A Winner!



Just came from a chat room visit with one of my favorite authors, Susan Elizabeth Phillips.   What fun!  There were lots of people from the SEP message board there.  Friends of a sort.  And I won a prize!  Yay!

And while I was typing away and marveling at the fact that I was having a conversation with people from every corner of the US and beyond, I got to thinking about how people communicate these days.  My mother used to visit with neighbors and chat.  Weekly telephone calls were the rule when I was at an out of state college.  Expensive, too.  Things are very different these days.  I mean, I can actually send messages to my principal and other Teachers in my building right from my classroom.  Communicating with family memebers in other states can easily be a daily thing.  Amazing.

 Chat rooms are one of the very first things that ‘hooked’ me to the internet.  My sister and I – both teachers in schools nine states away from each other – used to meet up in a chat room for educators sponsored by NASA.   That was YEARS ago.  We made some very interesting friends in that room and since we can both type as fast as we can talk, we garnered a reputation as the ‘laugh a minute chicks.’  I was sad when that chat room was dissolved.   And I think my early experiences there probably eased my fears about the encroaching technological world.  Exactly what NASA was hoping for, I imagine.

Another chat room that I frequented for a while was one created by an on line friend that drew people who were fans of the Abby/Luka  storyline on ‘E.R.’  The chatroom may have been gone for the last 2 years but I still text and email some of those friends.   Amazing….

I have chatted with adoptive parents and birth mothers in AOL chat rooms.  Some of those people also frequented chatrooms established for parents of toddlers or teens or boys/girls. 

For a LONG time I was the member of a message board network of Kindergarten Teachers teaching all over the United States.  We shared classroom ideas and projects and problems and solutions.  I was once able to collect Valentines from 100 different classrooms and we tagged them to  map of the United States on our wall.  Great geography lesson!   There are similar networks available for other grade levels and home schoolers. 

As a Technology Teacher I have to severely caution my students about communicating with people online.  Internet message boards and chat rooms have proven to be precarious environments for children.   I find this to be a sad state of things.

  I have been in internet contact with people with similar interests – writers, adoptive parents, fans of an author, fans of a television show, Teachers, artists, etc. – for a long time.   I have established friendships , refined my writing skills, shared problems and triumphs, extended and received advice from people…..literally…..all over the world.  My computer has become my very own backyard fence.   A cyber-fence of sorts. 

So, I may have won a personally autographed notebook from one of my favorite authors tonight….but in the long run….chatting with my ‘cyber friends’ made me a winner a long time ago.

Just realized that this is my 100th post on this blog….a ‘hobby’ that began two years ago on January 1st.  Amazing…..

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3 Comments on “A Winner!”

  1. Janice Says:

    Wow – congrats on winning! You are so good about keeping up with people and you have so many interests and hobbies – you really amaze me!

  2. marymurtz Says:

    That’s so great!
    I used to go on the AOL adoption message boards, too. Many of those folks are lifelong friends, and I know of at least four who have been blogging as an outlet for a while too.

    Chat rooms used to be perceived as a place where sketchy people had disgusting conversations, but I think more of them were just benign places for niche interests (like E.R. or adoption) and I treasure the friendships that started in those places.

  3. Darcy Says:

    Leave it to YOU to win a prize! You lucky devil! I miss those fun nights on the NASA chat room. There’s probably something very similar available somewhere still, but I’m so busy SURFING the net that I don’t seem to have time to check! LOL Probably the same reason I haven’t kept up with my friends! Have a good week, Lyn!

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