blogging gobbledygook and such

i have a question that bothers me, though. if you feel close to a blog buddy, but somehow you feel that that blog buddy is not as interested in you as before, then what would you do? would you keep on feeling confused or would you bring it up? especially if you know you didnโ€™t do anything wrong intentionally? would you keep on pretending to be good blog buddies or would you rather confront your bb?just wondering how online relationships really work. ๐Ÿ˜€
Netty GrittyYou got me going as well. How, indeed, do online relationships work? How do we know when we feel close to an online friend? What does that mean? We cannot search their faces or voices for nuance.

as for knowing if we feel close to an online friend, itโ€™s the same way we judge how close we feel to a friend in person. itโ€™s just that feeling you get. whether that feeling is mutual is a different matter, because you can only feel what you feel. of course, if the feeling is reciprocated, thatโ€™s great. but if it isnโ€™t, that does not mean you are less of a friend to that person, does it?

This time, dear netty gritty is the inspiration for this post! (Seriously, you readers are so inspirational blogging-wise ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

We never really know how does someone feel about us, do we? Even if they come right out and say it, their actions may not match their words or you may feel they don’t like you as much as you like them back. Not to say that they dislike you, but they may like us less then we would like to be liked. Does this make sense? ๐Ÿ˜†

Anyway, the point is everybody looks at a relationship differently than the other. Your best friend has a different idea about your friendship with him/her than you do. Does that mean he or she is less of a best friend? If you like a friend more than that friend likes you back (from your perspective), does that mean your friendship means less to your friend?

Do you think friendships online work the same way as it does offline? Does the medium through which a friendship is established makes it a different kind of friendship than the conventional, in person kinds?

Next blogging muse is cjwriter – look out for it, cj. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Good read about friendships

Comments on: "How do friendships work online?" (13)

  1. I would imagine anywhere and at anytime one could encounter a person with whom they could strike up a common bond and make it work for the life of their whim to do so. There are no written in stone rules for blogging where a person or group of persons can not make their space for a blog as a chat-room.

    Blogging, for me, had always seemed to be a place where a person could stake their claim to any number of interested persons interested reading about my thoughts on life and my passion for it. I guess one could find a regular contributor to their cause or interests while blogging. As such the nature of the blog then becomes more a version of MySpace. And, I guess that is just fine in this ill-defined world of the Internet.

    However, I do not sense a bloggin buddy would be a person with whom any notion of deep commitment is expected. There are too many unspoken variables for creating a valuable hold on anothers personality here.

    But, then again, there would be as there always seems to be, that rare moment when two individuals or even a group just seem to hit it off and they now have redefined their blog as a meeting place. Viola! A hiding place.

    So, in answer to your question about whether a blog is a great environment for fostering a lasting friendship….NO! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Author of IM with God:
    The Journey to the Center
    of The One in You

    sulz: interesting argument you put forth! thanks for commenting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. lovelyloey said:

    Nope, friendships online doesn’t work like friendship offline.
    It seems to me it’s way easier to ignore online friends; just block them on IM, not return emails, and half the time the affected party wouldn’t really feel hurt because they don’t really expect that much from online friends, compared to offline friends? If my offline friends don’t reply to my text messages or phone calls I start panicking (sometimes) wondering if they are angry with me. But because internet communication isn’t nearly as instantaneous as phone calls, I’ve come to be accustomed to waiting for replies etc.

    sulz: true… so proximity is an important element in friendship? you can’t be close to someone far away?

  3. Oh dear, now I’m worried. What could I have said that would inspire a post? *scratches beard thoughtfully* Nope, I got nuthin! ๐Ÿ˜›

    I agree as well, I don’t think relationships online work the same way as in real life. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They have different rules and are really a different form of communication entirely. It’s something I’ve struggled to explain to people just starting out online; when they write emails, they follow the same format as writing a letter, but the way people respond to email (with some people getting hundreds a day) is very different; you can’t expect the same kind of rules to apply.

    IMO, I think it’s actually easier to form a bond online than in real life. They say that 93% of communication is through body language, but what blogging or IM does is completely eliminate that; you might never see somebody’s face, hear their voice or inflection, so all you’re left with is what they’ve written. It doesn’t matter what they look like, sound like, whether they’re rich or poor; we form a bond based on words and we’re all using the same form of communication, so we all have that in common to form a connection.

    Whether those bonds mean as much to you as your friendships in real life or not I guess depends on how you feel about the ‘net itself. But then everybody values friendship differently, don’t they? I might have a best friend, but that doesn’t mean I would be theirs. So why would that be any different online? I think most people would probably see an online relationship as a casual thing, but that’s not true for everyone. For me, the world just seems a lot smaller now, and my friends are my friends wherever they are; on blogs, on Skype, or down the road. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    sulz: you see lah in two days’ time. :mrgreen:

    as for bonding differences between online and real life (why do we call it real life, as if online is not real or something), bonding happens spontaneously in real life while online bonding is more cultivation than spontaneity because we make the time and effort to interact with an online friend, whereas a real life friendship would mostly be bonded through proximity and similar experiences. as for how easy it is to bond, well it all boils down to the personality and personal experience. if you can’t express yourself well in writing, you might find it hard to find kindred spirits online. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    but am beginning to see (from personal experience) that friendships online can be as meaningful as ones offline!

  4. lovelyloey said:

    No it’s not the proximity that affects friendship per se; it’s more like proximity affects my expectations of my friends. I have friends overseas, and knowing that they run on a different time as I do, I will not expect to be able to talk as much to them as I would to my local friends.
    This can be good, or bad. Good in the sense we don’t get clingy and throw up a big fuss over an unreplied text message, but bad because sometimes I really have something to say but can only email knowing she’ll only see it 12 hours later…
    But I guess the crux in any friendship is sincerity and genuine love and concern.

    sulz: ah yes, thanks for adding that. add to crux personal initiative to work to keep the friendship by both parties!

  5. Well, I personally think that there is a difference between an online and an offline friendship. It’s easier to make friends or acquaintances online. Suppose you leave somebody a couple of comments, they can become your friends. But it’s much difficult to make good friends online. It’s difficult because it’s not easy to trust somebody who you have never really met. Who knows a guy could be acting as a girl or vice versa and then there’s always the danger of being exposed by an online friend. People who are online can do much more than people who are around you in real life.

    Having said all that, one can definitely have great friends online. I trust you guys more than I trust most of my real life friends.

    sulz: hmm, true it’s easy to make friends online but not so easy good friends. but good friends are hard to find anywhere online or offline really!

    as for self, the friends made through blogging feels a little special than the ones made offline because online, it’s your personality that people are drawn to. sometimes in real life, we make friends through association and proximity rather than genuine interest as a person. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. cjwriter wrote: “They say that 93% of communication is through body language, but what blogging or IM does is completely eliminate that; you might never see somebodyโ€™s face, hear their voice or inflection, so all youโ€™re left with is what theyโ€™ve written. It doesnโ€™t matter what they look like, sound like, whether theyโ€™re rich or poor; we form a bond based on words and weโ€™re all using the same form of communication, so we all have that in common to form a connection.”

    So, with this in mind, the voice inflection and emphasis on feelings we gather from what has been written for us to read are what we project onto what has been presented to us. We are reading what is written in OUR voice not theirs. With our perception of their life, not theirs. The pattern or pace of the dynamics of communication are slowed (or changed) considerably. This is why so many person believe they have met their soul mates. They have not a clue we oft think the same thought at any given moment in this slowed speaking moment. It is almost as if we are learning anew what our ancestors experienced before the days of phones or the telegraph. Because there is still so much to learn about the respondent in a blog or online, one can truly see how conflicts and wars were far more possible in the early days of communication. This mean yes we can imagine how Org said to Id “Did you HEAR how they hit that last drum beat….How insulting!” “Yeah,” Id would reply, “I’m not drumming back to them ever again!” ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Hi there sulz,
    Suffice to say that IMHO there is difference between making an acquaintance and forming a friendship, both in cyberspace and in real life. Also note that I do not accept the contention that it’s easier to form “friendships” online than in real life.

    One can look at all the social networks like facebook and myspaces and see people listing hundreds of so-called “friends”. Well I challenge the use of that label. Hundreds of acquaintances they may have but hundreds of “friends” – no way – no how – not by any definition of friendship in any culture on earth.

    As I have already have blog posts focused on relationships IRL and in cyberspace, and as Root and Adam do too I won’t be posting much of a comment here. Instead my approach will be to write another post and to link back to yours.

    sulz: well, as to how easy it is to form friendships we have to establish first what is the definition of friendship in this context, as your example of facebook shows!

    looking forward to reading your post then. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. The Facebook phenom is an illusion of friendship. We all yearn to feel needed. We seem to want to look at the number of friends at our funeral beforehand. We somehow need to have the largest, greatest number of persons to prove ourselves worthy. Why else would we need blog stats to see how many out there are reading what we do….or believe. Those we connect with online IS a relationship….how and at what level of importance we place on that relationship defines the parameters for how we ultimately define friendship, commitment, and love of another. The answer for each will be in the outcome of our participation within it all.

    Author of IM with God

    sulz: true! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. remember the lyrics of the boyzone song “words”?
    “it’s only words,
    and words are all i have
    to take your heart away!”

    this couldn’t be farther from the actual truth about offline friendships! when i’m meeting people in real life, i take in every single detail about the person, and even such trifling things like them looking somewhere else while i am talking about something might bother me, i might feel ignored etc.

    but words and online friendships go hand-in-hand. words are all we have to give someone the boot or to make them feel special.

    i’m quite the muse, eh? i should put in my cv:
    freelance part-time blogging muse
    renumeration: one link per me-inspired post will suffice. ๐Ÿ˜†

    sulz: yes, words are all we have here! and pictures. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. If I remember correctly, “Words” is about somebody who is desperately trying to gain the attention of a love interest. The chorus “It’s only words…” is the singers response to the apparent love interests assertion that what the singer has to offer, in his or hers estimation or perception are only words. The lover wants something of substance, action. The singer of the song seems stymied; unable to grow beyond just his words…As such the melody is quite lonely and circular in its presentation.

    With this in mind, all on- or offline relationships grow in direct proportion to the measure of action applied to the messages sent. For instance, we are increasing or decreasing our interest in further participation of this discussion based on the messages one or the other is sending.

    We have allowed the technological advances of being able to send these messages online to paint the relationship of our words to be something different than what we do offline. Nothing is further from the truth. What we have to offer here IS more than just words. We are offering small samples of our perceptions to gain some feeling or connection with Life…The same goes for those who are dramatically different online as they are off. Everything we do is to feel some connection with what is real and true. We just seem to go about it in some pretty bizarre ways.

    Author of IM with God

  11. AngllhugnU2,
    i don’t quite remember the rest of the “words” lyrics, my comment is based only on the portion mentioned above! ๐Ÿ™‚

    yep! words and pictures! you know what they say – a picture is worth a thousand WORDS! ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. It’s funny that you should use that phrase as it just may be pictures we will only be seeing on TV or in the movies. The Writers Guild of America is now officially on strike. So, buckle up for some fresh words of wisdom from those who believe unions are taking over our comfort zone as it is defined through entertainment. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. This kind of falls into what i talked about with comments. I mean, some people I can really relate to but my relation falls upon deaf ears most days.

    sulz: don’t think so, judging by the many comments you received on that post! ๐Ÿ™‚

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