In 1992 I went online to learn how the internet worked so that I could share this tool with my students and teach with it. The business department was the first on campus to plug a computer into a phone jack and connect.
Everyone thought we were a crazy bunch of women. What could the Internet possibly offer that you couldn’t get in a book? There was nothing of importance on the web. And it was so much trouble to connect, and your students might look at pornography. Oh, we heard it all.
I connected with Compuserve. Another teacher went with AOL. We were on the web. Compuserve had forums. I joined a few, and started talking to people all over the world. A group of forward-thinking women were on the Women’s Forum. We talked about everything. Our kids, our spouse, our jobs, life in general.
The Women’s Forum folded its tent as Compuserve evolved, and a group of us started another site. We liked each other too much to drop the connection. Then Facebook came along and many of us were there so we got together in a private group. Still such forward-thinking women who are very smart and very funny. And beyond kind. Over20 years, and I still call them friends.
Some of us have actually met in person over these years and various sites. The connection has always been there. Last Sunday I got to meet, in person, one more of this group. Lynn works for Apple and is currently stationed in Cupertino, working on a special project. This is as close as I was going to be able to get to her as she lives on the east coast.
Terry and I were headed to San Mateo to spend the week working for our daughter at her church’s vacation Bible school. Stanford Shopping Center was a perfect spot to stop for lunch. Lynn met us there.
We had lunch at Max’s, a favorite of Terry’s and mine. We talked for three hours. Not surprising. Every time I meet one of these women in person, it’s like we’ve known each other forever. The friendship is just that comfortable.
Now that everyone is on the internet, our special connection does not seem so strange, but in 1992, no one would have guessed that a group of strangers would connect over it and become lifelong friends.