I grew up in suburban New Jersey, within 50 miles of NYC. I thought I was cosmopolitan. I read the NY Times every day, heard NY news, heard news from Philadelphia, got papers from Wash. DC, talked national politics. Even so, my attitude toward the rest of the world could be summed up fairly accurately by the wonderful Saul Steinberg print “View of the World from 9th Avenue” (of course, NJ was MUCH larger in MY view and I had California some where out there too).
Years passed and my view broadened somewhat, but not all THAT much. Then I entered Second Life. Soon I began meeting people from all over the world. I was friends with people in the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Texas (omg – Texas????), Brazil, Mexico. I started blogging. Plurking. Tweeting. More national and international connections. Now much of the world has become personal to me. If there is major flooding in Queensland, Australia – I have friends for whom I worry. If volcanoes erupt in Iceland, I have friends all over Europe who are affected. Earthquakes and tsunami in Japan, I fear for one of my favorite musicians. Now – tornadoes.
I used to love watching the weather channel. I think storm-chasers are crazy but I do like seeing the videos they shoot. I’d reassure my son that we were fine, nothing like that happens where WE live. It all seemed so remote. Not anymore. I have spent the last week fixated on streaming video on the computer, watching the tornadoes sweep across the US. I have been watching Twitter and Plurk like a hawk, hoping to hear from friends that they have survived the latest killer tornado to move through their area. I go to bed in fear and wake up and race to my email to see the reassurances that yet again my dear friends have made it through the night safely. I have finally learned that Kansas is above Oklahoma and Missouri is to the east of Kansas. I know that Indiana borders Kentucky. I know where Illinois is located. I know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. I have even heard the tornado sirens sound through my computer, thanks to Skype.
My world is enriched by my SL life, by the friends I have made since I ventured into the virtual world nearly 3 years ago. I have more joy, more fun, more knowledge, more interests. My world is both larger and smaller because it is all personal now. *HUGS* to you all who have been enduring what nature has been throwing our way. I ❤ you all.