Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Cyber-friendship

Friendship is the topic of today's post. Internet friendship, to be exact. Yesterday, when Màili posted to her blog about misplacing her wedding band the response was incredible. People gave her support, made suggestions and cheered with her when she found it. Chances are, none of us have met face to face, yet the depth of care she encountered was genuine.

It's a phenomenon I've encountered since I first got on the net about 10 years ago (has it really been that long?!). I joined the Prodigy Writers Group first and found a wonderful group of women, some of whom I'm STILL friends with to this day - we're always so happy to meet in person when attending the same conferences.

My husband was suspicious at first, having heard stories of predators pretending to be one thing when actually stalking women in cyberspace. For some reason, though, I never worried. Not sure why - I'm normally rather neurotic about stuff. But something in the conversations we had told me these people were exactly who they said they were. And I'm betting that everyone I've met in blogland is as well.

Funny how many of us share confidences, rant about things that mean so much to us and offer support when someone is troubled or just feeling down. What is it about cyberspace that breeds such a special form of friendship?

Thoughts?

Teresa

3 comments:

Larissa said...

It's the honesty, I think. For some reason, people often feel that they can say things in writing that they can't say in person. I think that really draws people out! :)

Tess said...

Hmm - interesting! And certainly part of it. I know I post things that I wouldn't necessarily SAY to a room full of people I didn't know. Yet I've no problem putting it out there on the net.

And I like reading what other people have to say about their writing - their own frustrations etc, because it helps me see I'm not alone :-)

Alyssa said...

It is an interesting phenomenon, isn't it? I think part of it is simply that we feel like we get to know each other a bit as we read each other's blogs.

When you visit a place (such as a blog or message board), you learn about other people's likes and dislikes. You can learn things from one post, sure, but multiple posts and visits make the experience less anonymous.

Of course, this assumes that most people are portraying themselves honestly. Perhaps blogs lend themseleves to that, though, because it's hard to sustain lies over a long period of time.

And now I'm babbling. I'll stop now.

Alyssa