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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Online Friends vs Real World Friends

So, I thought I'd get in on this blogging stuff and see what expressing my thoughts and feelings on the general day to day running of an average life.

So, the first topic on the agenda?

Online Friends VS Real Life Friends

How is it, in this day and age that some people still don't respect that a close friend, be it online or in the real world, are one in the same thing?

This comes after a few people, including myself, mourned for a dearly loved friend who we had known online for many years. Most aggrieving was the fact he was so young and had so much promise to offer the world as well as one of the best personalities and outlooks on life that I've ever known.
The comment then came to some of us in the forms of, "Well you never met him did you?", "Why should you care, he's half way across the world!" and the classic favourite for those with gaming friends, "Why are people mourning pixels?"

I'd say anyone who says such things as either a troll who has never befriended anyone sincerely in their lives, or someone with about as much disregard for human life as a killer pathogen.

Surely a close friend is what it says on the tin. You divulge your inner self and secrets to them, you share the good and the bad. There is only one distinction between them and that is simply distance. The amount of time spent talking is likely the same too, possibly even more so for an online friend.
In a dawning era of information and communication technologies the concept of having more friends further a field than a 50mile radius should be welcoming and heart warming to many people who find their own home towns a little barren, we are able to find that long lost kindred spirit that might be lacking in our lives or track down and establish contact with a friend that was once lost.

So why is it that when a tragedy befalls them, we are meant to distance ourselves? Why do some people believe that a forged friendship with someone over the internet or long distance communication means far less than one made while commuting on a bus?

I will never understand these people and I hope I never do.

A friend is a friend, wherever they are, they mean something. Whether online on a game or a regular friend in a chat channel, to somebody who you talk to regularly on instant messaging programs. In a world of people becoming increasingly hostile to strangers, where anonymity and bullying are running rife, I would rather go out into it as friendly as I can be (as safe as I can be too!) and make as many friends as I can.

What do you think? Care to leave a comment?


  1. The way I see it,is that it's kind of like a friendship with an animal. You don't know the feelings until you've had them for yourself.
    You know, when you mourn over the death of your cat, people say, "It's just a cat" Even if the cat lived to be 22, (In my case). People won't understand until they've been in that same situation.

    When you have a bond with somebody over the internet, I think it's even better. Yeah sure, there could be people faking who they are, but they don't last as long. I'm talking about being friends with this person over a very long time period.

    Being an online friend with you, (as we have been for years and years now) we both understand that this mutual bond, like real life, depends on honesty, trust and love. We accept our differences and don't judge on physical or material things. I think it's mainly, and only a really strong emotional bond. I feel closer to my online friends than my Real life friends because I'm able to express myself easier online through writing.

    Those are my thoughts, if they're jumbled, I'm terribly sorry.
    Great topic choice, by the way! :D

  2. A good question and one for whom, I suspect, the answer will probably depend on the individual.

    That said - from my experience and as a generality - 'real' people are more multifaceted 'objects' than those one only knows through strings of text and images.

    By way of a rather disturbing ‘thought experiment’. Were you forced, in the sort of bizarre situation so beloved by a certain bred of philosopher, to chose which one of your friends should suffer an executioners bullet – would you go for a creature whose reality of flesh and blood and relationships you had direct acquaintance with – or would you be tempted to take the potentially easier path of losing an electric correspondent?

    Apologies for sounding a bit ‘dark’