Tachatna's Journal, 21 February 2018

The internet has changed so many of our lives and opened our worlds to be in touch with people we would not ordinarily meet. Some of you aren't old enough to have been around when it all came to be an interactive community. I'm old as dirt, so I do remember when personal computers became affordable to the "average" person.

My first experience with internet communities was with AOL...version 1.1 if that tells you anything about my age! We connected with a MODEM and we were charged for long distance to connect there! It was quite a different experience than it is today.

In those days, there were chat rooms you could enter on different topics or connect with different age groups. There were children's rooms. There were Over forty rooms. There were Over 30 rooms. There were Christian rooms. There were rooms you could wander into to chat about any subject dynamic you were interested in. There were Guides to answer questions and eject disruptive or mean people. It was quite an experience.

I wandered into a room one day and watched the conversation. Someone made a comment I was curious about and then disappeared. I looked for them again to ask them a question, but wasn't ever able to find them. I decided to send them an email. A few days passed before I got an answer to the email. I had formed a vision of the person I had contacted with my question. When the email arrived, the person was nowhere close to the one I imagined. The person was male, not female to name just one thing I was wrong about. We started corresponding.

The person I met lived in Minnesota. I lived in Oregon. We talked about a lot of things in our emails. We instant messaged quite a lot. The person was extremely intelligent, considerate, easy going with a great sense of humor. The person was interested in what I thought and who I was. It did not take long before I realized this very special person was someone I wanted to know more.

The internet has expanded since then. The world has gotten smaller. We get news instantly. We connect with people on Facebook (for instance) who we haven't seen or talked to for years. We play games. We read books. We speak face to face through Skype and other programs. And, we have places to find people to connect with that face some of the same challenges that we have. Fatsecret is one of those places.

The internet is a challenge. The person you are talking to doesn't necessarily fit the picture you have in your mind.

They may face the same challenge, but it does not mean they are in the same place in life that you are.

Their backgrounds are varied and words may not mean the same thing to them that they do to you.

Their motivations and goals, hopes and fears, obstacles and successes may be quite different as well.

I have seen several instances of members becoming upset, of feeling hurt, of feeling discouraged by something someone has typed. The internet connections we make and the words we see are only a PORTION of who the person on the other end is!!! They have made themselves vulnerable to strangers by coming here. They have opened up parts of themselves that they may not share with others in real life. It behooves us all to tread carefully and be respectful as the internet allows us to visit someone else's life.

Every journey starts with a single step. It is possible they are not as far along the path to wellness as you are. They will find their way with support and caring, with celebration of their successes. They will find it as they feel safe enough to reach out and ask. Tread lightly on their fragile journey. Negativity can feel like a mortal wound.

Words can build someone up. Words can tear someone down. Words can cut like a knife and cause a soul to bleed rather than skin. Remember always....


You have probably guessed that the person I met on AOL was my hubby Jan. You are right. It certainly was not something either of us anticipated! It was LONG before there were places like EHarmony, etc. It wasn't even something we were looking for and it all started with WORDS ON A SCREEN 23 years ago this summer.

Diet Calendar Entry for 21 February 2018:
1059 kcal Fat: 66.47g | Prot: 88.19g | Carb: 21.98g.   Breakfast: Boiled Egg, Boiled Egg. Lunch: Skinless Chicken Breast. Dinner: Chop't Cucumber, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Lettuce, Crystal Farms Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Chicken Breast, Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing, Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing, Boiled Egg, Boiled Egg. Snacks/Other: Popsicle (Sugar Free), Popsicle (Sugar Free). more...
on diet Tachatna's own diet  

29 Supporters    Support   

What a beautiful love story ❀️ 
21 Feb 18 by member: Doobrie
Oh good ol' AOL...the warbling modem sound...back when 1200bd was fast...but Lauren makes a very good point..everything you do here has an effect on another feeling, thinking person...be careful that it's a happy, uplifting effect...ok, I guess this post is all about the old saying "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything" it's not like you HAVE to say something...so..ah...throwing the soapbox back...have a nice day...(how's that for bland..and it will probably annoy someone) 
21 Feb 18 by member: janstromberg
How cute. I love your story. And also your message about our words and how they affect people. It is all very true. The internet, social media and everything has complicated so much. It has its pros but major cons. It makes me a very insecure person... before smart phones I never had the idea to snoop through a boyfriends phone... now I think about it often... πŸ™ˆ it’s not something I am proud of, but (fake account) girls literally send unsolicited nudes via Instagram, Twitter and fbook 😑 I made sure to help him make his accounts private so less of that spam could get through... I remember AOL 23 years ago, I was young and thought it was the coolest thing EVER!!! 
21 Feb 18 by member: mamamc7
What a great love story! 
21 Feb 18 by member: Fritzy 22
I remember those days! Congrats on 23 years. I am in my 46th year of marriage and remember when dh was in Nam and we had to talk over the radio and write letters. And I definitely agree, like Mama always said, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything.  
21 Feb 18 by member: Gingerk65
What a great love story! πŸ™‹πŸ» 
21 Feb 18 by member: smprowett
Wise words and such an amazing story. We also all have to find our own path for success. So respect for those different paths and choices should be considered. I have actually had the privilege to meet a few people on this site in person and a number of them on various quilting websites.  
21 Feb 18 by member: wholefoodnut
❀️ beautiful words ❀️ 
21 Feb 18 by member: jenniferl12003
;) My first experience with online communities came through the Intranet. No, that is not a misspelling. The Intranet connected mainframes between universities decades before there were microcomputers. We invented our own language, because only so many characters could fit on the screen and be sent. I guess it was like tweets today. We were such a closed community, we seldom had the misunderstandings and tension you see today. 
21 Feb 18 by member: moogiemynes
I met my husband the same way 16 yrs ago 
21 Feb 18 by member: mrsdave1
love love love this post!!  
21 Feb 18 by member: cherik1
What a wonderful story! Congratulations on 23 years together! 
21 Feb 18 by member: Horseshu1
Sweet sweet post. Thanks for sharing and your wise words. 
22 Feb 18 by member: FrankieBluEyes


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