Are your virtual friends real friends? – 28 Sep 10

Friends

Are you friends with those whom you meet on the internet? Are your virtual friends real friends?

They can be, why not? These days you can meet your existing friends on the internet and you can even make friends online. There are many forums, social networking sites and web pages which have exactly this purpose: make friends and stay in touch with them.
Those whom you meet for the first time on the net are another kind of friends. You meet them usually by seeing what they wrote and you get to know each other mostly through writing with each other and reading whatever the other one published. With some you get more involved, of others you get to know a lot through reading about their lives but you never have an actual conversation.

You may get to know some of them in real life. Especially if you live close to each other, this is very much possible and in this case it can be that you develop a beautiful friendship. You can also make friendships and connect your travels with meeting them personally wherever their home is. It may be easier to develop a friendship in this way as you can actively choose by what the other one wrote whether you can spend time together, whether you are of the same opinion and what you have in common.

This can however also be misleading. Sometimes you meet cheaters who pretend to be someone else. They write about anything and everything, pretend to be this or that person with experiences of everywhere while they have never in their life left their village. They might be male and write female, they can make themselves older and younger and even upload pictures of other people as their own. And sometimes they simply disappear. Their profile is closed and they are gone. You do not know anything else about them and have no way of contacting them. This kind of friend can be lost very suddenly.

This can happen and very often people are just there for a short time and then go other virtual ways. Sometimes however you meet serious and real people. You meet someone who is honestly interested in who you are and what you are writing about. Someone who is just himself, even on the internet where he could be anybody he wants to be.

Personally I have made several very good connections through the internet. Some people I met in person, too, and some people are still only known to me through e-mails and online messages. In this way I love how the internet connects the whole world. No matter how far apart you are, you can be friends and stay in touch.

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  1. Deniz Tekiner

    I think on Facebook there are certain clues to whether a person will be genuine, like whether they provide their real name, show a photo of themselves, and whether what they say about themselves seems credible. Usually depending on how much they have in common and the “chemistry”, some will lead to deeper friendships and maybe also meetings. Most of the best connections on Facebook will just be there for moral support in their written responses. Many will communicate little or not at all, and some will vanish. But it’s like that in non-virtual life too. Like if you go to a party with 20 people you’ve never met, you may get to know two or 3 very well, you may have conversations with another 7 or eight, and the rest you will not connect with at all. I think Facebook is like that, like a party in which you meet people. I don’t know about other social networking sites, because I haven’t tried them.

  2. Ramona

    Some people do not put their picture and say they want to protect their privacy and not have their pictures spread all over the web…I think it is always a question of your intention. If you want to meet people, if you want to connect and if you want to give moral support, it is great and everything is possible, also real friendships.
    However I like to call it ‘fakebook’ sometimes because it does not always (actually rather rarely) display the truth. People write a one-line-status which makes a reader think they are sooo happy/great/cool/wonderful but the reality often looks quite different… It makes people display themselves in another light. It sometimes feel as if people are all on a big stage online and play the role they always wanted to live.

  3. Balaji Seshan

    Yes Swami, as long as “Printed Papers” & Soul not shared – Every one is good in this Earth. Nothing harm to have more people at least online. Since, we are living like Undercover Agent “02” People in home…

  4. Deniz Tekiner

    Thanks for your reply, Ramona. I think if a Fecebook user gets into habits of accepting every “friend request”, it’s true that most will wind up with a long list of “Fake-book” friends. I screen all my friend requests for credibility and for areas of mutual interest before approving, and as a result, few “fakes” make it to my list, and most are very genuine. My point of view is that to avoid non-genuine people, one cannot be open to everyone. One has to exercise some scrutiny of people before approving.

  5. Ursula

    Everything is possible if one is honest 🙂 and the Internet could be a first meeting point where you come to know about a person but to really make friends you need to connect, It is also important to feel the other persons’ presence… you know silence teaches the deepest knowledge … in silence you get the true Essence of each other 🙂 so it is important if you like to go deeper and become friends to link in , otherwise it will to one point stay superficial. I met wonderful people through Internet but I did not miss to meet them for real to truly get connected or not. I … that’s maybe just me 🙂
    Also you will never know who this person is to whom you are talking … may be he / she sounds very good to you when he / she wrote but is this really him / her ??? Is what he / she saying truly his / hers opinion and understanding or did he / she just grab it somewhere or read it in a book or even in the Internet ??? Is he / she showing really his / her face who he/ she truly is or is he / she making him-/herself look like the person he/she like to be ? I had experienced this! people try to hide the true name or picture and I ask myself why ?? But this also happen in in real life too … so where is the difference ?

    All this will not hold me back from expressing my self and contacting people through social network because of the wonderful experience I had too… the really beautiful friendship I share with people I met first on Internet means a lot to me and my life would have been less richer without knowing them … they made a difference in my life and left footprints :))))) and I am grateful for this gift of a friendship 🙂

  6. Emily

    I definitely think that connections via the internet are very valuable, fun, and beneficial. In fact, the majority of global business and technological progress requires communication on the internet.
    I have seen it go a bit far, in my opinion. I have a friend who really invests a lot of time in her virtual life. I think she likes that she can be whoever she wants on the internet and feels like people won’t judge her as much there. I really don’t think she lies about anything or fakes her identity, but she feels protected on the internet because she can think about her responses and type them, rather than having real, live conversations, while having to behave in accordance with what she says. I try not to judge her but I think she is missing a lot of joy in the present moment where she really is… smell the fresh air! Enjoy the sunshine!!

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