the past few weeks I have been watching while a person I know online
has come under heavy attack for nothing more than having stood up to
an internet friend and once radio show partner who was doing
wrong. And it has made me think about the times that I have been
betrayed online and what happen to me.
One betrayal that
happened to me was back in my AOL days. I had helped a woman by
building a personal web page for her. She did not have a scanner to
scan her pictures for emailing, so I gave her my home
address to mail me the actual pictures. After I was done
scanning them and had built her a beautiful family web
page, I mailed the photos back to her. Months later the friendship
went south and she became a fatal attraction type of person. She
handed out my real name and full address to anyone who wanted it,
which ended up posted online. Hence, the reason I am not shy about
using my full real name online these days.
As it turned out,
no one left their cozy computer chair to come and bring me
flowers or anything. All that happened to me was some nuts
signed me up for gay-porn magazine subscriptions, and I
received an odd Christmas card that year. But to think that someone
who I called "friend" would desire to have harm come to me, really
woke me up about "some" online friendships and what can happen
if they go bad.
I say, "some," because during that same time
that I had built a family web page for that woman, I had also built
one for a man who was dying of cancer. And he too had to send me his
pictures by mail. But unlike that woman, he proved to be a real
Christian. And when he passed on up to heaven, his wife sent me the
kindest letter with a copy of his obituary, telling me how much
happiness that family web page with all of his children and
grandchildren's pictures on it had meant to him before he died. His
name was A.J.
So though I learned that some online friends
could go bad and try to harm us, such people could never harden me.
I learned that I must always be open to friendship and being kind to
others and not be afraid, or I might miss out on the next
A.J. that comes into my online life.