I've had it, you have had it. I bet there is not a single internet user who hasn't experienced this. The internet friendships. There are those that go years long. Or those that die in hours. But there is always the similar pattern.
The Circle Of Internet Friendships.
Stage 1 - Casual Curiosity
The time you are aware of this new person on the horizon. You are not dying to know more, yet you are not shying away or deliberately avoiding them either. You don't change your profile to impress them or don't seek to know if they are online. Or Schedule your net time so as to suit this person. And you definitely, most certainly DO NOT THINK ABOUT THEM OFFLINE.
This stage is what you share with many many people. Some relations die at this stage, not getting into the next stage. That is good too. But if i did get into the next stage, it will complete the cycle.
Stage 2- Insatiable Obsession
You come to know a few things about this person and you like what you know. You are hungry for more. You are intrigued about this one and is happy when this person is online. You two make time to hangout together and you are on time for that. You schedule your offline life for your online time. With all the new found love, you are still insecure. What if all this is one sided. Is your friend as happy with you as you are with them?
You are doubtful. But its all worth it.
Stage 3- Delightful Comradery
You reach a stage in the friendship where you are secure with your friendship. The time of doubts have passed. Nothing can come between you and your friend, as tight as you two are. You share almost everything online. You have contacts offline too. Your friend randomly access your brain space and make you smile. You two touch bases because its wrong if it is not done. You are proud of your friend and this makes you feel better about yourself. You are happy with yourself and your friend.
You think nothing can go wrong. Nothing can burst this moment. Can it?
Stage 4- Insatiable Obsession- Reprise
Something is wrong. You can't pinpoint it, but it is there. You know you two are drifting away. You don't want to, but you can't help it. You are compelled to find something via social networks again, the way you first connected. You try to read between lines. You try to be online when the other is. You don't want it, but you know the fight is going out of you. You are resigning to the facts all these present. But you are escorted to some last attempts of saving the normalcy, hence the obsession.
Stage 5- Casual Curiosity- Reprise
Yes,you guessed it. The relation comes to a full cycle. You know this person and they never leave your mind wholly. You see each other on networks. You get the news and you 'like' or retweet each other. You are interested in them, happy to know their success and new moves, but you don't sweat after it. Finally they are another number in your phone and another person in the mailing list.
It is finally what they say, 'OVER'.
The whole point of this exercise is, life goes on. Nothing is stationary and it is not a bad thing. But enjoy the little joys when it lasts. Lord knows it is not going to last forever.
PS: This is, in some ways related to my past experiences and some people in my life. But by no means is it accusatory or poking with the wrong end. I thought this was funny, when looking back on some of the happiest and saddest times of my life.