In real life, I would never have met a cop in Arizona, or a prison guard somewhere in Missouri, or an ex-jailbird in Kansas City who sometimes gets writer's block. Or a guy who makes his living in television, or a lady who works in advertising.
Never would I have crossed paths with some Russian Jew in Kansas City. I'm not the type to hobnob with a doctor's wife who winters in Arizona; or for that matter, Muslims or writer/musicians in Texas.
I always steered clear of ladies who worked in HR at any place of business. They are the enemy, right?
And some stranger in Oregon? I don't even have a clue how I ended up talking to him!
That's the wonder of the Internet: Class barriers are meaningless here. It's safe, as long as you know how to use some discretion.
I won't even mention the gays and lesbians I've met through blogs; I just don't have opportunity to get out and meet a huge mix of people (not to mention that I'm a hermit) in my everyday life; geesh, I don't even drive. But here on the Internet? You bet! Can you believe they're all just as ordinary (maybe more so) as you and I?
Ninety percent of the blogs I read are written by folks I'd expect to meet in real life; we share common ground, and travel in the same sorts of circles. But those I've mentioned here? NEVER in a million years would I have expected to have verbal exchanges with them.
I'm not talking about blogs like Pioneer Woman, whose readership numbers in the thousands. I'm talking about people on whose blogs I comment, and who comment back from time to time, or at least peek at my blog.
Is this not amazing? Barriers fall down on the Internet. Wouldn't it be lovely if the real world were like that? If we could just sit down and have discussions without preconceived notions getting in the way?
Perhaps all of us are not so very different after all.