My ‘puter Friends …

July 24, 2009

I am convinced more than ever than one doesn’t need to see the person to have a relationship with them. Chats, blogs, forums, telephones – any medium to communicate is a chance for people to connect. People fall in love, make beautiful friendships, find confidantes, find a parent figure, your angelic/devilish twin or even enemies (read blog wars)! Amazing isn’t it?

As much as popular folks scrap the idea of online relationships, I feel they are the truest of all. Most of us folks are very vulnerable. No matter how much we say “we don’t care what others think” – we do. It is stressful to keep up appearances, to create a good first impression, to be yourself especially when you want the relationship to work. I am not talking about romantic relationships – any kind applies.Β Everyone is judged by their appearance – either consciously or unconsciously. This is where the online medium helps.

I am not saying that online is the way to go rather it is a good place to start. Taking it offline depends on how comfortable you feel with Β the other person. This is my opinion. My sis will fight tooth and nail with me on this – you see, it was easy for her. She is cute, loves to talk, athletic and has loads of Β friends. I am the exact opposite of her – so you can imagine how difficult it may be for me. πŸ˜‰

I made lots of friends online when chatting was the in thing. Hell, I am still in touch with some of them after all these years! A couple of them have changed my life- yes! My best friends from school/colleges/work have switched to cameo appearance in my life. An occasional hi/hello mail, a phone call once in a blue moon. Some of the kids from school/college days whom I dint share a rapport with, are my closest online buddies in the present time. We dint click in the past but online we did! Strange isn’t it? People who were my moon and stars once upon a time have turned to shooting stars now. They make a show when you least expect and then you wish upon them for the good times to last. πŸ™‚

And then my dear blogger friends – I cherish their kind words and their encouraging nature. All of us maybe in the same place or thousands of miles away, but we still have a shortcut – from one heart to another. Physical appearances, social strata, income category, marital status and any kind of social differences – all swept aside and only listening to what the other has to say. That is what dreams are made of and is a reality in our little online world. I have laughed a riot, shed a few tears and cheered along with my blogger buddies. πŸ™‚

That explains why I have a special bond with people I meet online – they maybe different in real life but thats to be blamed on society and its Β judgemental ways. But deep down inside, we are what we are online.

PS: Differences of opinions expected. Don’t hold it in – I am all armoured for the brickbats! πŸ˜‰ I hope I see some roses too – love the smell of them! πŸ˜‰

PPS: And yes, I too am terrified of a future where people only meet online. Nonetheless, I am assured by my training in Psychology that people are social animals. They will take it offline – sometime or the other. πŸ™‚ And a few friendships are gifted to us at birth in the form of family friends! So there!!! All your doomsayings of a future with people glued to the chair and comps are out the window! πŸ™‚

UPDATE for minors reading this post (if any): if you are thinking of taking online friendships offline, please do so with your parent/guardian’s knowledge and/or consent.

Special thanks to ~uh~ for his comment which made me think for the children.


14 Responses to “My ‘puter Friends …”

  1. I agree with you a LOT. I have made many friends through my blog (whom I later met in real life) and have really connected, as it is indeed a meeting of minds. The thing is people who aren’t bloggers will never understand.
    There are many who ‘hide’ their identities and presume a different persona online. It is so easy to tell the genuine ones from the fake ones, just like it is in real life. But one thing that one has to remember is sometimes you wonder how many blog friends really care? For example if you stopped blogging tomorrow how many do you think will mail you and ask you what happened? One thing to think about is whether one is only as good as one’s last post! πŸ™‚
    I had written a similar post “how real is virtual” (too lazy to link it here) πŸ˜› I think virtual can be as real as you want it to be. Some of my closest friends today are the ones I met online, initially.
    Good post.

    You have given all of us something to think about – how much do we really care? The links you were too lazy to link is right here. It is not a doubt but just something to ponder about. I guess we have to find our own answers for this.

  2. Can totally relate to your depending on online friends …. I am also a lot like that ..mainly because I have not stayed at one place long enough to bond (in real life) too much with the others …Preeti does ask a very good Q … but I am sure that if your blogger to blogger relationship is as good as a real relationship is … there will be care and concern …very neat write up!!

    Yes I too believe it is dependent on each B2B relationship. πŸ™‚ I guess we ll know, most of us are quiet adept at getting vibes from anywhere! πŸ˜‰

  3. I agree with you. Wrote a post on my categories of friends few days back and like you I also share a special bonding with my blogger friends.

    Thanks, Adesh! I am heading over to yours to look for that post. πŸ™‚

  4. Savitha said

    Basically,I am poor in connecting with people. Even with real people, there is a virtual screen between me and people…And it has extended to the virtual world too! Many times, I would feel like really commenting on a blog, but would move away for unknown reason….But, I do agree that not having to be present in person lets you be yourself on the internet!

    I am glad you dint move away from commenting on this one. πŸ™‚ As far as blogging is concerned, I always comment on whatever I have a opinion about or to commend the blogger for a good job. I move away from ugly scenes, pointless discussions and the like. A quick question – are you a Piscean by any chance? I am one and have felt these urges to move away in real life but never online.

  5. Sachin said

    Yes, most people are more real in the virtual world. But this whole virtual thing is very old in my opinion, isn’t staying in touch by snail mail, email, phone calls not virtual ? We have been living in a virtual world for a looong time and the fabric of society/relationships have only strengthened.

    I have not met a number of my close friends (face-to-face) in over 5 years. But I am surely in touch, hell in some cases I know what they had for lunch and that is not even surprising for most people reading this, so I would say … Virtual has been and will be the primary mode of communication for ages.

    Come to think of it – you are so dead on right. But I was thinking about how friendships are from unexpected quarters now. Someone reads your blog, pings you on Gtalk, and you immediately connect and probably becomes BFF!! Thats what I like about the new age virtual medium.

  6. Swaram said

    Nice post n what a coincidence! I just put up a similar msg on FB πŸ™‚
    Well, I have met some people over the blog world and I can’t believe they are an integral part of my life now.
    May be bcoz we really can connect with like-minded people thru their writing here. We all pour our heart out when we write.
    N yeah that was a nicthoughful qs from Preethi – All I can say is I have hd friends who do ping, call n ask me why I have not posted even if it is only days before that I had done that! They mail me to find out if I am keeping well n all. So, I just feel blessed for life.

    Very nice post πŸ™‚

    Yes, that makes you feel special. When people who don’t really have an obligation, do enquire if all is okay. Seeing the kind of comments that you get and people who compete for commenting first to your blog, I must say you got loads of such buddies. Nice to see your comment – so full of life and cheerful!

  7. ajcl said

    cookie- i so relate to this post.. so so true.. so many times, we are judged based on a lot of insignificant stuff and the real us doesnt even get a chance to surface..
    i also agree to the fact that once u r online, u kind of shed all ur inhibtions coz u r what u write, its all about that connection one makes..
    very very very nice post

    The real us doesn’t get a chance to surface – thats exactly the words I was struggling to get with no luck. Thanks so much Appu. I can feel you liked this post a lot and I am so glad! πŸ™‚

  8. Ramesh said

    Brilliant post thoughtful train. Very good thought and writeup and some great comments too.

    I think the nature of the interaction is more important than the medium. And in every medium we’ll have the good and the bad. Through blogging, I’ve come to cherish the friendships I have been able to build. They may remain virtual, but they are very good friendships neverthless. And life would be very much poorer but for them.

    Yes, you said that right. Life would be very much poorer but for them. πŸ™‚ And thank you for the lovely words. πŸ™‚

  9. drnarayannayak said

    It is very ineresting topic and there will be lot of points supporting and opposing as you thought yourself. I am not an expert on the subject and my opinion will very judicious. There are good points like the physical characters like age, sex religion appearance wealth wisdom etc don’t determine the closeness and only the all important mind alone matters,But there lies the fallacy. The so called body language which helps to judge persons are not there for your help. Many of our friends in real life may not have met for long but one day suddenly if you chance to meet them it puts you in a very joyous moment. During Pinky’s wedding 2 of my classmates came and my friends of the present period were awestruck seeing our excitement. So also I met a school mate after 52 years and we were thrilled.This I am citing to say een if our old associates may not think of us all the time but there will be passing moments when we think about each other.
    Other point is misuse of the association can be there more frequently because of anonymity though there are plenty of cheating in real life situations also. Hence I used the word judicious. I think there are so many points but it wil be real debate.

    Appa, I am sure I too will feel delighted to see my friends from the real world any day. Just that it happens so rarely in our times. And we need friends to get on with our world. Because of our huge online presence, we make friends all over the world. Online mediums are sensitive as facial gestures/body languages. I am sure a lot of people who chat on a regular basis are adept at guaging the other persons mental state. Cheating does happen, but thats part of life – it happens everywhere and anytime. Thanks so much for writing a lovely comment. I remember your classmates and schoolmates and the best comment was they feel you haven’t changed at all! πŸ™‚

  10. drnarayannayak said

    I am sure one learns to get over one’s handicap and get used to the avalable info to judge and that is exactly what I meant by we have to be judicious.

    Yes Appa, that is right. πŸ™‚

  11. theishu said

    Good perspective, blogger friend πŸ™‚

    Thanks buddy!

  12. All’s well when it ends well.
    The only problem with online friends is that they appear as what they want them to appear.
    That’s a cynic’s view probably. But what if the cynic appears to be one and not actually one ?
    There lies the paradox πŸ™‚

    Trust you to come up with a twist! πŸ˜‰ I feel nobody has the energy to keep up the act for too long and why should they? What are they going to get for all that “acting” ? A few flattering words? So be it! πŸ™‚

  13. Shivya said

    I love the post! And it’s so true. Online relationships are so much easier to manage, but then i think more than being yourself, it’s easier to portray yourself as someone else and totally deceive the other person. But yeah, in this era, being an online social bee is sure an advantage πŸ™‚

    (I’ve been lagging behind on your posts and just realized i miss visiting here often enough. Still trying to balance the blogosphere with the worksphere!)

    Welcome back Shivya! Seasoned onliners can sense if someone is pretending to be what they are not. Online social bee – cuter terminology!! πŸ™‚

  14. unnamed said

    wow! super!

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