(cyber) friends looking out for me

Here’s a phenomenon that’s new to me. Cyber friends looking out for me.

I’ve been following one blog for pretty much as long as I’ve been reading blogs. The author shared a video that was supportive of gay relationships. She later shared a remembrance of Mr. Rogers. Both posts brought out replies from a homophobic troll. The first round was general, but the second attacked both me and another commenter. All of those comments were quickly deleted, but I saw them because I had signed up to receive follow-up comments by email. After that second round the blog owner initiated moderation on comments. Looking out for me and for the other commenter.

I was taking an online course and developed a cordial relationship with another member of the class. We became friends on Facebook and all was well until she saw a post of mine that revealed that I actually ate meat. (Such an unusual trait in today’s American culture, I know.) She hurled some venom at me (turns out she’s a militant vegan), and I quickly unfriended her on FB, something I have done perhaps only twice before. I also told the instructor I was dropping the class. The instructor told me that I could continue with the readings without having to participate in the online conversation. She also emailed the individual to advise her of the impact that her actions had had on me.

Online friends, people I have never met in person, looking out for me.

You both know who you are. I thank you both.

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