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I Was 13 Years Old...

...in 1999 back in the day when America On-Line was the biggest connection to the world.

My first on-line friendships began in AOL chatrooms. I''m sure I had no business being in an AOL chatroom at the age of 13, but, the Internet was new in our home and my parents were clueless. It didn't take them too long to become informed and I was no longer allowed in AOL chatrooms. When I was 15, I returned and frequented the same chatroom for about three years and became a "regular". I chatted with adults in this room, but, honestly, I never had any problems with any of them trying to talk sex with me. I wasn't in a room where that would be a common thing and my parents did not allow me to share pictures on-line with people they called "strangers". Actually, I wasn't supposed to even be in chatrooms...but ya know. Of course, i did share here and there with friends (mom didn't know) but I didn't talk sex with anyone.. People did not scensor what they said to one another in front of me, nor did I expect them to

The friends I made were there for me when I...
...went from middle school to high school...
...got my first real job...
graduated form high school...
...lost my virginity...
...went away to college...
...graduated from college...
...got my first real job as a teacher...

They were internet friends, people I'd never met face-to-face (but have a few since), but they were a huge part of my life...
...they were my brothers and sisters
...my aunts and uncles...
...my moms and dads..

I have remained friends with many and the line of communication to me is still open and the same as it was many years ago for any who may one day want to find me and reconnect. It was painful to lose contact with those who disappeared.

Of course, there have been many other sources of meeting friends on-line since AOL and I consider myself lucky to have made quite a few over the years. They are as important to me as friends I see daily.

OMGitsRiley OMGitsRiley 26-30, F 5 Responses Jun 16, 2012

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Wonderful story, and I am so glad some of you have been able to connect with those in chat rooms, internet and so forth. For me, that has never happened, I am friends for a short while and then they are gone. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks for writing this - it made me reflect on my own experiences - I still vividly remember that day when the site Active Worlds was reviewed in a TV program and I later that evening used a search engine to find it. I think Google wasnt invented at that time....must have been back in 1999 and I was 18.
After exploring that great 3D avatar based chat site, I pretty much made friends in the MSN chat groups and that went on until Bill Gates pulled the gates shut....;-)I had my first love affair with another woman based on the fact that we met in an MSN Group called "Women Only" or something like that - she was 25 at that time and we had an intense and short affair during that spring...ohhh. We still are good friends and I had the privelige of being able to send her birthday greetings on her 35th birthday now in January. Anyway - thanks a million for helping me pull back all those good memories - and I have had no experiences whatsoever of men acting unapproprietly on the Internet even though I can understand that this exists.Ciao from Tonia

You're welcome! I'm glad it brought back some memories for you.

Wonderful story. I have always been a bit shy, and had always wanted to have friends from far away.. so I also went to the chat rooms, and I remember very well how you can chat easily with everyone without being asked to have sex chat, I did some friends... that I havent seen in a while... the first love, and since then I have always had real internet friends, some emerged from this wonderful site, so thank you for the wonderful story, and I can really relate to you.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. People who do not believe friends from the Internet are real are people who have never experienced it for themselves. I cherish so many people I've met on the Internet, some from this very site.

Well said!! You have been really lucky!! It is so glad that you found many friends and you still are friends with many!! Looks like it has helped you to grow up mature and ability to handle things in a better way!!

They have indeed helped me to mature as much as any other friends I have off-line. My goal is to eventually see each one face-to-face someday.

I will pray for that!!

:) great story.

Thank you :)