

  3. Awwww! Touching post. The blogosphere is a wild and wooly place. Not really, but unique indeed. I’ve only met two blog friends in person. Both exceeded my expectations!

  4. Renee McKinley says:

    This timely for me. I just received FB notification of a birthday. One of my first online friends. One who regularly commented and encouraged my writing.

    She passed away in October. The notification reminded me, we won’t meet here. She won’t read my stories. No more smiley faces and “Wow! I like this!”

    But I’ll never forget her. Never stop missing her.

  5. It’s great when you make online friendships but it’s easy to forget that there is a life behind the screen and comments. I have had the same in the past. Does make you wonder.

    Nice and touching post though 🙂

  6. Nancy Davis says:

    I am one of those people who lurk. I comment just so you don’t forget who I am 🙂 No, really, this is a touching post. The nice part is that we do form relationships here in this space. I have met some of my online friends in person, and that was such a great experience.

    The other side of that equation is that part about going missing. I know too many that have gone missing and we never really know what went on. Are they sick? Lonely? Dealing with something and need just a kind ear?

    This reminds me to be thankful for everyone in my life. Thanks Jack.

    • @disqus_B72EjjbJxz:disqus You are right to mention the other side. I imagine more than a few people fall into the sick/lonely category. They might not have the energy to show up and not always because they are physically ill. Some times emotion has a big impact too.

      You never know how much of a lift you give someone by checking in with them online.

  7. Online friendships truly are unique. Unfortunately, we rarely get to meet online friends in person. I’m very sorry you never got to meet Leon in person, but at least you were enriched by your online connection to him.

    You’re right, often when an online friend disappears we have no idea why. We imagine they’re busy scaling Everest or other pursuits that require demanding focus. Leon reminds us to make the most of life, online and offline.

    • @wonderoftech:disqus Do we know any bloggers who have scaled Everest? I am not being silly, just curious. They would have some great stories, not that you can’t without climbing Everest because you can.

      But having a tale with Sherpas could be very cool.

  8. A great tribute, mate, and a perfect way to say goodbye to a great person. Here’s to Leon.

Trackbacks

  1. […] me for a moment while I mention that it was my friend Leon of The People We Meet Online fame who provided me with an article about parenting that I used as part of the post about the best […]

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