Recently, I posted in a thread about how much I dislike that expression because it devalues us. Certainly there are fakes behind some avatars, but I have to believe most are real, even with all the anonymity or harmless, honest secrets.
Just recently I was reading a thread in which Pegasus posted. Do you remember him? He was a sweet, kind man who shared his cancer experience with us. His last post said he was having some issues both with the disease and the treatment, but he was still hopeful. Then no more communication. Someone posted of his death later. So, I decided to visited our Garden of Memories here at JUB. If you have not been there, you should check it out. Unfortunately, the original posts were lost in the JUB transition, but you can still get the feel for some of our JUB brothers who have died. One of them, Kristof, died at his own hand. His partner of 20+ years sent a message telling us what happened and he shared how much JUB meant to his partner. Kristoff was homebound due to mental illness and fear. Jub meant so much to him in the months before his death. Apparently it gave him something to look forward to each day.
That sounds to me like more than just the internet. That sounds like real people interacting with other real people even if not face to face. I suspect in many ways, people can get to know one another on an even deeper level than they can in real life.
I have had people at JUB share things with me that they have not shared even with best friends. I like to think opening up gave them the courage to then share with others. Maybe all of us have been stepping stones in that way.
How many times have we heard JUBbers tell us that we have helped them on their journey out of the closet? How much late night loneliness has been eased by people being here for others? I will bet even a few lives have been saved because of an encouraging, caring word from a fellow JUBber.
I often think about some of our elder JUB members who no longer post. I wonder why. Did we ignore them until they couldn't stand to visit anymore? Are they no longer with us?
Have the hot newbies with the precocious sex lives who so often dominate the forums before they burn out as quickly as they arrived somehow caused these older members to feel invisible and unwanted. I often think of the nice man from Nice and Golliwog. Did we fail them? Did I?
When someone complains that they have been deceived by someone on the internet, there will always be those who say "Oh well, it's just the internet. You can't take it too seriously". But what about when someone like Ashy tells us of his struggles with depression and addiction. Do we then blow him off because he is just part of the internet? Or do we show him some personal care and concern?
We can choose to see the internet as just a playground where we play with others until we are tired of them and then move on to the new guy on the block or we can see it as another aspect of our lives where we care, argue, make-up, laugh, cry and behave like human being.
Each of us comes to JUB for different reasons. Some come her for serious reasons because they are in need. Many of us come here for a laugh and a little fun. But if JUB is just the internet and it serves no greater purpose than just amusement, then why should we bother coming here at all. Afterall, as of late, there has been more ugliness than humor, anyway.
**I know, I know. TL/DR