Online Friendship

I am quite active in the online world. I have two blogs. I am on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Orkut, Tumblr..you name it, I am there…except on Myspace. People may criticize “online friendship” as to be devoid of trust, full of false claims, a sign of having no “real” life etc. I admit there are lots and lots of people out there who cheat , deceive and lie on the Internet and one must always exercise caution while making new acquaintances on Internet.And I am just talking about friendship. Online love is all together a different ballgame.

6770_relationship_cartoonAlso there does exist a difference in viewpoints towards online friends due to generation gap or differences in personality. But I feel it is all about connection and communication. These can happen anywhere through any medium with any person! Just like a real friendship, online one too has its own trials and tribulations.

Most of the problems in any friendship arise if the friendship is founded out of wrong reasons like neediness, emotional dependence, attraction, lack of social validation or even solely on positive emotions because all of these are temporary. The issue with online friendships is that in the vast majority of cases they happen due to on one of those temporary and unreliable factors. Real friendship too has the same problem but to a lesser extent. Then there is the problem of lack of certainty of positive intentions and long term commitment in online friendships.

Having said all that, I still very much believe in online friendships. Friends in any world can make mistakes knowingly or unknowingly and friendship in any world can go wrong[ Read Anubha’s experience] !  I have had bad luck too but then I have been also lucky to have great online friends even though some of them have now faded away with time and age.

HubSpot-Making-Friends

In this post I would like to remember all of my blogger friends – both old and new and all of my online friends – past and present and dedicate this poem to them.

onlinefriendsfk8

Bless my Online Friends

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50 thoughts on “Online Friendship

  1. I agree with you. Online friendships are certainly possible. I have made online friends only through blogging, but I find a lot of common ground and bonding because we have formed friendships based on common interests and likings. As you say, love is a different ballgame altogether – and I would be very wary of it – but then again there are loads of people who met online and have even gotten married. But yes, I cherish all my online friends! I have been lucky with them – touchwood :)

  2. Sis, I am back after 25 days! :D

    I am very much agreed with Smitha. Online friendships are good in times… and sometimes possible too… and of course hazards are there.. your stated situations are very much real.

    I have my own feelings regarding the fact. During my time in blogging world, I found some people whom I like to be in connect with. this blogging arena has blessed me some friends who are my community for having the same type interests, thoughts, synchronization of using words from thoughts……

    I found you people Online and I am glad! I have learned to share, to express my thoughts and opinions… and of course should be some considerations regarding this online friendships… you have focused them quite nicely!

    nice post sis :) thanks for a good one!

  3. I agree with you…. I have made great online friends….

    As a matter of fact acquaintances who were just known became great friends online… Great post

  4. I have been blessed by awesome online friends and now they are real life friends too. I have been told time and again by one of them that I care too much, nobody really cares in this virtual world… but no, friendship is friendship. Real or virtual.

    Hey, you made me mushy… :D :D

  5. I too believe in online friendships but people have to be mature in this sphere…Look at what happens to young impressionable kids who are often befriended by predators…As you said, neediness and emotional immaturity cause problems and people should be aware of this before they make virtual friends…

  6. True, online friendships are possible, but for me at least if an online friendship needs to get some depth, it needs to be validated in real life. Not immediately, but sometime at least. It could be 3 years later but the intention should be there. There should at least be some feeling on the part of the other person that they want to meet up, otherwise one knows that the other person wants superficial a friendship, which is also okay actually. In fact even after one meets its not necessarily that one becomes close friends!
    I don’t know why people distinguish between online and real life, they are the same, everything is the same. Even in real life there are people whom one knows superficially and its fine to have good acquaintance-ship with them. Its not possible to be close to everyone. At times its circumstances and situation.

  7. Online friendship happens, but one is never sure of it because it is hardly tested. I mean the ‘friend in need is friend indeed’ kind of test. I guess, unless we meet people, live together through some moments (which brings out character ..:)), the friendship remains just online. Good to begin it, but never good enough to maintain it without meeting.

  8. I treat online friendship like the people I meet on the bus, street everyday. I meet them, talk to them but may not be close enough to be called as close friends. And some of them I don’t even know their names, but we do smile when we see each other.

  9. I dont really disagree with most of what you wrote, but I’m also sure that online relationships/friendships without any context or foundation in real world are, at the best, fragile. Yes, online world is a good place to meet new people but those relationships cannot be sustained for long or get any stronger unless you meet the person and form a relationship with the person outside virtual world also.
    Because, certain personality traits and things are so obvious the first time you meet a person in real world that all those things could be very successfully hidden by the same person when he/she is behind the computer. And it might take months and even years to know in virtual world that what that person really is, something which you might have known very soon and easily in the real world and the relationship would not have even started in the first place. It’s very easy to manipulate reality while sitting behind the computer and writing whatever one feels like. So, it’s not always easy to see through the garb of eloquence and ‘honest’ feelings which people portray virtually.
    However, on the positive side of virtual world, people are sometimes more honest regarding certain feelings and views which they otherwise might not be very comfortable in sharing or expressing in real world. So, you also see a side of a person which nobody else in real world knows much about it.

  10. Hey thanks for linking that post of mine.. You know, inspite of a couple of bad experiences that I’ve had, I still love my online friends a lot and don’t really refrain myself from getting to know new ones. Blog friends are the best of the lot. I’ve met so many good and genuine people through blogs, it’s a different medium altogether, you get to know so much about a person just by the way he/she writes! The trust comes in automatically over a period of time.

    I’m really very lucky to have met people like you, Sakhi, Nikhil, Scorpria! :)

    I miss those times when all of us were active and would talk to each other daily…

    Anyway, take care! Wonderful post, really!!! :)

    P.S: You’ve been tagged! :)

  11. YEs very true what u wrote.
    I personally think that online friendship is a bit scary but on other hand i have made some very good friend all over the world. I have enjoyed every bit of it .. If you are careful and know what you are doing then there is no harm in it.

    I travel a lot so it has helped me a lot, make friends and i muse say some very good ones, sincere honest friends .. But then on other hand you hear all sorts of stories about how wrong its gone, so it just depends how it goes.

    an excellent article. Well done wonderful post…

    http://mann-bikram@blogspot.com

  12. I’ve made many wonderful online friends and yet to meet offline. Any bloggers meet-up in Bangalore sometime mid-Feb’10? I would be in Banglore for a week in that duration :) I would be going for a tweet-up tomorrow with my hubby. Networking opportunities for the future, that’s how I perceive.

  13. Interesting post.. something we’ve been talking about for a while now.. dont understand the preconceived notions some ppl have with ref to online friends.. i’ve met quite a few blog friends, and we hit it off…. its been a beautiful journey!

    I’ve made some amazing friends thru Blogs, and networking websites, infact am closer to some of them more than my other friends…!!! a friend of mine used to say – People who are on networking sites and who blog are pretty much without a life, and kinda losers… but now madam has realised the value of these sites and that you can actually meet interesting ppl, reconnect with lost contacts and today is happily browsing away on networking sites and what nots….

    btw, where do u live? bby?? delhi?

  14. Online friendships are ok as long as they are backed up with something credible like a blog with a lot of followers etc. Otherwise it is better to exercise caution. I am very selective even in real world friendships!

    Destination Infinity

  15. I’m posting such a long time after the original article I don’t know if anyone will read this (perfect illustration of the uncertainty of online life), but wanted to thank you for the food for thought.

    I have a small number of purely online friends, we’re unlikely to ever meet due to being on different continents and sometimes I question the wisdom of this. My OH is very anti online friendships, in fact he won’t allow me to call them friends, I have to say ‘contacts’, ‘acquaintences’, anything but the f word :-). I can see where he’s coming from, I don’t think you can ever truly *know* the person like you would face to face, but then I’m a very honest person myself – I am online as I am in real life, so perhaps they are too, or perhaps not…. I suppose all friendship is a risk, you give a bit of yourself and sometimes it pays off, sometimes you lose out. It’s just online it’s all played out in front of you in print & hard to ignore, it can hit that bit harder when it goes wrong – it seems so much harsher than ‘real life’.

    I’ll check out the rest of your blog, as it sounds interesting.

  16. Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?

    I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything. Nevertheless think of if you added some great
    visuals or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this site could certainly be one of the most beneficial in its niche.
    Wonderful blog!

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