I have also observed this with ham radio in the last 40 years. It was more pronounced back in the 60's when most of the people in my home town were only in touch with people in that town and some of the surrounding communities and with relatives at more distance. The radio amateurs, however, had friends in far-away places and even other countries. I can recall working a ZS station many times and getting to know him. Once he invited me to stay at his place if I ever visited South Africa.

You get to know some people pretty well on the air. I don't think ham radio has been completely supplanted by internet yet. I know there is the capability of sending voice over internet but I actually do not know anyone other than radio amateurs who are using that caopability. And hearing someone's voice is quite different than reading what he or she types.

73, Zack W9SZ

On Sat, 2 Jun 2007, Charles Harpole wrote:

Futurists are talking about a possible coming "virtual community" via Internet that supplants towns, neighborhoods, or even nations in the hearts and minds of its participants.

I say hams are already ... and for years have been... a virtual community that shares similar traits, goals, aspirations, and code of honor. I certainly feel more allegiance to the community of hams than my former neighborhood or town or state in Florida... and maybe at times, even to my nation.

Interesting idea that makes being a ham, and especially exchanging DX contacts, a point for consideration within the virtual community discussion, eh? 73

Charles Harpole

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