Thursday, November 25, 2010

Beam Me Up, Love

This is going to sound silly, probably a little geeky, and more than likely kind of odd, but bear with me. I am thankful for the Internet. I know that’s a pretty vague thing to be thankful for, and the internet is a pretty huge place. I’m also sure (in fact, I know) that there are a lot of things on the internet for which I would be much less than thankful. But without the internet, we wouldn’t have email. We wouldn’t have Facebook, or Netflix, or iPhones, or online gaming, or the eight hundred million other ways that people spend their time these days. However, more importantly to me, without the internet, I never would have met Alissa.

I used to cringe a little about telling the story, because when we met each other seven years ago, meeting people on the internet was still a little risque, something that “normal” people didn’t just go do. In fact, I remember well (and fondly, mom) the little speech about being careful that my mother gave me when I told her that I’d met a girl online and was going to go out on a date “in person” with her.Yes, there are a lot of crazy people out there in the wild west of the internet, but fortunately, my instincts were good, and Alissa didn’t mug me or run off with my wallet or anything remotely like that. We met in a bright, public place, went out for dinner, went for a walk around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area, and the rest, as they say, was history.

These days, of course, the whole idea of meeting one’s significant other on the internet has lost that early feeling of recklessness or danger. I know lots of people who met that way - one of my closest friends, in fact, met his wife on the internet after seeing how well it worked out for Alissa and I. I’ve always been secretly proud of that, and their success started, again, with a bunch of electrons streaming down a wire somewhere after someone’s finger clicked a mouse button.

I physically cringe to think what would have happened had I not clicked my own mouse that day in November seven years ago, had I not seen the email from the website that we were both using, and had I not met the wonderful, amazing, and incredibly special woman who I’m married to now. Alissa and I both talk about how meeting someone on the internet is a different experience than meeting someone in person. There’s not the pressure that goes along with an in person meeting - you’re a little more free to speak (or write) how you actually feel, and we have no doubt that the novel-length emails that we wrote to each other in those first weeks were what allowed both of us to become sure that the person on the other end of that wire was someone with whom we genuinely wanted to spend time and become invested in. The two of us have become a family of three now with our wonderful son, and while with work schedules and life in general being what they are we might not get to spend the time together that we’d like to, I know from the core of my being that I love her, and I am eternally thankful for her finger clicking her mouse that day, and for the electrons that traveled over those wires to send me the message.

So yeah, I’m thankful for the internet. Where would I be without it?


  1. It's striking how similar our stories for today are (check mine out at 6pm). I am thankful for meeting you too.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Goosebumps! Love it Tim- you really brought that one home!


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