Friday, August 29, 2008

Online Friendships

The Internet can be overwhelming at times.

I have found that people I have made friendships with online to be some of the most honest, generous caring people I have met. They bring laughter and warmth into my life, and have been a source of strength and support in ways that I never imagined.

People that do not chat on message boards or blogs on a regular basis, have a difficult time understanding a friendship formed on the internet. They question how I can befriend a stranger I have never met in the real life.

My online friends are just as real to me as my "real life" friends. I have more contact with my online friends, and we're more in touch with each others ups and downs. I think it is easier for real life friends to not listen to each other. Interrupt the other while talking, never really hearing what the other is saying, because they are more interested in what they have to say at that very moment then what you have to say.

Online friends rely on the written word. We have time to read, and re-read the written word, before we respond. So we tend to understand and know what the other person is saying or feeling through those written words. Sometimes it is easier to write what I am feeling then to say it in person.

A bond forms with someone miles away but close to me on my computer. Anytime I feel the need to chat with my online friends, to share a happy thought, or reach out for needed support, I can quickly type on my keyboard, and shortly get that reply, that virtual hug.

My online friendships can be as real, and just as supportive as real life friendships. It seems it is easier to get to know someone online then in real life. My internet friendships can be closer in some ways and more trusting than real life ones.

I think the anonymity of the internet can create a greater intimacy and willingness to talk about things one might not talk about with real life friends.

I know online friendships come and go. While some are only here for a little while, others form deep bonds that can last a lifetime. So what happens when you form a close bond with an online friend, then one day you realize your friendship is slowly dying? Your friendship isn't what it use to be. Do you just let it go? Do you mourn the loss of an online friendship the same as you would a real-life friendship? I think the answer for me would be yes.

5 comments:

elsie said...

Friends are people that God sends to us to laugh with, to cry with; to share in good things and bad things; to congratulate us when we've done something fabulous, and to let us know when we've done something not so good so we can turn ourselves around and get back on track.

Friends come to us in different ways. Some appear before us allowing our five senses to drink in everything about them. Others come to us sight-unseen, like, through the internet or a pen-pal.

Regardless of how our friends make their arrival into our lives, they are special people. Once people have achieved the "friend" status, when we've established trust and developed unconditional love, we know we have something special; we have a gift to be treasured and coveted.

Ryan Kay said...

I think you hit the nail on the head! I agree with you. Any time you communicate with a person, it being in person, on the phone, or on the internet, you can develop a relationship. Good example is I fell in love with my husband over the phone not knowing what he even look like. It's a long story but I can relate to your post. How's Grady?

T said...

elsie,
Thank you. What a very nice description. Weather they are online friends or real life friends, they are friends regardless.:)

ryan kay,
Well now you have peaked my interest. Sometime, You must share your story on how you met your husband, sounds intriguing.

Regarding Grady, he is slowly improving. I hope to write about him this weekend and add some pictures.

troutbirder said...

My brother and sister in law rescue dogs as well. I give them credit for their compasion. Me, one large stubborn and very active German shepherd is all I can handle plus my wife's cat!

Katt said...

I agree with you, a friend is a friend. I have two great friends that I met online and have met and known now for 10 years. (OMG, has it been that long!)