A few days ago, my friend Melisa posted a link to a blog article on her facebook page. The title of the post was “I Have Made Myself Unfriendable.” The post set off a storm of comments, and most people felt the same way as the author. It also got me to thinking about the validity of online friendships. There are some who would say that you can’t really be friends with online friends – that those friendships aren’t real. I very strongly disagree with that. If it weren’t for online friends, I would have very few friends; somethign I discussed in another blog post.
I do have some “real” friends, but the majority of my friends are from the online world, this includes my wonderful friend Melisa who shared the blog post on her facebook wall. I met Melisa, plus a bunch of other friends while chatting on an online forum the now defunct televison program, Roswell. We were a subgroup of people who loved the show that were adults. We talked about everything on that message board, in fact, we strayed off topic so much, we actually got in trouble with that online forum. We eventually created our own community and continued are conversations long after he television program ended.
We’ve shared births, deaths, marriages, divorces and every other thing you can imagine. When the twin towers were hit, we all worried about a friend from New York who’s father was stuck over in New Jersey without access to his medicne, and we mourned with another, who lost a beloved cousin in the tragedy. Our friendships deepened and several of us have met in the real world. Many of those friends came to New England for a vacation. We’ve travelled to Las Vegas where we hosted a suprise bridal shower for one of our friends, and we met in Atlanta.. We’ve had friends meet in New York, and in California. We’ve conquored the Matterhorn, gone to the top of the Stratosphere, climbed Stone Mountain, and ridden a roller coaster called the Yankee Cannonball!
We don’t always talk, this group of friends, but when we do, it’s like no time has past. We can pick up where we left off, and if someone is sick, or needs help, I know that each and everyone of us would step up to lend a hand in one way or another. I love this group of friends with all my heart, and I always will.
I have other online friends….high school friends that I’ve reconnected with on facebook, and are now, in fact, better friends than we ever were as we navigated the stressful world that is high school. I also have been gifted with another wonderful friend that lives in Scotland. You’ve all heard the phrase brother from another mother, well she and I are stistas from different mistas! We jokingly say that we share one brain, but if you could here us talk, you’d agree. We finish each other’s thoughts and will continually say the same thing at the same time. She is truly the sister of my heart.
So while I may have made myself unfriendable, I’m not without friends. There is no law that says a friendship has to follow a particular blueprint to be real, and I for one am glad because I wouldn’t trade my friends for anything.