This day and age is interesting, because you can meet and become friends with anybody, anywhere around the world.
And that's one major advantage of always being connected by technology. And in addition to friends, you can also run into total strangers. Sometimes, unexpected things will happen between you and a total stranger.
Here were some of those answers.
A Positive Review
Left a detailed comment on a story I wrote and how I made them happy, how I wrote the characters perfectly, etc... It really filled me with joy since I was so convinced nobody was going to read it anyway. I was just writing for myself.
Sid Meyer Shed A Tear
A number of years ago, I had lost my job, and my girlfriend really wanted the latest Civilization game. I wanted to get it for her, but it wasn't responsible to spend the money.
I mentioned something about the situation on a forum where I posted regularly, and one of the guys there happened to have won a copy recently, and didn't care for that kind of game. A few days later, she had a brand new copy of the game.
Help Across The Board
Back in 2002, when I was in school, they had cool Windows XP machines there. At home, we just had a crappy Windows 95 and we didn't really have the money to invest into something as silly as a Windows update.
As a joke with my friends, I wrote exactly that to Steve Ballmer's corporate Microsoft email address that I somehow found online. Of course, slightly exaggerated: I'm a poor boy from Germany, all my friends have Windows computers and can do cool stuff with them, I am stuck with Linux because we can't afford anything else.
I never thought anything would ever come out of that. A few days later, however, I receive an email from someone claiming to be his assistant, saying they've received my email and would like to help me out and asking for my address. I gave it to them, again, expecting nothing, and three weeks later, I had a brand new Windows XP Pro box waiting for me at the post office.
Noticed AND Cared
Very long time ago I was super depressed and was doing the equivalent of sh!t posting in a chat room / forum kinda thing, I think it was on battlenet. Anyways, I was absent for like a couple of weeks because life got busy.
Well this girl PMed me to ask if I was okay. I didn't even know who she was but she recognized I was missing, said she sort of read between the lines about the stuff I wrote, and said she hoped I was okay.
It was just a little thing, but it really meant a lot to me that she noticed me, and cared enough to just check in. I was honestly in a really dark place, and that simple act really lifted my spirits.
Gone Without A Trace
There was a guy me and my friends used to play COD4 with online constantly. He lived in BC, and we lived in the Southeastern US. He and I would live chat just about every night regardless of what we were playing, and I even got to talk to his mom a couple of times. He was such a genuine person, and we talked about everything from depression, to God, to relationships, etc. As I got to know him better, he opened up that he had Lyme's disease and that his father had left him and his mother a few years prior because he couldn't handle the stress or medical bills any longer.
My birthday was coming up and he was adamant on getting me something. Breaking all rules that a parent gives their 15 year old, I gave him my address. A few weeks later, I get a package that included a wireless 360 headset and an Atlanta Falcons keychain, along with a handwritten note thanking me for my friendship. We still talked a lot after that, then one day he just stopped getting online. I checked at least twice a year up until the past couple to see his last logon, but it's still at the date it was when I first noticed.
A long time ago, when I was 15 or so, I was living with my sister because of a bad home situation. She was only 18 and barely making it as it is so we frequently didn't have anything to eat. My mom lived 15 minutes a way and made 250k a year but wouldn't help us. I was talking to a random person on AIM about what was going on in my life and he brought me like 100 worth of groceries. He brought it to the outside of our complex (it was gated and locked) and said things will get better someday and left. Never to be heard from again. Looking back I realize it was stupid to give an internet stranger my home address but I was starving. The sweetest thing was he threw in a candy bar because "everyone deserves a treat once in a while."
Just a few months ago. I'm the one who's been posting (a lot) about missing lilacs living in Florida. Most people simply dismissed it as "they can't grow here, learn to live without them," but one time I posted this a fellow Redditor told me they believed in me that I could grow it myself and prove everyone wrong, so I took their encouragement, bought a plant, and I've been nursing it and taking very good care of it.
I am really glad someone did tell me they knew I could do it.
Jaffa In A Jiffy
Years ago, before Reddit, and we all had to use internet forums, I was just making a casual moan on an expat site about how I really missed Jaffa Cakes.
A kind stranger said they were flying to my city from the UK in two days time and they'd happily bring me a pack or two.
They did and I nearly cried!
I rationed them and made them last a whole month. Talk about will power!
Also, not me directly but the animal charity I volunteer for needed a flight buddy to take a cat to Germany. An internet stranger saw the plight and happily volunteered to take the cat in the cabin with him on his already booked flight to Germany!
The Friends You Made Along The Way
Last August, I loaded some camping gear onto the back of my bicycle and left my home with the vague goal of riding to Seattle and down the Pacific coast.
A month later, I was crossing into southwestern Montana and I was faced with a bit of a predicament. It was going to snow, and even many of the nights where snow wasn't expected, it would be too cold for be to camp. Normally that wouldn't be much of a problem, I'd just put myself up in a cheap motel for the night, but this cold weather was supposed to last for weeks, so that would get expensive.
I did a similar trip –though on a much smaller scale– the previous year, and ahead of that trip, I created an account on WarmShowers.org, a website like couch surfing that's specifically for long distance cyclists. It helps those of us on the road find locals who are willing to put us up in their homes for a night. But despite creating the account, I hadn't used it on that last trip. But when I was passing through Yellowstone National Park, I met some other cross-country cyclists who had nothing but good things to say about it.
So when I found myself facing snow and sub-freezing temperatures in Montana, I decided to revisit Warm Showers. Now, I wouldn't say they're total strangers –they have their real names as their account names, they write little biographies about their travels and hope they host, and previous guests (or in my case, hosts) can leave reviews– but even so, I'd obviously never met them before. Of the 14 nights I spent in Montana, seven of them were in the homes of five wonderful people. My very first host, a PhD student in the large town of Bozeman, left her front door unlocked for me while she was out all day. Bring my very first host, I had no reviews on my account from previous hosts, so I was blown away by how trusting she was not only to host me for the night but to let me in while she was out. Another allowed what was planned to just be an overnight stay to turn into a rest day with an extra night when we woke up to the sight of snow on the roads my first morning there.
Biking across the country has been an absolutely incredible experience. From hiking in early Autumn in the Grand Tetons, to watching an orca swimming 500 feet below me as I cycled the cliffs of the Oregon coast, I have constantly been blown away by the natural beauty of our world. But more importantly than that, I've learned that the world we share if an overwhelmingly kind one, despite what many people may say. From those who welcomed me into their home, providing me a hot shower, a warm bed, and their wonderful company over dinner, to the kind drivers who saw me stopped on the desolate Wyoming roads and offered me an extra bottle of water, every single person I've met along the way had wanted to be a positive part of my story. And to me, that was fast more beautiful than the mountains of Montana or forests of the Olympic peninsula.
i talked about my battle with my anxiety and my eating disorder on here a while back and a very, very kind older lady gave me a silver and wrote me the most heartfelt message I've ever read. she let me know that i'm not alone in this battle and she's always there for me if i need help or just someone to talk to. she let me know that she herself battled the same shit and just gave me a ton of hope knowing i'll get better and get out of my rough patch.
i always think about her kind words when i find myself in a bad place again and it just reminds me to keep fighting because even if i feel like no one in my personal life cares, i know that a stranger online does and sometimes that's enough to keep me going. she really helped my healing process and i hope i can find her user again so i can thank her for how much her kind words helped me.
Being an emergency responder is a high-stress job.
It's a career with long, laborious hours.
There is always a hint of danger. And death is always around the corner.
So we as a society could try to help these people out and not put ourselves in unnecessary danger.
Redditor Diligent-Log6805wanted the rescue workers out there to tell us about the times they rescued people. They asked:
"Emergency responders of reddit, what are some dumb things that have lead to an emergency situation?"
These workers and the world already has enough trouble without my stupid.
"So... was she impressed?"Idiot Reaction GIFGiphy
"Kid driving his new truck down a residential street, wet from a recent rain, lost control and hit a parked car, overcorrected and rolled it once back onto its wheels up onto a lawn. He told the fire chief he had gunned it to impress his girlfriend and the chief just looked at him and asked 'So... was she impressed?'"
"I had a client once who was basically Ricky from Trailer Park Boys, loud, obnoxious, hilarious and every second word was some Maritime slang or a derivative of 'f**k.' He has been on daily eye drops for decades for dry eyes, sure ok cool. I hear screaming down the hall and run in and he's wedged against the wall and the bed just screaming 'I f**ked up boys, I dunno what the f**k is f**king happening but It's f**ked."
"Turns out he mistakenly put Jublia which is an antifungal ointment for toenails in his eye thinking it was his eye drops. The strangest part was the bottle has this miniature sponge at the end so you soak the sponge then paint it on like a gel...he painted this antifungal ointment onto his eye which immediately went red and angry then proceeded to do the other one."
"So he's at the eyewash station and I'm talking to poison control and they are pretty stunned because they have zero data on what happens to a human eyeball when it's painted in antifungal. I can hear the staff at the other end kind of snickering under her breath and she asks can you compare and contrast the eyes? Well... he put it in both eyes. The line goes silent because I can tell she is howling. Guy was totally fine but it was a standout for sure."
Will they show?
"Responded to a call of two minors being kidnapped and their parents being beaten in front of them and then taken someplace else. One was around three years and the other one was six. They were held captive in an apartment out of hundreds of residential apartments which not easy to locate, upon reaching there we found out that the boy six was just playin' with us to see if we would actually respond. Their parents were so embarrassed by all of that and vowed to not give them mobile until they are adults."
"When I was an EMT in NYC years ago we had a call for a man 'unresponsive.' We entered an upscale apartment that was a hoard: floor to ceiling newspapers and magazines, just a mess. The woman who called said her brother was in his bedroom sick."
"We entered his room and it was pretty obvious that he had already passed away. She had placed a bowl under his mouth because he had hemorrhaged which had coagulated the day before it was crazy. We asked her why she hadn’t called sooner and she said thought he’d get better?!"
"The joke around the house was 'if you have to put a bowl under a relative who is bleeding from the mouth, call 911. Don’t wait.' Never thought we’d have to advise anyone to do that. But there ya go. Also, it was Thanksgiving. Didn’t eat any cranberry sauce that year."
God Only KnowsMarried At First Sight Lol GIF by LifetimeGiphy
"Had a guy call because he had the cure to Covid and needed a ride to the local education hospital so he could share it. Dude was so high on meth He ended up having 4 or 5 binders worth of scientific looking notes. God only knows what was actually in them."
Wow, people really need to get a grip. Of their minds.
"Sparky"on fire GIFGiphy
"One of my old bosses once built a new shed in his back yard, to replace his old, worn-out one. He moved everything from the old one to the new one, then decided that the best way to remove the old one was by burning it down. He ended up with no sheds and the nickname 'Sparky.'"
Dead in the living room...
"Paramedic here. We responded to this 54 year old having chest pain. Man was having a heart attack. Dude didn't want to go to the hospital because it too early in the day. That's it. We tried to convince him to go. Got the ER doc to talk to him and he wouldn't budge. He signed a Refusal. Later that same night, his family found him. Dead in the living room. We got to him and started CPR, meds, everything. Dude didn't make it. When we advise you to go to the hospital, go."
"Got called to a shooting. A guy says he received a text message from an anonymous number saying his brother has been shot. He checks all the hospitals with no luck. He goes to his brother's apartment but gets no response at his door but sees his car and can hear the TV on. We get there, attempt to get an answer at the door."
"Eventually we kick the door in to make sure he wasn't dying in his apartment. We boot the door, announce police, and find him asleep in his bed. The guy tells us that he got a new phone number and decided to mess with his brother by texting him he had been shot. He then fell asleep and forgot about the text and was woken up by us. So many wasted resources on his idiotic prank."
"Got called to a priority job. The caller was kayaking in a lake and said that there was an unresponsive male in the water. So off we went, lights and sirens. We requested paramedics and fire to attend as well for the rescue operation. There were about 6 emergency vehicles attending including a rescue boat. We got there within minutes and met the caller who showed us where the guy was."
"He was just swimming, minding his own business. The caller said he was unresponsive, but really he was just ignoring her. Had a chat with the guy, he seemed alright, said he swims here every day and likes the quiet. No issues. Would have been nice if the caller told the operator that he was still conscious and swimming rather than 'unresponsive.'"
Chew SlowlySnl GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
"Well, I was taking a lady home from dialysis and she decided to eat a snickers in the back of the ambulance, and she started choking. Had to do the heimlich, and tell her to finish her food at home."
If it's not a true emergency dial 311. Please.
I hated science classes.
As soon as I could I ran.
But it follows me.
Because science can be downright disturbing.
That's why I blocked out so many of the details.
Redditor Flimsy_Finger4291wanted to compare notes on all the frightening facts that are a definitive. They asked:
"What's the scariest thing that science has proven real?"
As if knowledge isn't scary enough, let's her more...
Hello Terrypaint surgery GIF by gifnewsGiphy
"Some tumors have teeth, hair and even eyes."
"My sister had one minus the eyes! It was cantaloupe sized on one of her ovaries before it was found. She named it Terry the Teratoma."
"My best friend and bunk mate from summer camp died from one of those when I was in 7th grade. Happened so quickly, we were a week into camp and he got really sick. They gave us all heavy meningitis shots because they didn’t know what it was and within a few days he was dead. Turned out to be a brain eating amoeba."
"Edit: strangely enough on the same day he started getting sick one of the lifeguards that was sitting out in a boat waiting for the next group of kids for what we called Trojans Vs. Spartans day had a seizure, fell off the boat and drowned. Only deaths they’d ever had in the 50+ years the camp had been open."
Far Far Away
"The size of our galaxy, how many other galaxies there are and how far away they are. When you can actually see something that incomprehensible.."
"The nearest star to us would take the Voyager 70,000 years to reach. The nearest galaxy to ours would take the Voyager 749,000,000 years. If we some how managed to take on the monstrous task of speed of light travel it would still take 25,000 years to reach the nearest galaxy. And it's even further apart after you read this. Wild stuff!"
"How the brain is literally rewired and chemically altered by childhood neglect and abuse."
"It's genuinely kinda freaky, playing a puzzle game, and noticing how quickly you're getting better at it. The kind of puzzles that were a real blocker in the beginning become baby-easy after like an hour of playing puzzles like it."
"My sister faced horrible abuse at the hands of our father, and she has been working through it with multiple therapists over the last 10 years and she is only now starting to get her life back. I feel like she was robbed at a fair chance at life because of our a**hole father."
AwakeBill Murray Im Here GIF by Groundhog DayGiphy
"Prions, horrific and totally unpredictable."
"Fatal familial insomnia is a prions disease where you can't sleep anymore, you just stay awake until your brain deteriorates and you die."
Now I can never UNKNOW about prions. Perfect.
Days gone by...Aging Matt Damon GIFGiphy
"Ageing. I'm content with death but the idea of my body growing old, frail and eventually falling apart before the end game gives me goosebumps."
"Gamma ray bursts. No warning, no escape, no defense, no survivors."
"If you're talking about supernovas if the star isn't too close the gamma burst would probably only destroy some part of our ozone layer. And gamma radiation is actually the least lethal out of all types of waves."
"Entropy. Time shall consume all things. Inevitable heat death of the universe."
"I personally want the 'Big Crunch' to be true. That instead of fizzling out it all gets sucked back into an infinitely small/dense particle and then another Big Bang happens. It’s my explanation for the multiverse. It’s all one timeline. Just infinitely long."
"More like a theory, the 'orangutan paradox,' when we film a documentary on orangutans, they can’t realize that we are observing them, yet they are the most intelligent species of their category, so aliens might be watching us and we are as oblivious as an orangutan."
Fade 2 SilentListen Scooby Doo GIF by MashedGiphy
"That hearing is the last sense to leave, when dying."
Well that is the antithesis of comfort. Life is so fun.
Ever since Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope opened on May 25, 1977, a devoted fanbase developed.
And that fanbase has opinions.
Lots and lots of opinions.
Redditor Ebo8000 wanted to know:
"What is your most controversial take on Star Wars?"
"LASERS LOCK DOORS. LASERS OPEN DOORS. LASERS KNOW WHAT YOU WANT THE DOOR TO DO."
"But if you get past the door and close it behind you and you don’t want anyone to follow you through it…"
"…you shoot the bloody door panel!"
"Also, f*cking hell, we're in the future (or in the past), whatever, and people have better technology."
"Why put the door control RIGHT NEXT to the door? Put the door control system in a breaker box."
"Build every door so in case of malfunction they all shut closed (after all, they're in space and you don't want to lose air in decompression, do you?)"
"Shoot the breaker box, now the whole floor is closed until someone can figure out what happened."
"Almost look like those doors just exist as dramatic elements..."
"I’d like a film about when the Republic was at its height. 1,000 generations is 25,000 years and we’ve had 9 movies about the last 60."
"Not sure if controversial but they need to take the franchise and yeet it 200 years in the future."
"I'm tired of the Empire era where they need to justify why more than 2 Jedi and 2 Sith exist at one moment alongside knowing everything is pointless until Luke leaves the farm."
Design Fail? No!
"The Death Stars weren't badly designed they were just badly managed."
"Yes, designing them assuming large scale assaults was stupid given the political state of the galaxy but the second Death Star wasn't even finished so that doesn't count, it's all Palpatine's fault. As for the first one that was finished, the Alliance made three runs on the exhaust port."
"The first was called off before they made it to the trench, the second failed and the third was carried out by space Jesus which isn't exactly fair."
"All in all it sounds like a fairly effective defence when you consider the design philosophy."
"The entire universe has a cool factor that outweighs the atrocious storytelling."
"Bro imagine the following movies, but if they were in Star Wars universe."
"Magnificent 7 - A Jedi, Bounty Hunter, Ex-Imperial, Pilot, Wookie, a Droid, and Lawman team up to defend a town against pirates"
"Dredd - Two Jedi climb up an apartment block to confront a new dark side user who has mental control of the entire apartment block"
"Supernatural (T.V. Show) - A Jedi and their apprentice go around and solve and defeat Dark Side Force spots—where the Force consolidates from emotions and creates foul creatures to fight"
"Top Gun - But it's you know, Wedge or something"
"Ford versus Ferrari - But it's podracing or swoop racing"
"Something about the ships in the original series always felt more like real ships than in any of the later movies, despite the objectively better effects of the later films."
"Some of this is probably the use of models (i.e. actual three dimensional objects), but I think there is some critical difference in the design that makes them feel more real (probably because they were designed to be things that would actually work as models)."
"Whatever it is, I LOVED the ships in the original series and never really liked any of the new ones."
"The original trilogy changed the world by showing a universe in space that was dirty and lived in. The special effects from the later movies did not recognize this."
"Boba Fett is an oddly overrated background character, and even after watching The Book of Boba Fett, I don’t really care about him."
"He was never a character. He was a cool helmet."
"He was a cool jetpack too."
Time for the weather...
"Han is actually older than Obi-Wan due to Time Dilation."
"Time dilation in a universe where every planet and moon has the same gravity and atmosphere?"
"And just 1 biome."
"That way they only need one Weather Channel per planet."
"And over to Klaatu for the Tatooine weather report. Klaatu?"
"It's still sunny."
These are the droids we're looking for.
"Star Wars is actually the life story of C-3PO—think about it."
"I disagree. I think its R2-D2's story. He had a much greater presence in Episode 1, 2 and 3, and got the same amount of screen time as C-3PO in 4, 5 and 6."
Fan is short for fanatic.
"Fans ruined the whole franchise."
So, did your controversial Star Wars opinion make the list?
Death is a subject many people shy away from because what they don't know beyond our realm of existence can be intimidating.
Hollywood hasn't helped, as movies and TV have typically portrayed death as something sinister and violent.
How could anyone be convinced death is a peaceful transition, and that what awaits on the other side is actually an unimaginable utopia?
Curious to hear strangers' thoughts about death, Redditor GoodNess2020 invoked a quote by an iconic literary figure and asked:
"Mark Twain once said, 'I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.' Why do you agree/disagree with his statement?"
People clarified what actually terrified them most about death
"I don't fear being dead. I fear dying."
"Yeah, that's usually the issue. It's why that quote doesn't mean much, to a lot of people."
"It's not a fear of eventually dying and not existing anymore. It's the act of dying itself. He didn't constantly die for all of time. He just wasn't alive."
Concept Of Loss
"To have not existed for billions of years is to have spent billions of years never knowing loss. To die is to know loss."
"If you look into a new bank account and see zero dollars, it’s nothing. If you look into a bank account that once had a million dollars and see there’s nothing in there, you’ll know it’s absence."
People provided an analogy to articulate what ceasing to exist must feel like.
It's About Time
"Time is only relevant to you when you are alive. He is right. Have you ever been sedated for surgery? You go under, and then instantly wake up and procedure is done.... or you died so no worries."
Consciousness Is Life
"You won’t be feeling anything in death though is the thing. That infinite/instant sensation was a living feeling, you just weren’t conscious for it - your body experienced it anyways. No body, no experience."
Like Being Under
"That is very true, but for me, that's the closest amalgamation of what it probably feels like."
"No one can tell you what actual death will be like. It's impossible for you to experience nothingness."
"Thinking about death can be paralysing sometimes, and when I remember that the closest thing i can link as an experience I had, being put under, was actually sort of pleasant. I then think maybe death will be like that, and honestly it doesn't seem that bad."
When In Deep Sleep
"Yeah in contrast to sleep where you can actually feel like time has passed when you wake up."
Think Line Between Death And Slumber
"As CGPGrey puts it, your bed might very well be a suicide machine."
"Given our lack of understanding for the fundamental processes of our sentience, it's entirely possible that when you fall asleep, your mind is functionally killed, disassembled, analyzed, sorted, tweaked, and adjusted by your biology, before being reassembled when you wake. Every night."
People opened up about their insecurities around the concept of death.
Fear Of What Comes Next
"I’m just paranoid that something does happen after death and it’s just based on one thing that you didn’t know about."
The Circle Of Death
"There’s nothing to fear in oblivion. Unless, of course, your consciousness survives death. If so, it would be reasonable to fear the sensation of consciousness without senses, suspended alone in the cosmos, with no one to hear you, and no way to make yourself known. No reference point for counting time – a count that does not matter anyway in a literal eternity."
"You might wish that you still had a corporeal form, only so that you could make your mouth move to express your terror, to make the universal form of a terrified scream – the form of a letter O."
"But you won’t be able to. You just won’t!"
"This has been the Children’s Fun Fact Science Corner. Brought to you by shame, loneliness, and the letter..."
When Faith Fails You
"what do you mean I'm going to hell?! I was a good person and attended church regularly!"
"Ah yes, but you failed to put a blue feather in your hat and then turn in circles the times praising God Almighty on the fifth Sunday after your twelfth birthday. To the pit with you!!!"
There is an poignant episode from the Twilight Zone that brought me a sense of peace surrounding the concept of death.
Death was embodied by a handsome police officer who had been shot–played by a young Robert Redford–and begs to be let into the home of an elderly woman who had been living in perpetual fear of meeting "Mr. Death."
As the episode continues, she discovers much to her dismay that she welcomed Death into her home, but he warmly reassures her there is nothing to fear.
The episode ends with her finally offering her hand to Death after much protest, and they peacefully walk out together, arm in arm, into the light.
It was sweet and beautifully done. The 1962 episode was titled, "Nothing in the Dark."
That's how I imagine it to be.
A dashing Prince of Darkness telling me it's time to join him in guiding me to the other side.