Imaginary Friends and Virtual Visitors

I don’t remember having imaginary friends when I was a kid. It’s fascinating to hear my daughter describe my grandson’s. The more she tells me about his little make-believe kingdom, the more I can see parallels to my own little cyber-world.

  • grandson has real friends
  • Grandmother has actual friends
  • grandson has invisible friends
  • Grandmother has virtual visitors
  • grandson spends too much time playing make-believe
  • Grandmother spends too much time on computer
  • grandson is the hero in his kingdom
  • Grandmother is the hero in her blogging stories
  • grandson controls the moves and actions of his armies
  • Grandmother controls which words go out and when

Now, my grandson would never substitute his real friends for his imaginary ones, and neither would I. Actual friends obviously have it all over the virtual ones. It’s good to share coffee, hugs, tears, meals, music, baseball cards, laughter and life with people who have “skin on”.

But our virtual friends have their good qualities too:

  • They visit, but never stay too long
  • They allow us to spill out the drama of our lives, and never interrupt
  • They check our like button *
  • They can be taken out and put away whenever we want
  • They believe all of our stories
  • They take us to their imaginary worlds
  • They are available 24/7
  • They don’t care if we stretch the truth
  • They encourage us to keep playing
  • They like us *
  • They let us be whomever we want

It’s a grand thing to understand this shared passion of fantasy with my brilliant, imaginative, inquisitive, creative, grandson.

I may not have understood the wonder of this kind of world when I was a child or when I was in my adult phase of life; “Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” (Bob Dylan)

* Like box refers to grandmother’s virtual visitors, not grandson’s imaginary friends. Button Located Below.

33 thoughts on “Imaginary Friends and Virtual Visitors

  1. Caddo Veil

    This is Wonderful!! Do I dare confess that, in a sense, I still have imaginary friends? The characters in my writing are all very real in my head. I do love this post–excellently done!!

      1. Caddo Veil

        You’re more than welcome–thanks for not thinking I’m seriously crazy….only the little bit necessary to be a writer!

  2. It’s the time between being a small child and a “senior” when I felt I had to “buck up,” thus putting the art of “make-believe” on hold. It’s a grand thing to share this world with the grands we love so much.

  3. Super post! And so true —
    And after all my smiling I started thinking, this is really profound. There’s great truth here.

    I love blogging, and I love being a grandmother — and I think there are even more strands of connection between the two than you’ve touched upon, now that you’ve opened my metaphorical, and actual, eyes.

  4. The funny thing is my cyber friends know more about me than my face to face friends and are always there to listen. I’ll be meeting a couple of my cyber friends on Sunday so they’ll become face to face friends too.

    By the way, Gwen. To be honest this WordPress blog is my duplicate Back Up Blog. You can join me at my original one at:
    http://travelerswife.blogspot.com/
    and be part of my cyber family there or stick to this one. I have so enjoyed meeting you so either cyber place to hang out is perfectly fine.

  5. I love my virtual friends, most of my flesh friends don’t visit my blog and comment and at first I got upset because they didn’t ‘get it’ but now I know that if a virtual friend says something nice about my writing its going to be true and not just said because they love me or feel sorry for me!I love your comparison its spot on! πŸ™‚

  6. Harper Faulkner

    Unfortunately, I killed all my imaginary friends. They were always soldiers in the enemy army or cattle rustlers. When I was older, I had imaginary girlfriends, but they kept breaking up with me and dating imaginary better looking guys. Good post, though. Unless I imagined it. HF

  7. Absolutely too much time at the computer – who are we to say today’s kids are spending too much time playing video games! And this blogging doesn’t help either – it’s addictive.

  8. I too love the “playground” of the intersweb as Stephanie called it. I enjoy and need my friends in my actual life but the same can be said of my virtual friends. And sometimes we get to meet our virtual friends and they become actual friends and THAT is pretty special πŸ™‚

  9. This is a really cute comparison–and how true! The internet, and for me especially Word Press, is a true playground for my virtual friends. I’ve met so many people from across the globe that I would have never known otherwise.

  10. Love the parallels here and the Dylan quote. It suits me quite well. You wrote about something that goes through my mind at times – the virtual world. I really like your take on it. Thanks.

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