Tag Archives: Internet

Online Friendship

It’s easy for me to make friends online. Easier than in real life, actually. This makes me think about the concept of online friendship. Are the people you meet online friends in true sense of the word? Or is it impossible for them to be, because you never really meet them in person?

I used to believe that the people you meet online are not real friends. They can’t be, unless you meet them in real life (which isn’t always possible).

Then again, I tend to spend a lot of time online, and this was even more true for my early 20s. Some of my online friends helped me overcome loneliness in a particular moment in my life, and I was really close to them. Isn’t that enough to call them real friends?

So now I believe it’s quite possible to call online friends “real friends”. It’s not that they’re imaginary or that they can’t be there for you if you need them.

Still, there are some differences between real life and online friendship.

Most of online communication is written

It means you are often limited to what a written word can offer. Unless, of course, you decide to video chat with your friends, which is great, but a) I’ve never done it so I don’t know what is like and b) It’s still not the same as real life contact.

Not me, though. I always felt written communication worked better for me. I can’t read nonverbal signs well, and I am quite shy. It seems like I never know what to say, but I always know what to write. But some people find these aspects of Internet communication too limiting.

Internet is not real life

This is the main problem. The way many people see Internet, it’s not real life in full sense of the word. But how much of it is “really” real? Even if a person on the other side is honest, is it possible to truly get to know her? If you never met someone offline, can you say you met him at all? This puts online friends somewhere between imaginary friends and your real ones.

Plus, because Internet is not seen as real life, whatever happens online seems less important than the stuff that happens in real life. Now, in so many ways this is true: Internet shouldn’t be more important than the real life. But this is what ruins many online friendships: because of real life circumstances, people often forget about their online activities, and that includes online friends.

The closeness you build is… fake?

Here’s a potential danger. It’s easy to (seemingly) become close with someone online in a very short time. Sharing secrets and personal details bring people close, so you might feel like you really know this person (even though you never met him in true sense of the word).

On the other hand, sharing secrets and personal details often DO bring people together, and just because it happened online shouldn’t make that much of a difference.

Online friends tend to disappear

The problem is, while this closeness builds pretty quickly online, it can also be destroyed in an instant. A person loses his interest in a forum or a blog and he’s gone. He stops replying to your emails. Etc.

Solutions

Luckily, there are solutions to these challenges, and it is possible to build and maintain great online friendships. Here are some things that can help:

Try to build stronger connections with your online friends, connections that are not dependent on websites you both frequent. Exchanging emails is a good idea. So is chatting (and video chatting). Depending on circumstances, exchanging phone numbers might be a good idea, too. And, finally, meeting your online friend in real life might make him or her your “real” friend. (Or not. But that’s another story).

Don’t forget about your friends once the message board closes or you lose interest in a blog. You still have your friend’s contact details, so use it to stay in touch.

Try not to share (or demand) any details you wouldn’t share in real life on a given stage of a friendship. Let things build. But sharing some things you wouldn’t share in real life is okay, too; just remember that this closeness can’t compensate for a real life contact.

Don’t forget about your online friends when something more exciting happens in real life. Inform them if you’re going to be offline and try to drop them a note from time to time, to see how they’re doing.

And, the most important one: treat your online friends as real people in full sense of the world. Sounds obvious, but people need to be reminded about it.

All in all

I do think online friends are real friends. But because Internet is so young, we still haven’t learned all the skills needed for building and maintaining online friendships. We simply don’t know yet what works in Internet communication (emotionally, and socially), so we are not sure how to behave.

The ways we meet and socialize with people in real life might not work on the Internet. Different rules apply for maintaining healthy online friendships. I guess we’re still unsure what they are, but I hope we’ll get there soon.

I’m back! Meanwhile: The Oslo shooting and Amy Winehouse’s death

I’m back! It was fine, considering it was a forced vacation and all. I also went cold turkey on the Internet: I missed it terribly the first two days or so, and then less and less. Now I’m back and I don’t feel the need to go online. I guess I’m cured! (Ha! Not really! But I promised my husband I’ll try to spend less time online).

And some serious things happened while I was away, namely, the Oslo shooting and Amy Winehouse’s death. Both things are somewhat related to my country, in not a pretty way, which makes me pissed off (to say the least).

Turned out that the lunatic responsible for the shootings was into Serbian history. Ok, not really. Just like Hitler misinterpreted famous philosophers and historians, this…. individual did it with certain aspects of Serbian history and culture to suit his needs. Apparently, his manifesto is full of it. Needless to say, we’re quite pissed off here right now. Once again, we’re made to look like the bad guys, and everybody’s more than ready to believe it/accept it.

As for Amy Winehouse… I’m not really a fan of all those RIP posts; it’s a tragedy and it deserves more than a random blog mention. I liked her voice, but I wouldn’t call myself a fan of hers. Still, I am familiar with her work and I do think she was a good singer. Also, I feel bad for noticing she is the newest member of the 27 Club. I hate when I notice those things; the last thing we need at the moment is drawing attention to some kind of a popular culture belief. And how is her death related to Serbia? Turned out her disastrous concert in Belgrade was her last. And some people are already selling the tickets to the concert on eBay for about 1000 Euros. Go figure.

So, that’s it for now. I missed you guys, and I missed the Internet (there, I said it). But not as much as I thought I would. (Not you: I did miss my online friends; I just didn’t miss Internet itself that much).

Related posts:
On Amy Winehouse debacle
Things I don’t write about
I am addicted to Internet

Top 5 annoying mistakes website visitors make

These are some common mistakes websites visitors make. These mistakes are quite annoying for the website owners and other visitors. Needless to say, we all make them, from time to time.

Visiting a site that is not for you

Most of the sites are open for general public, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check whether the site in question is the one that suits your needs and interests. Or the one where you’ll feel comfortable.

This mistake is the one that can be quite frustrating to you, so it’s not like you should pay attention just because of the owner’s sake. This is particularly true for Internet forums. Even if the subject is the one that interests you, take your time to see what kind of people post there. If you see it’s not a place for you, just leave.

Asking stupid questions

They say there aren’t stupid questions. But here’s what I mean: Be it in the form of blog comments, emails, twits, etc., asking something that’s a) obvious, b) irrelevant, c) has been answered numerous times before, can be quite annoying.

That doesn’t mean site owners should have a zero-tolerance policy towards (unwanted) questions. After all, everybody needs time to get used to a site’s design and the way “things are” out there, and yes, the owner should be there to help. Ignoring this is just bad and rude.

But visitors have brains and they should use them. If, for example, you find yourself at a website that says: “This is a fansite dedicated to X celebrity”, don’t assume the X celebrity runs the site. So asking whether X would like to have sex with you is… a bit pointless to say the least.

(Accidental) trolling

Some would say there’s no such a thing as trolling on accident. But we all know the type. People who simply don’t understand how to post comments or forum posts that are in any shape or form meaningful and on topic. There are also people who insult and annoy others with their randomness and lack of ability to write coherent messages.

Not reading site policy/rules

This is one of the most annoying things a visitor can do. If there is a site policy, if there’s commenting policy, if there are rules and guidelines, do read them and stick to them.

Deliberate trolling

This goes without saying. And then again, there are site owners who don’t mind, or who encourage trolling, flaming and drama. It’s just publicity, isn’t it? But it’s not something that should be encouraged.

See Also: Top 5 annoying blogging mistakes (that I often make)

I am back! And I miss Internet

Mmm…. I’m back. I guess nobody realized, but I was away for a few weeks. Mentally, I mean. So, no vacations or fun, but the opposite. Well, when you’re a student, you must make some sacrifices, and naturally, Internet is the first one.

I miss my website and my online friends. I do know this sounds lame (a bit?), but it’s the fact. Sure, I miss my offline (real life) friends and family, that goes without saying. And it’s, well, normal. The Internet thing is a bit weird, I guess. I think I might be addicted to Internet, just a little bit.

So, I miss:
Facebook. Yes, Facebook. I miss silly games which (occasionally) make your computer freeze, block and restart (examples: YoVille, FarmVille, MyFarm). I miss the silly game that originally made me a Facebook fan: (fluff)Friends. There’s a new art competition. I might send a few of my works. I miss the people. I miss sending Gary silly Oldman.

My friends’ websites. And I do mean on Invisible-Movement.net here, though I’d love Iva to make something about her personal website. And her collective. Yes, you know what I mean. I want ****shittes. I want them now! And I love visiting other people’s sites, too.

Go.info forum. I miss the ladies, and I miss the Oldman news (see above). I miss playing “character of the day” game, or whatever is called. I miss getting Norman Stansfield as my result. And Dracula. And oh, Drexl. One mustn’t forget about him.

My websites. I have so many ideas, I want to work on my new layout. And to finally put a layout for my fanlisting collective!

Internet in general. Especially all the pointless, silly, weird websites you can find out there. Here. You get the idea.

Ok, I guess all this doesn’t really make much sense… It’s more of a “real” diary entry than a blog post… I guess it didn’t make sense to most of the readers (if there are some), sorry about that. I do my best to avoid confusing entries, but sometimes I fail miserably.

PS- I’ve just heard the news… R.I.P. Karl Malden (Mladen Sekulovi?). He was 97.