I have loved the internet for about sixteen years now but Friday night I realized there are plenty more reasons to be crazy about it.
Tickets to San Francisco were cheaper out of Denver so after work I drove up to DIA for my 9:20 flight. I was trying to miss traffic, didn't really hit any, and ended up at the airport way, way too early. And then my flight was delayed by an hour. So at this point it was 7:00 and I wouldn't be boarding for almost two hours. I figured I would hit one of the restaurants in my terminal and try to kill some time with something better than McDonalds.
I went upstairs and had just discovered that the Mexican place was a smoking restaurant (I had no idea such things existed! so gross!) and was turning to leave when a familiar face walked by. I couldn't process quickly enough why the face looked so familiar but I grabbed his arm to stop him while my brain raced and then I realized-I don't know this guy! My roommate was set up with him a few years ago and so of course, we did a full Facebook recon on him. We looked at photos, figured out common friends, read a bit of his blog. He lives in Huntington Beach now so his name has come up in many social situations of late. So all of that information just started tumbling out of me, "You are so and so and you went out so and so and you live in HB". Word vomit-I couldn't stop it even though I knew it sounded just a little bit crazy. Fortunately he was also an internet loving kind of guy and didn't think I was a complete lunatic for knowing way, way more about him than a stranger really should.
Turned out his flight wasn't for a bit so we ducked into a non-smoking steakhouse, ate some burgers, talked about missions and goofy mormon dating habits and swapped "what do you do for a living" stories and then went off to board planes to opposite sides of California.
Before any of you get too Sleepless in Seattle on me-he has a serious girlfriend so this is not the beginning of the cutest digital age romance ever. But it sure made my delayed plane a million times less annoying and made me grateful that the world keeps shrinking. I know it's trendy right now to shut your FB profile down or to talk about how the cyberworld isn't real and these people aren't really your friends, but I don't have enough fingers and toes to count how many fabulous people I have met, reconnected with, stayed in touch with, learned more about, or changed my opinion of because of the world wide web. Like anything-you can use it to waste time and avoid your life. Or it can lead you to a delightful couple of hours you really would have wasted trying to clear level 13 of Angry Birds*.
Viva la internet!
*i totally love angry birds.