Friday, 18 June 2010

False Friends?

The Social Media must be the most popular way of making friends at the moment. I'm pretty addicted to twitter and I'm meeting all these amazing people without even putting a foot outside my house. Many of them I talk to every day, others only once a week or two, others I'll read but won't talk to them..., but on the whole, you do get the feeling of friends. And it's people from all over the globe, from different cultures, jobs and lifestyles.

I'm always a bit weary of using the term friends for people I've never met, but lately I've realized I talk to many of these newly found acquaintances just as I would with my "real life" friends. It's usually just fun and jokes, but you can also share your problems and you'll get buckets of sympathy and courage and suggestions. It's what you'd expect from friends.

However, doubts do start creeping in, and you wonder if you're just seeing more than is there, you interpret other people's interest as a sample of their friendship but they are simply being kind and answering your messages. I find it a bit difficult to define these new trend relationships, but I guess it's a matter of time as with any other relationship. Time will either strengthen or fade the relationships and the permanent and reliable ones will remain.

Have you made real friends through Twitter or blogs?


  1. Great post! I was part of the weight loss community on Youtube for a few years. I felt the same way at times about whether they were truly my friends or not. I think it's always a good idea to be cautious.

    With that said, I have met some amazing people through forums and twitter. I am just now getting into the blogging part of it, and it is a huge relief to find others who think in a similar fashion as I do.

    I really admire those kind of friendships that you look forward to talking to the person on a regular basis, and I believe that can be found through many social networking sites. Like you said, it takes time, but I hope that some of the friendships I am forming last me a lifetime! :)

  2. Being fairly new to the whole blogging/twitter landscape myself I have to admit to wondering the same thing. As you say, only time with tell, but the support and friendliness shown by the online writing community has given me the confidence to attend and participate in events that I would never have attempted before. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. So, although it may prove fickle, I'm grateful for what is there and hopeful for what is to come.

  3. Actually, I have!

    India Drummond, a Scottish writer, and I met through our blogs. We started calling each other and now we email and talk quite a bit!

    I've never met her in person but she's definitely someone I consider a friend.

    And I'm really looking forward to meeting you, too! :)

  4. I haven't made any real friends yet over the internet, but I know a bunch of my blogger buddies have! So it definitely happens. I consider twitter and blogger a relationship based on encouragement and letting each other know we're not the only ones going through the deep valleys in this writing journey! It's an amazing writing community online, filled with incredible people, and I'm really happy to be welcomed in it!

  5. No real friends made yet over the Internet for me, but I'm content with just having people to talk to online, whom I still consider friends. And if anyone is two-timing me and only saying nice things to... uh, I don't know what for other than to be nice, but anything, really, at least I don't know about it! Again, I really love being able to discuss writing on blogs. Most of my real life friends and my family can't relate to me in that vein at all.

    I wouldn't be against meeting any of my blogger buddies in the real world, but it'd be... well, strange. xD

  6. Kirsty, Rachael, Talli, Amanda, Laura, the truth is we feel really accompanied in our writing efforts through blogs and twitters. Everyone is sharing the same frustrations so we can encourage each other. It's good fun.

  7. I didn't know writers were allowed to have real friends. I hope to rectify this at Conference (had to restrain myself from putting #RNAConf10 there, which just goes to show how few real friends I have).

  8. Jane, now you say it, I don't have that many friends in real life, we are hermits after all!!
    But I think it's best to have a few good friends than lots of acquaintances.
    Do you mean to say we'll have to talk to people at Conf. we can't tweet?

  9. Twitter is terrific fun! Anything that adds fun to life has its own validity.

    As for friends, if in addition to having fun, one makes friends through twitter, that's a real bonus.

    Hopefully, when you and I meet, it'll confirm that we're more than just cyber friends, and that feeling will be so strong that not even my driving will be able to make you change your mind!

    Liz X

  10. I refer to Twitter friends as just that - most of them I will never meet, and I consider them different from those I know and text/ring up for a chat. I have bumped into people at writing festivals who are my TFs, which is nice but I don't consider them 'friends'. I now belong to a writing group comprised of writers from my local area ie Liverpool and we meet fortnightly so Twitter has helped me there. But are they 'proper' friends? I think not. Not yet, anyway - time will tell.
    I must say that Twitter is fab for writers as the peer support we get is invaluable. Writing is such a lonely old game that a sympathetic ear is always welcome - and plentiful there ;)

  11. I think it can be hard to tell. But I've found some really great friends online. I found my CPs, who are also just really terrific friends, online--Twitter and then through blogging, I think. And now we text and call each other all the time, and one of my CPs came to visit me this past weekend. The other I'm going to visit in 2 days :D I think you sort of just have to trust your gut on this. Consistency is a good gauge. Are they always consistent in the way they treat you? I like to think that most of us start out looking to network, but that we're mostly all open to friendship to some degree. And like any relationship, some are stronger than others. It's an excellent question, though, and something definitely to consider.

  12. Liz, I know I've made friends on twitter, and I can't wait to meet them in person.

    Cath, I hope you do find proper friends in your Writing Group.

    Carolina, what are CPs? I'm intrigued, I don't think I found any of those on twitter!!
    And as you say, consistency can strengthen friendship, although I've got friends I never see and barely talk to, but I still count as good friends.

  13. Sarah, CP = Critique Partner(s).

    Yes, I have definitely made some real friends through blogging. (I don't 'tweet'/twitter or FB.) It takes time, care, and like Carolina said, you have to go with your gut.

  14. Lola, it's safer if you keep away from twitter, it will take up all your time!

  15. Well, I feel that the people I chat to on Twitter regularly are my friends - it wasn't instant, we built up a relationship through chatting about various issues - but now I'd definitely miss them if they weren't in my life. :)

  16. Jane, I certainly miss everyone when I'm kept away from twitter, but work sometimes is incompatible with it.

  17. Oh, my!!!!! Qué decir si yo conocí así hasta a mi marido!!!!!!!!!!! 8-O

  18. Yes GabyAV, you're a great example. Married to an online friend and what a good match.


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