internet friends

Music: Thee More Shallows “2AM”

this post was completely rewritten on 2020-04-06

Back in the day, I wrote a livejournal. I still remember my username and I’ve gone back to look at it a few times. It’s just as embarrassing as you might expect.

But the one thing that I still think about from that time is the fact that I made some genuine (if indeed tenuous) friendships. And despite the fact that those days have long passed (15+ years, after all), those friendships are still valuable and have meaning. In some small way, they made me part of who I am today.

And all of our friendships do that to some degree or another. We might look back on things with different eyes, in my case with disgust or embarrassment. But things always look different after the fact.

I mention this because in autumn 2019, I started getting back into blogging again. I also started using internet relay chat (IRC). First through Code4Lib’s channel on Freenode, then ArchiveTeam’s channels on EFnet, and finally into the Tildeverse, a group of shared Linux/BSD servers for collaborative learning and exploration.1

I’ve met some really cool folks in the tildeverse. Some folks are neighbors (/me waves at cm). Others have excellent taste in music (gb) and others are just awesome and have taught me a lot about sysadmin-ing (thanks, ben). And I can’t leave out js who’s one of my favorites. or favourites, she might perfer. They’re good folks and I’m very grateful to know all of them.

But one person is missing at a time when we need our ‘internet friends’ more than ever and that’s ynx. ynx was my first real friend on IRC, they made me feel welcome, they talked to me when I didn’t really know anyone else. When IRL things started to go a bit sideways, it was nice to have someone to just chat with.

I miss you, ynx. I think I know why you left and I understand. I know things are bad right now, the world is in a dark place and the forecast isn’t calling for sunshine anytime soon. But the thing about friends is that we help one another when the skies are gray. And I want you to know that I’m here for you, if you ever need it.

Just /msg me.

your friend,

This does seem a little bit silly to put out there like this. But such are the times.

Part of the deal with internet friends is that they can be ephemeral. Sad, but that’s just how it is, I guess.

But they don’t have to be.

  1. the story of those came into being as told by their founder Paul Ford. And here’s the essay that pointed me to them. ↩︎