Are Your Online Friends Real?

My “online” friends are just as awesome as my “offline” friends. Why do some people discount them just because they’re not “in the flesh”?! To me, it doesn’t matter if I ever see someone in person. If we connect on some level, and share similar interests, how are they NOT my friend? Believe me, there have been people in my ‘real life’ I can say I wish I hadn’t met in person. I put this question to others, to gauge their reactions.

I feel the same. – Stupid Blogger (aka Tina)

Chris: stop misleading. In your case they are the same! πŸ™‚ – Robert Scoble

I couldn’t agree more Chris! – Kyle Lacy

Because they haven’t had the same experience? All my RL friends that don’t do much online, don’t understand. The ones that are online, do. – Β·[β€’_β€’]Β·

My online friends have shown me than they are MORE awesome than my offline friends. Not to say that my offline friends are not awesome, but that they are not exactly an informative/technologically-inclined type of crowd. For me: The more you know about tech, the more awesome you are πŸ™‚ – Michael Forian

probably awesomer. – Tim Hoeck

I completely understand. I get strange looks from people when I tell them that my closest friends are ones I have known online for ten years but never met. – Aden

It was not very long ago that friendships and romances were carried out almost exclusively (sometimes exclusively) by post, aka snail mail, that really was slow as hell and took weeks to be delivered. – Michael W. May

I’m guessing some people analogize online friends with imaginary friends… but I agree and I have more on friends than off – Far

I have many good friends online. Now with things like Skype to go beyond IM, why not? – Jake (aka Jawee)

My husband started out as my online friend. πŸ˜€ – Rochelle

@Aden Yea, I get strange reactions too when I tell my RL friends the same thing. But hey, I ended up meeting them for the first time at my wedding. πŸ™‚ – Daynah

What are your thoughts about this? Do you consider your online friends to be just as real as those you have met in the flesh? Why or why not?

17 thoughts on “Are Your Online Friends Real?”

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  2. The difference for me is I can give my wife and buds a big hug.

    I can’t (for the most part) do the same to the people I love and respect on-line.

  3. I have more in common with my online friends than a lot of people I know in real life and that’s because I have the whole world available to me online. I can search for friends who hold the same interests as I do. I’m not limited by geography.

  4. I think real world friends, no matter how fantastic they are, most likely became friends because of geographic proximity. Online friendships usually spring from strongly shared interests. That’s an edge for online right from the start.

  5. Sure they are real friendships. I have friends that I only go out drinking with. I have friends that I work with, friends that I can call when I really need a favor, or a laugh, and some of these are online, some are off. Some online relationships are based on a history of real life history. Perhaps we found each other on Facebook and haven’t seen each other since high school. But communicating with them via internet, phone, or face to face doesn’t make a difference to me. I’ve met several online friends, and some know more about me than anyone I’ve met in real life. If it endures, and is mutually satisfactory, it’s real.

  6. My online friends know me the way none of my RL friends do. I can express myself more honestly online, therefor my online friends mean as much, if not more than my real friends. I say real friends but I don’t actually have many. IDK maybe I should get out more, but why? LOL

  7. I love my online friends, but I live with 7 offline friends and despite the social networking aspects available on the net today for communication, there’s nothing quite like chowing down with my housemates and bantering (chatting, watching movies etc) in the flesh. Just having someone there, the chemistry of it, is important to me. I think I’d be lonely without offline friends even while having a lot online.

    Even though I’m a geek I do like to go partying too!

  8. I think there is a certain personality type that leads a totally different life online. I refer to them as social Lamprey eels. They are the people you introduce to people because you feel bad for them, but the only end up trying to emulate you. Then when you aren’t looking they try to take over your role in the social circle.

    Sure, the Lamprey eel hasn’t evolved to more then a sock with teeth, but when it does..

    To some extent they are real, but you may never know if thats how they act in reality. When I play an MMO I choose a Female character so I can get items out of people, sadly that works. Personally, as horrible as it sounds in games I try to use people as much as possible. So, I guess when comes down to something some one wants, they probably aren’t being themselves.

    I hope they are real, but I know too many people that lead two lives in order to trust them fully.

  9. I do have alot of friends online, some I know very well, even though I haven’t met them in person. so ya, they are real. the relationship is a little different however, since im not seeing that person, I can get away with more.

  10. I think what these people are trying to hint at is that it has to do a bit with direct emotional response really. For example, you can’t always “see” what the other person’s facial expressions are online unless they are using a webcam. Its not they believe that the online friends are not real people. Its that you may not truly know them on a deep and personally close level. {and in some cases, they maty not even be who they say they are} Even if they use an emoticon; how can you judge that that emoticon is exemplitive of what they are really feeling?; or just what they wanted you to think they were feeling. Even if they show you a picture, how can you know fr certain that it is truthfully what they look like? It also has to do with tangibility; can you phyisically hug; or hit for that matter, a person online? No. While the friendship online may be “real” (and then it again it may only be real from one person’s perspective… i.e. yours) I don’t think online friendships are equivicobal to offline friendships. What I do think is that both may be “real” in their own respects. But what can you do with your online friends that you can’t do with offline friends? Just something to get you thinking.

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