Hey friends, today we’ll have a chat around internet friendships and what to look out for. I have never been one to befriend anyone over the internet for fear of letting a psychopath into my life who would kill me and everyone I love… It’s plausible, don’t judge! However, getting into this blogging lifestyle has challenged my views to some extent.
While I still value privacy and safety above anything else, I have also found the need to exchange ideas with like-minded individuals. In real life, most of our friendships are those made through our hobbies, in the office, on campus, etc. But what happens when your hobby is reaching out to strangers through your written art? Is it safe to have internet friendships?
How internet friendships help you as a blogger
Something that other bloggers have mentioned which I can testify too is that as much as your family and friends will be supportive of your blog, they don’t get it. You tend to get more investment and genuine feedback from those who are also in the same sphere. As these acquaintances slowly evolve into friendships, you can learn and grow more in your field through your frequent exchanges.
Blogging is also just like any other hobby in which you meet people and start to form relationships. So what is the hard line to draw when you develop stronger bonds with other bloggers?
Whats the difference?
As an introvert, my friendships might as well be internet based because I rarely like to go out. That being said, the option to meet the person does make things different. It all boils down to being able to verify if the person is real, where they live and if they are the age they claim to be. In real life, you can also bond over shared hobbies like exercise or drinks. You are also able to take pictures and really create a trail of said friendship.
With internet friendships, there are not many common activities you can do which makes the bond fall down to communication. As for verifying their details, you need to rely on your intuition. Is that enough to build a true bond?
Identity theft? Human Trafficking?
The security issues we fear from giving a ‘virtual’ someone too much information about ourselves are countless. Identity theft, fraud, kidnapping, etc are all possibilities, but what makes meeting someone any different? I never thought it would be possible to befriend someone and never get to meet their family even once… Then I went to university. I do suppose that seeing someone in person does at least give confirmation on their gender and age range. But how much can we honestly say about who they are as a person? We are living in times when it is easier to know more about the YouTube stars’ personal lives than the very people we walk, laugh and play with. Scary isn’t it?
Internet friendships or real life, which is better?
With real life friendships – you know, the kind that you can touch, stalk and see the person – is the tangibility of the person reason enough to believe that they are truthful? Should there be a different standard applied to the friends you have seen at least once?
In my view, trust is definitely something that needs to be earned. But like everything else, there are definitely some things that never really need to be shared, regardless. My rule of thumb is that if I tell someone something private and they let it slip, it is my fault for confiding in the first place. Of course that speaks heaps about my issues with trust and forgiveness. However, this view has been close to three decades in the making! So when it boils down to it, I personally have no issues with either type of frienship.
What are your views?
Do you have any online friendships that have blossomed into a true bond? How do you stay safe when making friends online? Do you find it easier opening up to someone you can’t see?