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Goodness, have our views on the internet changed!

When I first got dial-up, I was 14, it was 1998, and AOL was all about taking over the world (if not with connectivity then at least with the 700 CDs they sent to your house each month). My parents had two rules: Don't tie up the phone lines (broken immediately), and never meet someone from online that you don't already know.

Years later, as an adult with a cable modem, their advice seems pretty dated. In fact, society's gone from never meeting strangers online to doing all our dating on Tinder and asking people we've never known to give us rides from one place to another. Our only requirements? That they be nearby and have at least a 4.7 driver rating. (This is only for adults, though! Don't let your kids meet strangers from Minecraft!)


Friendships have changed as well.

For years, everyone debated whether the people you talk to online — in chat, in games, on Skype — were actual friends or just people behind a computer screen. Now, some of our best pals are those we know from online, proving that humans can connect across states, countries, and oceans.

Want more (very adorable) proof? Here's a video of two lifelong friends who are meeting in person for the first time.

This story, which started on Reddit and has now gone viral nearly everywhere, goes something like this: Reddit user Core330 (Corey Walker) and his best friend live hours and hours away from each other. So they Skype. And since they both have daughters, they've introduced the kids — Kylie and Jalyssa — via internet as well. The result? A four-year friendship that's been screen-only.

Then something amazing happened. After years of trying to make a real-life meeting happen, Walker and Jalyssa drove down to meet Kylie for her birthday. The twist? Neither Jalyssa nor Kylie knew it was happening. What followed was an adorable surprise that — well, just have some tissues handy.

Look what happened:

I found this online. This is great! 😂🤣😂🤣

A post shared by Corey Walker (@core330) on

Just kidding: Here's the real, heart-warming video. Note how it starts with the most important question: "Are you real?" (Always ask that! You never know when it's just a lizard person trying to fool you into a state of false security!)

TAG YOUR BESTIES I’m sharing a special moment today: My daughter @kyliemyricks and her best friend @princesslyssw have spoken everyday for the last 3-4 years on FaceTime (thank you @apple) and never met in person. (Their dad’s are childhood friends and hooked it up) so this week, for @kyliemyricks’s birthday @core330 drove 7 hours to us to make sure they met 🙀. It was a total surprise to both of them. Earlier, Kylie fell off her bike and hurt her knee real bad (why she’s limping) so this really cheered her up, one of the best birthday surprises ever!!! 💖😫✌🏽I’m so happy right now, I shed another tear lol. I’m so happy for my babies. I uploaded a vlog of the moments before and after the surprise. Me and @stalley we’re so suspicious LOL. You can watch it on the link in my bio. 💖 #apple #facetime #blackgirlmagic #shotoniphone #imnotcryingyourecrying

A post shared by @ aieshaarab on

You ever see a hug that long? Here's the full video if you're looking to turn your day from lackluster to "so full of joy, I gotta take off early and go sit in a park and contemplate life or something."

Kylie and Jalyssa got to spend the night together, and it appears that their friendship has only grown stronger. They found (nice, friendly, platonic) love in an online place, and it seems like the recipe for a lifelong friendship. They even wore matching pajamas!

Never underestimate the power of friendship.

Of course, the internet loves Kylie and Jalyssa. They've made it onto "Today" and both regular folks and luminaries have been loving it (Marc. A Cherry said it was the best thing any of us would see today). One Reddit user even talked about how they'd been questioning how hard their life had been before they saw the video. Watching two little girls have their dreams come true, though? It made it all worth it. "I needed this," the user wrote. Didn't we all?

In the spirit of this adorable video, maybe take a second to reach out to a friend you haven't talked to in a while today. Or call up someone who you love. After all, if there's anything these best friends should inspire, it's a reminder to tell the people in your life how wonderful and important they are. Now if you'll excuse me, I have something in my eye. (It's tears, OK? It's tears.)

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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