I was honored to be invited over to Tina Frisco’s blog and share a guest post. In the spirit of the season, I got to thinking about how grateful I am for the many friendships I have made here online, and so, that’s what today’s post is all about – Online Friendships.
I’m thrilled to welcome Debby Gies, aka D.G. Kaye, as a guest author to my blog. She and I met online in 2016 and became fast friends.
In this article, Debby speaks about the spirit of friendship and how neither time nor distance need alter its integrity. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did. Now over to Debby, and more about her at the end of this post.
Friendships – Online and Otherwise
I’m wondering if the old stigma is still attached to the concept of online friends. Do you ever find yourself feeling as though you have to explain some of your online friendships when talking to the people in your ‘real’ world? Have you ever been told that ‘those people’ aren’t real friends because they’re online?
Some people think that our online friendships are just that – online only, and when we’re offline, those friendships are out of mind. But that couldn’t be further from the truth for me with the many friendships I have made online. There, I said it again, I hate that term ‘online friend’. It’s that term that gives the friendship that feel that we’re only friends when we find each other online. That’s like saying, our real-life friendships are only friendships when we’re actually spending time together with those friends and when we don’t see them, there’s no friendship, now that’s just ridiculous thinking.
Many people physically go to their jobs where they interact with co-workers on a daily basis. Others, work from home on their computers where their daily working life is spent online, like mine. As writers and bloggers, we live in two worlds, both the physical world and online. We engage with others in writing groups, social media, on blogs, and with other creatives in our field. So just as people make friends with co-workers in the live world, it would only make sense we also form friendships in the online world.
Writers in particular, work in solitude creating, and I couldn’t imagine my world where I spend most of my waking hours, without friends. Only other writers understand our world. And after spending so much time with those we interact with daily, it only makes sense that we also form friendships with many people, and more intimate friendships with some. The beauty about the friendships we make online is that we become friends with like-minded people. And just as in our real worlds, we eventually gravitate to certain people that we have things in common with, and thus, friendship bonds are formed.
In actuality we probably spend more time with our “online” friends than we do with our real-time friends. We take some of those friendships to a higher level by communicating about more personal things that friends share through emails, instant messaging, phone calls, Facetime, Skype and various other methods of chatting live. Heck, I do that more with my friends across the miles than I spend time visiting with friends in my actual world. We share thoughts and opinions, help each other out with dilemmas on our work, promote each other’s work, laugh and sometimes even cry together. We even send virtual hugs after conversing, just as we’d do when we’re parting with a friend in our real world. That’s what friendship is all about.
Some of my best friends now were made online. Those friendships are no different than the ones I have with some of my old real-world friends, which some of them too just happen to live across the miles. How do we communicate with our loved ones who live far away in a different country? Exactly, through the same means we communicate with our friends in our online community.
So yes, I don’t care much for the term ‘online friend’. I don’t like to justify to someone in my actual world when I’m talking to them about a friend I have online. Those friendships I’ve made with people I met ‘online’ are just that – friends – who I happened to have met online. I ‘met’ them online, they aren’t just my ‘online’ friends. The geography between us has nothing to do with the value of our friendship. See the difference?
I am blessed to have a large and wonderful circle of friends I just happened to meet online. I don’t refer to them as ‘my online friends’. And when I’m chatting to my husband or a friend in my actual world about one of those friends who happens to live in another country, but I have the luxury of being able to communicate with them at the stroke of a keyboard, they are simply referred to as my friend.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on friendships made online.
Originally posted on Tina’s blog – Source: #Guest Author #D.G.Kaye: Friendships – Online and Otherwise | TINA FRISCO