Because some day, you will get an email, sent from a name you only know through your internet connection. And this email will start out hesitantly, in a kind of, "Hope you don't think I'm crazy" kind of way. You read on, and find that the sender is offering to put you up in her family's house, on a lake, just because you probably need to get away for a bit. Further, the sender will immediately point out the proximity to a major children's hospital from her location, as well as the fact that your child's specialists in Chicago are within easy driving distance, in case anything should go wrong. All before you have ever mentioned that this is a major concern for you right now. Just because she knows you well enough to have thought of that ahead of time.
And, because this person writes on her blog like someone you would love to have across the street from you in real life, you write back immediately taking her up on the offer.
Some weeks later, you come home from a relaxing weekend vacation with two smiling and sleepy children, and a confirmation that internet friends are mostly just like, well, "real-life" friends. Except they already know your best stories. Which, as it turns out, is not a bad thing. Because how often have you ever been able to work your best stories into casual conversation, anyway?
Then, when you finally meet up, there's no need to go through all sorts of back story, because the internet's covered all that. And (I hope, anyway) there will be no hurt feelings when you laugh uncontrollably at the news that fellow blogger's husband, sitting placidly in a glider with a philondendron plant hanging above his head and gently caressing his baseball cap as he glides forward and backward, recently attended a Poison concert. Because mostly that laughter is about imagining Poison 20 years on, into their own burgeoning middle-aged existences. And, also, it reminds you of the time you phoned your friend, Jennifer, and she reported excitedly that she and her husband were sitting in their driveway with a cooler of beer listening to Motley Cruë and they were "finally getting to meet their neighbors!" Which was a line that had you laughing for days in an "Isn't life grand?" kind of way.
It's no trivial thing, what a difference the people you meet in your computer can make in your life.
Thanks, Jen and Angela Marie.