Consider Online life and Offline life as seperate mechanism. Especially for this place, it's very true. Read Life at the Monastery. Chapter 1
to see the possible offline scenes of on-line monk to understand the difference. You will be more than happy to venture online.
Take 2: Consider from the other perspective. How would you be introduced with group where people have known to each other for years and making friendly talks ?. That group has build a society and then society mechanism works. One of them is to welcome new people, help them to become part of the society. perlmonks community has practiced that concept very well.
One of the great aspect of having chatterbox chat is you can instantly get opinions of experts about what you doing without much hassle. Imgaine that if you have to do the same offline in other fields of the life. The virtual meeting has definite advantage, and it is making it easy to link other resources, which also happen to be in the same medium 'online'.
Beautify your existence
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