Thursday, December 17, 2009

Virtual loss

Something has happened today which perhaps answers my question of yesterday's post regarding whether virtual relationships were as "real" as, well, real relationships (the kind where you actually get to sniff their butt).

Today's evidence says "yes"--at the very least, losing a virtual friend hurts just as much as losing a butt-sniffable one. Graham, a Greyhound who I never met, never sniffed, have never been in the same state as...in fact I don't even know what state he is in...died today, and I am so sad. I am too sad to write about him--if you want to see pictures of Graham and his sister Sophie Brador, they are over at http://sophierulestheworld.blogspot.com/.

But if this proves that virtual relationships can be emotionally real, it raises another question: is it worth it? This is not the first time this has happened--the Dogs With Blogs network is big enough that statistically speaking, friends are bound to go. Is it worth it? To set one's self up for loss? Would it be easier just to log out and stick with Dale, who is scheduled to live for another 50 years or so? Is virtual love, or friendship, enough to make up for real loss?

3 comments:

Blue said...

Glad to hear from you again.

Are you on Dogs with Blogs? I didn't find you.

Although it's probably a misrepresentation we just applied for Cats with Blogs.

Sophie Brador said...

Sancha! Holy doodles. I just saw your post about Graham and had no idea it hit you so strongly. But I know exactly what you mean, and not about Graham, but about virtual friends.

It is really hard when you develop this relationship with people online in this strange world and someone dies. A lot of bloggers call it "going to the Rainbow Bridge." I don't use that terminology, but I do get why they do. When someone dies, it sucks big time and I have cried real tears over dogs and people I have met through blogs.

BUT, I have met some great people. Some of them I have even met face-to-face. I suppose it's like life. Some stuff sucks, but some stuff is really great.

Here's one of the great things that happened since G-man died. Our neighbours, who loved him so much, decided to adopt their own Greyhound and yesterday they brought home a beautiful 3 year old girl. Our boy did some good while he was here. He made loads of people fall in love with Greyhounds.

xo
SB

Jake of Florida said...

Hey Sancha,

We just discovered your blog while checking our pal Wally's latest. We too have wondered about -- and tried to explain -- how our virtual relationships, mostly developed through our blog, have become so real and important. Like you, we have cried buckets of tears over dogs we have never met but who feel like family -- sometimes more so than real family.

Strange new world. And strangely gratifying.

Perhaps the generation just now turning 3 or 4 will not find it strange at all.

We peeked at some of your older posts, and found them full of insightful thoughts that ourhumans may not begin to grasp.

And, oh yes, our Mom graduated from Barnard -- about a century ago -- so even though we live in -- now frigid -- South Florida, we are fans of Morningside Heights and Columbia University!

Wirey woofs!! Come visit!!

Jake and Just Harry