I’ve heard many times that “online” friends aren’t real friends. Honestly this statement can’t be further from the truth!!
1. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
2. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?
3. a member of the same nation, party, etc.
Online (by definition)
1. connected by computer to one or more other computers or networks, as through a commercial electronic information service or the Internet.
2. available or operating on a computer or computer network
3. with or through a computer, esp. over a network.
So by combining Online and friends the definition could be interpreted as- Person(s) which share communication mainly through the use of online technology usually have shared intersts, belonging to same group.
People argue that you must meet and know a person in real life. But isn’t the use of technology real life? If I’m interested in mobile gadgets and start conversing regularly with an individual or group would that not classify them as friends.
I started my “online friends” with Yahoo messenger. Yup I started by chatting with people! I was working 3rd shift and had to spend hours awake, my coworkers did it and seemed like a good idea. Honestly it was one of the best things I did! I became a regular in a few chat rooms and conversed with people all around the world; Germany, Australia, New Zealand, UK, United States. My “friends” were all in different backgrounds but a majority were techies. Now at the time Yahoo Messenger was as high tech as I got. I didn’t even have internet at my house yet! Where I was working they had highspeed internet, I was spoiled. I decided to purchase a home computer (HP w/AMD processor and 512mb of ram!) Looking back I was excited, I even made sure to order the highspeed internet from Cox. I wasn’t going to be on stinking dial up! I had aprx. 200 people I use to talk with on a daily basis and most thought the this is online not real life. We had alot of great laughs and and some solid connections. I am not online with Yahoo messenger much anymore but I know if I found some of the users from the past it’s be like nothings changed except what has happened in our offline lives. There are a couple that I talk to all the time and are considered my closests friends. But I’ve never met them in person, we have built up a mutal respect for one another. Isn’t that what a friend is? Someone you can call and tell anything to without judgement?
Technology breaks barriers
Being online allows for individuals to be comfortable with themselves and find others with same interests. Also it allows us to communicate with people from around the world! I maynot be in chat rooms these days but you find me on Twitter or here on this blog. My online friends are all great people each having something that makes them 1 of a kind; that in turn reflects who I am as a person.
I know you all know someone with a million friends on facebook or myspace and turns out most are porn stars or celebrties. Whats wrong with them reaching out to that medium of interest to them. People do this as that’s what interests them.
Things are all going virtual and many people connect to others online all the time! I value my online connections as much as my offline connections. You never know when a connection either online or offline will help you in a way that changes your life. My online friend Bob from Germany was just that. I hope each of you find your online “Bob”, as those simple interactions sparked the computer passion and part of the reason I’m here doing what I do.
What are your thoughts?