Virtual Emotions are still real emotions

I am constantly amazed at how some things that happens purely online could affect me so much.

Consider this. You are sitting at your computer. The other person is sitting over at their computer. There are absolutely no physical contact with each other. All the information being sent to each other are related to each other digitally.

And yet, in between all these, one bonds with each other and genuine emotions grow. This interesting cyber-life where we go to, where there is no sense of touch and yet, incredibly we able to touch each other in other way, through the heart.

I felt gladness when Dynatec and Geri passed their studies. Gladness when Dismay found a wonderful person to have as a partner. Happiness when Zozee found love with lion, a man whom she’s been with ever since I knew her.

I felt disgust when there were drama posts back while I was addicted to neopets, especially at a middle aged man who was an attention seeker in a largely children populated site. He did countless spams of how “clever” and “rich” he was and nonsensical attention seeking posts. This, a 32 year old man in an impressionable website full of 10 – 15 year olds. Well, one thing good about him was how entertaining he was though, spawning different stories day by day. The soap opera that I did not need to watch on television.

I felt sadness upon hearing the death of Undercore and Glonan. Both of them have touched my life back in cybertown, a community that I was part of for a while. Undercore was friendly and never made me feel like I was a dumb newbie while I started out.

Residents in cybertown went by ranks during those days, one can start out as a block deputy and rise up to mayor if one could make it. And even though he was of a high rank, he was friendly to everyone.

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Undercore was gone too soon. He went driving and a drunk driver rammed up to his jeep and killed him instantly. Undercore was only 17.

I don’t remember how I met Glonan, but I remembered how wonderful she was. We only met briefly when I was less than a month old in Cybertown. She noticed that I loved faeries very much and gave me a faerie painting as a gift. The fact that she remembered it was touching and I knew that this was a wonderful person to be friends with. I learnt that was a retiree, she usually lives alone in Alaska. This strong, amazing woman was able to climb hills to chop firewood when she is strong enough, and when she grew weaker, continued to do odd jobs around the house.

She was always so nice to me and everyone around her. She offered to make me real life crafts. I had to say no, I couldn’t accept such niceties like that. She insisted, saying that it will be something to remember her by.

For a while, I didn’t understand what she meant by that.

I got a package in the post and received a pair of earrings that she crafted. I thanked her profusely and marvelled again and again at how this creation, crafted by a real life person, that I know of, on the other side of the world, crafted by hand is now in my possession.

“I’m going to make you shorts next,what size are you?”
“You really don’t have to Glonan, you did so many nice things for me already”
“Nonsense! I like making things, hun!”

That was the last conversation I had with her. I didn’t see her online for a few weeks and then I heard from her daughter announcing online that she’s passed away and has given in to her disease. She will be missed, so much. I still think about her, this charming, wonderful lady who loves to call me hun.

So in retrospective, I should not be surprised that I feel emotionally distraught with someone that I cared for very much was feeling bad about himself. I’m still surprised though as it could be a miscommunication. It could be my part on being hyper-sensitive. It could also just be bad timing. But I feel bad when he feels bad. And what made me upset about the whole situation is how helpless I am about it all. I cant do anything about it. I cant stand this helplessness. I cant.

The thing about online relationships …

I saw an online friend of mine on msn, Zoozee, whom I met from Cybertown. I haven’t met her for a while, so I decided to say hello. It turned out that she just accepted a proposal from Lion (Also from Cybertown) and I was really glad for her. I wasn’t surprised though, because they were one of the most closely knit couples in-world that I’ve ever met and I was really happy for the couple.

As the far as I could remember, online relationships has always been around ever since the ability to communicate with other people was possible. Romance bloomed even in the the days of the BBS bulletin board, moving to the heydays of IRC and then to 3D communities.

I was just looking at my backup CD and saw an old email that an online boyfriend gave me. My first online relationship would be somewhere in late 1996. Mirc was really popular then. I would log on and spend time with the people there, ranging from the weird, the interesting, the crazies, the funnies. There were many different types of characters there that I didn’t even needed to watch television any more since MIRC was more entertaining for me with all the antics there.

As how human nature grows there are a group of people that you’d feel connected to and I felt a close bond to a group of menageries and we hang around more. They were a really close bunch of real life friends and went for frequent outings and thus on-line friends became real life friends in just a few moments.

I wasn’t able to go to these outings since I was in Jurong Institute then and didn’t have that much free time. Nevertheless, I got to know this guy and we easily became friends. I don’t know how we suddenly became closer but he was interesting to me. I found myself chatting with him till the next morning. His comment of “Hey, it’s time for me to wake up now!” in particular made me chuckle. We then proceeded to talk on the phone for a few days and I liked his voice and looked forward to talking to him.

Online, he was always sweet, funny and protective which was very endearing qualities that I liked. Reading that email, I forgotten the nickname he used to call me “wify”. Now I think I’d turn to mush if anyone calls me that again but I thought it was sweet then.

He tried to meet up with me but since I was busy with school, I had to decline many times. But after a while, perhaps out of guilt (?) or a sense of curiosity, I agreed to go to a channel gathering. There I was, an awkward 18 year old, straight from school, in my grey school uniform surrounded by these rambunctious and boisterous hip and funny people. I then saw him and I smiled at the Chinese guy with the long floppy hair and he smiled back at me.

At the end of the gathering, he took my hand and we walked hand in hand and had our first kiss. I couldn’t help but taste the strong chilli sauce on his tongue. That really put me off.

We met again for a couple of times more, and he was even more sweeter on MIRC to me. And it was obvious that the channel regarded us as “the couple”. That was when he started calling me “wify” and became even more protective towards me.

Unfortunately, there was a problem. After we met, I didn’t feel that connection and didn’t feel anything more towards him than a friend. So I told him and he didn’t take it well. Called me names and since he was a mod in that room, banned me. So, that’s the end I suppose.

Anyway, I think I’ll stop here for the moment. There are still other things that I’d like to say about this topic, but I guess that would have to wait till another day.