A number of years ago, before the world of social media, the idea of having a friend that you met online and never in person, was considered weird. In fact, many dismissed any friendships I had from the internet as not being real. Can you imagine?
Well, as someone that has been a netizen since the beginning, and even before that a citizen in the BBS realm, I can promise you these friendships may have a different dynamic, but can be every bit as real as an in-person friendship.
One of my closest friends, I met online in a gaming forum on christian-gaming.com several years ago. We game together, and have a Google hangout with 4 other people where we chat pretty much daily. I consider these guys to be really great friends and part of my everyday life. This is even with fact that 3 of them live over 1000 miles away.
Since that time I have met one of them in person twice. We met once at a conference we both attended, and then just earlier this year we hung out again when he came down and camped with my younger son and my brother and I during the Rolex 24 race.
I admit, it is a bit different chatting with someone online during the day, versus sitting down with a friend over a beer once a week or so, but I think the bond is just as strong.
One key thing that is missing with internet based friendships is that our families never really get to meet each other. But then again, my neighbor, who I also count as a good friend, is so busy that our families don’t see each other very often either.
I guess it is becoming more common now, but some people still think it strange. What kind of friendships have you formed online and have you found challenges in having that friendship taken seriously by your spouse or other friends?
Image Credit: Codice Internet