It's a small world after all
But what interested me most about life online was the chance to make contact with the rest of the world. It was fascinating to be able to talk to people from thousands of miles away and find out about their lives. At that time chatrooms seemed to be full of those who genuinely wanted to make friends.
Some of those friends I made in the beginning remain in contact still. Others came, chatted and went. One in particular stood out from the others. He was from New York. 'Not the city', he told me, 'the mountains'. Whenever I logged on, he was there. Not that I minded, I enjoyed his company immensely.
From his description of himself, I pictured a Grizzly Adams lookalike sitting in front of a computer all those miles away. Admittedly this image of him was largely down to my imagination. He had simply told me that he had long hair and a beard. I coloured the rest of the picture all by myself. It became a daily routine to chat with him at particular times and, if he was delayed for any reason I found myself becoming concerned, anxious. After all friends disappeared so easily in those days never to be seen again.
One day, shortly after turning on my computer, my screen went black. Feeling irritated, I restarted it. Still black. Then the panic began to set in. I called the shop I had bought the system from and was amazed that they didn't share my sense of urgency. They offered to send the faulty monitor away to be checked, saying that it would take about a week to ten days. Somehow it seemed that the more calm the response I was receiving from the person on the other end of the phone, the more agitated I felt. I insisted, no, I demanded that they supply me with a replacement monitor and I simply refused to take 'no' for an answer. Looking back I still blush at the thought of the conversation. They must have thought I was nuts! But they agreed and before I left home to collect the replacement I made a phone call to my bewildered sister-in-law. 'Claire, listen carefully. I need to you to log onto your Yahoo messenger. Send a message to Drsnowking and tell him to wait for me, I won't be long'.
As I drove to the shop reality hit me. I was becoming way too attached to a person I would never meet. He lived on a different continent for goodness sake. It was a recipe for disaster and perhaps it was time to back off.