Do Online Friendships Carry any Value?

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NOT Sword Fighter Super

"Cheerleeder" of Slapfights
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Sure, you can be somebody else much easier online, but it's also a lot easier to be an unfiltered version of yourself. That's not to say that you don't/can't have different filters that you use with different groups of people (both IRL and online), but when you have anonymity on your side, it's a lot easier to say something that you normally wouldn't, or express an opinion you'd usually keep to yourself.

I think online friendships can hold value, even if it's just as simple to have somebody to talk to when you're bored or lonely. Sometimes I think my online buddies know me a little better than my IRL buddies. You just have to be careful about revealing too much to anybody. Also, don't be stupid. I'm fairly certain that most of the situations on that show "Catfish" are manufactured bullshit, but there's got to be a nugget of truth in there. Just like there are people who fall for those 'Nigerian Scam' emails. Otherwise, why would they still exist?
 

Doctor of Autism

The True and Honest Man
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Yes they do. I have some online friends who are practically becoming IRL friends cause I got their phone numbers, and my IRL friends I mostly interact with through text due to them being out of state.
 

Sun

Ride the insanity
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Apr 11, 2018
I can give you a really good example of the good and bad, if I may.

Online friendships can be extremely fulfilling. You can learn about the ways of life of many people you otherwise would not meet. Online friendships can also be fairly low maintnence in the sense that if you simply turn off your computer and never return? Well. That's that.

It is important to have friendships from all sources, offline and on. To get too wrapped up in online friendships speaks only trouble. One of my Ex's was pretty much like this - a hermit who only had online friends. He was extremely socially isolated and as a result, couldn't interact very well in the real world. His dream was literally to 'do nothing'.

That's not to say that others offline don't exist in this form, but no matter. Point is, online relationships should be treated with the same degree of caution as any other relationship. And just like offline relationships, they can drift and leave.
 

Thelostcup

fnord
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Had an ex who would constantly blow me off and her real life friends off to spend countless hours on Skype with people across the country who would do nothing but coddle her and reinforce her self-esteem issues. After the breakup said friends eventually convinced her to drop out of college, that she was lying every time she said she loved me, and that she should go on HRT to appear "more androgynous".
 

XYZpdq

fbi most wanted sskealeaton
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I rank my online pals sorta like people I know from The Bar or another social public group type setting. There's good camaraderie for fun times but I wouldn't necessarily look to them for really heavy shit unless I'd known them outside that circumstance, and I similarly probably wouldn't show up at their funeral.
 

tiggered

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Apr 24, 2017
I always thought of the internet as just another way to communicate with people I know in real life, so in that regard I think they're valid. Internet friends by themselves are valid to a certain extent, but they can't be compared to face to face.
 

UselessRubberKeyboard

Autotuning your farts
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For people who are housebound (genuinely, due to actual illness not just being autistic weirdos) or who live in extremely remote places, online friendships are absolutely crucial. Just a brief scan of many critical illness stories in the media will throw up tales of young children, elderly men, teenagers etc who would be utterly forgotten and alone due to their illnesses if it weren't for being able to socialise online.

In other situations, I guess it depends how deep your conversations are, how honest each party is, how long you've known each other. Pretty much like a meatspace friendship, but without the back up of being able to see body language (which is a huge part of interaction. Lacking this is possibly one of the main reasons why people feel uneasy calling online acquaintances 'friends').

I've known people online for many years and still say 'hi' but don't know that much about them. I have people like this in offline life too. Likewise there are friends online that I talk to often about all the stupid shit friends come out with, as well as the more important stuff - and that's the same with offline friends. Most people around me seem to be the same way, so all I can gather from that is that online friendships are normal and ok.

I don't think it's positive to have only one or the other, though, unless your life circumstances genuinely preclude it.
 

Henry Wyatt

Only ironically racist
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used to moderate a TTT server, met some of the nicest people on there.

And I ended up bumping into an even older online friend from a MC server there completely randomly

so I would say they do
 

Cosmos

Soldier of Love and Bitching on the Internet
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My best friend is someone I met online 5 years ago. We text each other everyday and she's even stayed over at my house a couple of times. I roll my eyes whenever I hear that online friendships aren't "real" friendships, because we were close for years before we finally met in person. Her friendship is something I treasure more than anything.

I definitely agree that some online relationships can be shallow and unfulfilling, but seriously, that applies to real life, too. I don't think it's fair to generalize, because every relationship is different. And, I mean, when you get to the stage with online friends when you're frequently texting each other, talking about your lives, sending pictures, and maybe even talking on the phone with them, they're not much different than an IRL friend (especially one that doesn't live close to you). It all depends on how much effort you put into it. If you never progress beyond small talk, you won't be good friends, but if you take the effort to get to know them and invest in the relationship, you'll be good friends.

IRL friendships are important too, and definitely shouldn't be neglected. But in my experience, it's much easier to connect with people online. Online, I just feel more freedom to be myself, and as a result I usually end up meeting people who like my personality and want to get to know me. It's also way easier to find people who have a lot in common with you, as opposed to IRL where it can be hit and miss.
 

awoo

Awootist
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Apr 20, 2018
If you happen to live in bumfuck nowhere then online gives you lots more opportunities.

The great value in internet friends is finding people who share perhaps obscure interests and also getting to meet people in different countries. It's interesting to know how people live in different cultures with cultural memes
 

Nova Prime

Narrow Minded writing, Overextended thinking
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May 8, 2018
During the age of the Nintendo Wii, I met this circle of friends to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl with. To this day, I still play with them, but on the PS4 now.
 

lameandgay

a little jergens in my palm for the jerkin'
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Apr 17, 2018
Definitely.
I have internet friends from back when I was twelve, one of them actually moved to my country, just 20 minutes away from where I live recently. They've provided me with an incredible amount of support over the years.

:powerlevel:I went through an extremely rough patch in my early teens and dropped out of school. Then got sick. Only people I hung out with weren't really friends, just people I used with.

But when I got home and on my PC to chat with the people I bonded over normal, teenage stuff with, things were always instantly better.
 

Muttnik

To the stars!
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My best friend lives in a completely different state across the country and we met online. We hang out every day and skype every other night and it's been great. Online friendships are pretty flexible and it's a lot easier to communicate more frequently with each other. So I'm all for it.