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Online Friends

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
In 1997, a writer and web developer named Paul Ford walked into a sushi restaurant in midtown Manhattan to meet a group of strangers. These were bloggers—a term not yet widely in use—who, along with Ford, formed a tight-knit vanguard of individuals publishing personal writing online. Ford had been building experimental personal websites since 1993, and had made a name for himself online with his lyrical missives on programming esoterica and New York dating mishaps. He’d never met the other bloggers IRL (In Real Life, a phrase that likely had even less currency then than blogger). He was excited to finally get the chance to do so.
More: Your Internet Friends Are Real (March 3, 2015)

Is the divide between online and real-life friendships getting smaller? Are they really equal?

Has Facebook made online friendships more mainstream? And if so, how? Is part of the reason the use of real names instead of nicknames? Something else?
 

Naturebound

World Class Member
I've met people in person I was friends with on Facebook for a long time first. In two cases I turned out not to like them at all lol. Just totally didn't click. Online they were great.

About half of my Facebook friends are coworkers, family, local vegan Meetup group members, old classmates from my graduating class too many years ago, and a few other long lost friends and coworkers. Last week an old friend I was pen pals with messaged me on Facebook and we talked for the first time in 24 years. It was really strange. The other half of my pitiful few friends on Facebook are from Facebook forums/groups.
 

Puffin Zero

Star Member
I can say that my friends have become more online than real life as I've aged. Primarily I just don't have as much time for friends as I did in the past. Nowadays most of my closest friends I used to see every weekend are now primarily FB friends with occasional visits
 

MadamSarcastra

MadamSarcastra, over & out.
No FB or other social media for this gal. I have one close "real life" friend and my dear friends here on VV.... that's it. And that's just fine with me.
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
I've met people in person I was friends with on Facebook for a long time first. In two cases I turned out not to like them at all lol. Just totally didn't click. Online they were great.

About half of my Facebook friends are coworkers, family, local vegan Meetup group members, old classmates from my graduating class too many years ago, and a few other long lost friends and coworkers. Last week an old friend I was pen pals with messaged me on Facebook and we talked for the first time in 24 years. It was really strange. The other half of my pitiful few friends on Facebook are from Facebook forums/groups.
That is interesting.

I don't know whether you can really define friends on line as real friends. I would think that there is an important element missing if you don't actually meet the person in question.
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
Just learned that an online pal from Vancouver Island has died.

We did actually do a meet up with other members and had quite a nice time. As she was telephone shy we didn't follow up. I'm not too keen on writing and prefer to chat.

I only learned of her passing when I googled up her name. I thought that it was strange that she was no longer on the forum.
 
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Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
I don't know whether you can really define friends on line as real friends. I would think that there is an important element missing if you don't actually meet the person in question.
Well, for what it's worth, I do think that y'all are real, and I would even go so far as to call some of you my (virtual) friends, although I have never met any of you in real life :D

As far as FB is concerned, I think I live in a virtual dream world populated by progressive, left-wing vegan friends, while in dreary day-to-day life I only see very few fellow vegans on a regular basis (but luckily there are few I see now and then at meetups, and can keep in touch with using social media)

I fondly remember getting in contact with fellow vegetarians around the world using GRANOLA Vegetarian Discussion list on BITNET/EARN (the predecessor of what we know now as "Internet") around 1992. Unfortunately they were all too far away from me to meet in person.
So ... I sincerely doubt that this person meeting his virtual friends in 1997 was the first person in history to do such a thing.....

GRANOLA@VTVM2 (BITNET) [Last Update 12/92]
or GRANOLA@VTVM2.CC.VT.EDU (Internet)

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This list does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual
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people who are not vegetarian, etc). Respect for the ideals and
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Note that a default setting of the list is such that you do not
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beancounter

The Fire That Burns Within
My point was that most of the "friends" people have on FB are not really friends. I have 19. They are either family or people I've met IRL.

I've seen people with 956 friends. Do you actually believe those are all real friends...
 
Online people were very helpful to me when I first went vegan 11 years ago, they were a life support as I felt totally alone at that point. Most vegans were lovely when I actually met them face-to-face, not all obviously, but I would say about 80% of them were nice.

I get a lot of online support from people now too, but I probably won't ever meet up with them.
 

KLS52

Only Kindness Matters
I've seen people with 956 friends. Do you actually believe those are all real friends...
Not in this case, no.

I have seen online people come together to help another online "friend", however...and help in a "real life" way. That's pretty darned awesome and friend-like. :)
 

KLS52

Only Kindness Matters
I would really, sincerely, miss some of my "friends" here if they ever stopped posting. That's probably not "normal" but whatever, lol.
 
I would really miss "talking" with the majority of the people on here too.:hugs:

I was thinking about some of the online people/friends I communicate with on finance matters. I will never meet up with them, but they have been so helpful to me. I don't have anyone to ask in real life on this subject, but I have a group of fairly wealthy men online that have given me so much amazing advice.

These men always make the assumption that I'm a man too (and I don't even bother to correct them anymore) so I will never meet up with them. Lol.
 

blues

World Class Member
I must admit , I have no" friends" on Facebook cause I closed my account down , I couldn't see the sense of the whole make up of it for me . But for most, I can see the benefits of it , whether it be for business , hobbies , ethical , musical , family , the list is endless .
 
I would definitely be more likely to meet up with people if they were women. There was a money forum meet-up in London a few years ago and I said I would go, but then closer to the time I realised that the people meeting were all younger men in their twenties.:D I made an excuse in the end.

The men I talk to online now are all in their fifties and sixties and I can't imagine we would have a lot in common if I ever met them. What would we do, go golfing?!:p I would feel differently if they were women.

I think meeting with vegans was easier as we all have a core value in common.
 
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