Perrie Halpern

What Is The Nature Of Internet Friendships?

  
By:  Perrie Halpern R.A.  •  Personal  •  5 years ago  •  38 comments

What Is The Nature Of Internet Friendships?

What is the nature of internet friendships?  Recent events in my life have me pondering this question. I have come to the conclusion that there are differing perceptions of what a internet friendship is.  Looking back on my experience I have had to ask myself some serious questions that I am sure many of us here have encountered. I think it comes down to several questions. 

What does it mean to you when you befriend someone on the internet?  Is it as real as any other friendship and therefore should we have the same expectations from it, or is it something less? Do we ever really know the person, or are they like a character in a play?

Are there different degrees of friendship as we have in real life, or should we regard anyone we take on as a internet friend with the same respect we give other members? 

Shouldn't we avoid confrontation on articles with friends, if there can only be a poor outcome or do we engage our friends even if your points of views are so different that the outcome can only be damaging and deemed a transgression?

There are many who would say, that friends, especially internet friends, should engage in dialog, because that is the purpose of this site.  I am not totally convinced that this is true because our community has very diverse views and therefore this is not always possible.  There are just certain hot button topics that make all of us lose it.  So then, the question becomes, does an internet friend leave those articles alone for the sake of the friendship or do they engage, for the sake of the topic? That is the bigger question. That goes back to the degree of friendship and the expectations one has about that friendship.  I have always been on the side of caution, and didn't engage people who I had a very differing point of view, once I had excepted their friendship, out of respect to that acceptance.  Call it a social contract on the site.  But I think you can divide the nature of internet friendships into three groups.

The first group is those who befriend people carefully on the site.  They go to the potential friend and look into their bio's and their other social connections.  They are careful whom they befriend, because their expectation is to value the friendship as if it was one in the real world.  

The second group is those who feel that the site is here for debate, and therefore, the friendship is a loose social association, one that is casual, and that the name of the game is debate. To them, an internet friendship is easily broken, with little mind of who is on their friend list.  They give little or no thought to whom they befriend, and therefore don't think twice about whether or not to engage a friend in a heated discussion, even if the outcome will be poor.

The third group are those who make distinctions between close internet friends and casual internet friends and vary their behavior accordingly when deciding to enter a conversation with a friend, especially if their points of views are to divergent to engage in a productive dialog or debate.  They may engage in a heated debate with some friends, while with others, they will avoid a dialog that could potentially end the friendship, valuing the friendship over the debate.

Some would say that true friends could always forgive each other if things get out of hand.  But this isn't true in real life.  How many of us have had a falling out with a long time personal friend, and have felt terrible about it for years to come.  On this site, most of our friendships are not that personal, and therefore, easily damaged.  Words pile up and get in the way, and all that is left behind are ruminations and bitterness, for words left in the public domain for all to see. 

I personally don't enter into a friend's article if I know that our points of view are too different to find a common ground and it will damage a friendship. As I said earlier, I regard it as part of the social contract with the internet.  I am all too aware that once the words I write are out there in the public domain for all to see and it's hard to erase the damage they have done. If there is something to learn from my recent experience is that all should be clear what they expect from their friendships when we engage each other in debate, because once the words are pounded out on our respective keyboards, there is no taking them back.  And there's the rub....

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Kavika
Professor Principal
link   Kavika     5 years ago

In life you'll have many internet friends and acquaintances. In the real world it's the same. At the end of your lifetime if you have a dozen ''true'' friends, consider yourself lucky.

The internet is an alt-reality and that should be taken into consideration at all times.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Kavika   5 years ago

Kavika,

I have been very lucky in my real life to have many of my childhood and college friends so I expect to have them till I am old and gray. New friends I like to make, but I know that they are much more fragile and can be gone easily from just a misunderstanding. 

And it is always prudent to be cautious when meeting people on the net. That goes without saying. 

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
Professor Guide
link   Larry Hampton    5 years ago

I still remember when I first got into online discussions, blogging. The internet had been around a while, but our kids were young, and we had all the internet we needed or wanted at our work places. I lurked on news blog sites, reading comments and trying ti dissect rhyme or reason behind the dynamics of the conversations. I finally joined a couple of sites because I figured I couldn't keep all of my vast wisdom on a variety of topics to myself! Little did I know the journey I was beginning. After a couple of years of kicking bricks in too many senseless arguments it became evident that I had much to learn; but, was also becoming more disillusioned with being able to learn in online discussions. There was just too much partisan fog, and too little humility on my own part, to adequately open myself to new ideas. Once I started letting go of that, my relationships became more dynamic and fulfilling, and gaining knowledge more organic. There is a drawback to that too.

There is a vulnerability that is built into those sorta relationships...sometimes it can be difficult to understand them fully,,,sometimes it's actually sorta easy. It does seem though that generally speaking, like Kavika said above, the alternate reality of the media itself can varnish the integrity of some friendships, that I don't believe would happen off-line. Not always though.

Sometimes people mischaracterize themselves in order to manipulate others. That goes for both on or off line. The difference is that it is harder to spot online, thus easier to be manipulated. It sucks but is true nonetheless. 

I do appreciate the moxie and courage it took for you to put your thoughts up for us like this Perrie. You raise a good point or three; yet, also encourage quality relationships even through this good example.

Kudos Perrie, and thank you.

:~)

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Larry Hampton   5 years ago

Larry,

I have known you for a very long time now, and have seen you change over the year in both the way you deal with people, and in your beliefs. You are far more open to different ideas, passionate about your beliefs while not being dismissive of other people's beliefs. I have always found you thoughtful, and even though we had moments we didn't agree, I never thought you were a special guy. Of course it was our commonalities that helped us develop into friends. In the early days, I worried that we those differences would end our friendship. Meeting you changed that, of course. 

I agree that we can be tricked by who people who pretend to be something they are not. I had several major disappointment years ago, which left me feeling very sad and made me very leary to open up to new people. I guess it's just my personality that likes people that I still take chances. Most of the time, the good outweighs the bad.  

 
 
 
Randy
Sophomore Guide
link   Randy    5 years ago

Out of all of the people I have met on the internet I have been friends with Perrie the longest by far. I do consider her a friend in the true sense of the word and not just and "internet friend" We have known each other for at least 9 years, going back to talking on Newsvine. We have had our share of arguments and disagreements, just like in any friendship. There are several other people on NT that I consider to be friends also. I won't try to name them all because I am sure to forget to mention one or two.

As for internet enemies, well the nice part of the internet and computers is that I can remind myself that they are nothing more then a collection of pixels and that I can ignore them or turn them off easily, like with a bad program on TV and forget about them or their strange opinions just as easily. They can rant and rave at me, but so what? No insult or even threat from them bothers me because the are not friends and I have no respect for them or what they say or think anyway and it's not like they can reach through their computer screen and punch me. ;-)

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Randy   5 years ago

Randy,

First let me say, that you know I feel the same way about you. I know that when we first met, we had our ups and downs, but I think that only helped to define our friendship. You are a friend in the truest sense. 

I don't consider anyone my enemy. I think I have more in common with some people than others. I also think that other people might consider me their enemy.. but that might be more a function of what I do on this site. Most of the time I can turn it off in my head but there have been times that I found my blood pressure up a bit. 

Hey, we're only human, LOL! 

 
 
 
PJ
Masters Participates
link   PJ    5 years ago

What a thought provoking piece.  I think you outlined the main 3 internet relationships very well and I can relate to several of the dilemmas you posed.  

I have a hard time connecting with people personally and admit that I only have 2 girlfriends.  One I hike and travel with and the other is a work friend that I grab a coffee with in the cafeteria every couple of weeks.  Peggy knows everything about me and I trust her completely.  She's also 15 years my senior and I look at her not just as my best friend but also my big sister.  Growing up I had a bad experience with several girls that I thought were friends and I guess I never got over so I have always been very reserved when it comes to getting close to other women.

I think I can be naive because I take people at their word on the internet.  I just assume that they are who they say they are because it doesn't occur to me that someone would actually misrepresent themselves.  I think I shy aware from having too many in depth conversations with women here because I want them to like me too much.  That's hard to admit but I know it's true.  The guys I don't really care about.  I can kid with them and if they're mean to me I really don't care.  I might get my feelings hurt but I'll eventually get over it.  I really enjoy many of the members here.  Even those that I have fiercely opposing points of view with.  There are some members that I could probably disagree with on every single post.  More often I will just joke around with them rather than try and have a serious debate that will probably lead to an angry exchange and I've already had a couple of those which I was probably more the provocateur because I misunderstood or I took it too personal.  I don't like to hurt peoples feelings and I don't like it when others hurt peoples feelings.  

Anyhow, I appreciate you posting this piece.  It asked some hard questions and made some good points.  I can see some of the relationship patterns that you described.  Thanks Perrie  :0)

 

 

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  PJ   5 years ago

Hi PJ, 

Don't feel bad about only having 2 girlfriends and kind of for the same reasons you cited. I have never done well with having woman friends and most of my close friends are guys. They are far less complicated. The woman I am friends with are a lot like me.. But if you have a hard time connecting with people the internet is a good way to make friends, but with caution. As I said before, it is easy to be tricked by a false facade. In that sense taking people at their word, can lead to feeling bad later. It is better to take your time in getting to know a person than to jump right in... well, at least for me. 

I don't think there is a discussion I would like to shy away from, but my position here makes me have to do that more than I would like. And I think it is very honest of you to express your own concerns. That takes bravery. I've never really broken it down to gender, but girls are different than guys in the sense that they don't get over things easily. That is not to say, that I haven't met a guy or two with the same proclivity, but on average, most don't hold a grudge. And if anything can cleanse the air, it's having some fun on the site. So even if you disagree... you can always joke about it later. 

Glad you decided to chat up a girl!  

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.    5 years ago

I owe Buzz a shout out and an email. I haven't forgotten!

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
link   Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A.   5 years ago

What are you going to shout at me about?

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Buzz of the Orient   5 years ago

Buzz,

That is an expression of saying Hey..I haven''t forgotten about you!" LOL!

 
 
 
Uncle Bruce
Professor Participates
link   Uncle Bruce    5 years ago

You know, a lot of it has to do with if you've exchanged nude pics with them.  Just sayin...

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Uncle Bruce   5 years ago

Bruce,

Sorry to disappoint, but no nudes were ever shared. Although I have gotten a few in my day.. wink, wink. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
link   Buzz of the Orient    5 years ago

I believe a person can make as good a friend on the internet as in a face-to-face relationship. Relationships can develop over the internet - and I can attest to that truth because I met my wife on an internet dating site and our loving marriage is approaching 8 years.

If we are speaking about relationships that remain on the internet such as friends made on a social news site, those friends can as well become lifelong friends including loyalty and generosity arising between them. For example, I was surprised to have been told ("as time goes by" - so quickly) that you and I have been internet friends for about 10 years. I didn't think I had started commenting on NV that soon after moving here, so perhaps it is a little less, but no matter. I am aware of what you and another were going to do had I not been able to use my stepdaughter's camera, and what that other has offered if I needed it, and I know that there is a genuine unbreakable loyalty between us – you and me, me and that other person. You have made me feel very special, and I feel the same about you. You were so genuinely concerned about my health, and helpful, making phone calls to me on the other side of the world. I know you are a REAL friend, not just an internet one.

As to differing views between internet friends, even though my political views may differ from that other person, I would go to bat for him (not the way Joe Carter did) if the occasion arose and at this point I consider our friendship real and unbreakable. He and I have declared that if we ever made a big lottery win we would get together for fishing and photography, and I really wish that would happen. There is another example – a person I like, and if we lived closer I would want to spend time with him, because we share certain extreme life experiences. There is an issue over which we have argued to the extent of really insulting each other but now we use "impasse" and mostly stay away from it. Then there is my Ojibwe friend whom I think of as a brother - and I would love to be able to meet with him as well, to sit together with him on his porch with a cold beer and watch the sun setting over his lake. 

Perhaps you know that I'm one of the very few who stood up for yet another member when he confessed what he had done - had accepted his regrets and remorse and openness about it, while others said hateful things about him.

While here, I met with one of the members from NV - we discovered we lived within an hour's drive of each other, and both we and our wives became very good friends - travelling and touring together and staying at each others' homes. Sadly, for me and my wife, they moved to the New York area. However, There is another member who is married to a woman from Chongqing (my wife's home town, and where we will be moving in a few months) and we have corresponded and will meet when they visit his wife's parents next year.

So there are very substantial relationships that can develop from being a member of a social news site, and as you said also a number of casual ones where we are able to enjoy each other from our dialogues. There are many such persons on NT whom I think of as friends, whom I like, and know that if we ever were to meet, we would get along well and spend a pleasant time together. In fact, there are so many others with whom I have developed a good relationship, that I am concerned that by not specifically including them they could feel ignored. That concerned me to the extent that I was not going to post this to your blog, so I hope that many who are reading this are considered special by me.  

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Buzz of the Orient   5 years ago

Buzz,

I am really glad you posted here. You shared your experiences in a very fond way. That warms my heart. 

I remember when we first met. It seems like almost yesterday. It was one of those happy accidents and really it had to do with Tyler, who told me about you. For that I thank him. You are as real a friend as anyone I have met in my life and I hope you know that. 

It is wonderful to see that you have made so many real friends. I think that is amazing! When people can reach across the gap of the internet, to make such close connections, it really shows the power of the word, as well as the connections that are possible. Sometimes I even forget that you are in China. 

I am truly touched by the openness of your post and so please that this venue provided you with so many relationships. BTW, you are a very lovable person, but I may be biased, LOL. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
link   Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A.   5 years ago

What did Tyler tell you? That is really fascinating news to me. Maybe you should tell me in a private note.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
link   Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Buzz of the Orient   5 years ago

patience

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
link   Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Buzz of the Orient   5 years ago

patiencepatience

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Buzz of the Orient   5 years ago

Sorry Buzz... I haven't been on site much in the last 2 days. Not feeling well. 

Tyler contacted me shortly after you joined NV. He said that you were a very nice man and could use a little help navigating around and making friends. I just reached out to you. I am kind of surprised you don't remember that.. but maybe it was because we were also on many of the same articles, and I had already kind of knew you from them. 

 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
link   Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A.   5 years ago

I think I must be getting a little too impatient besides forgetful in my old age - sorry for being so impolite. I'm surprised Tyler did that. I must have been really incompetent on the site, and why did he go to you when you were not eventually named to be a guide?

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Buzz of the Orient   5 years ago

He came to me, the way he went to Malamuteman when I first started on NV. You were in the "Greenhouse" and I think he might have done that often. 

 
 
 
Dowser
Sophomore Participates
link   Dowser    5 years ago

This is a very thoughtful, provocative piece and I thank you for it!

I have many people on the site that are my friends-- real friends.  Some, I have had the good fortune to meet in person, and that has only made our online friendship stronger.  Some, I will likely never be able to meet in person, but I still consider them to be my real friends.  I have a lot of acquaintances online that I consider to be my friends, but would likely never know them if I stepped on them-- that doesn't mean that I don't care about them-- I've just never met them.

There are some people online that I am never, ever going to be friends with.  I don't want to hurt people's feelings, but that is just the way it is...  In my real life, there are people I can't be friends with, and they don't seem to mind hurting my feelings, while I go about my life trying not to hurt other people's feelings.  There are those that seem to delight in being nasty and mean to others.  And no matter how much I try to smile at them, and give them the benefit of the doubt-- we have to have something in common-- it just isn't going to happen.  Maybe my personality annoys them or something.  Maybe they dislike something that I 'represent', or just don't see in myself.  

I try hard to be friends with some people, and it's not returned.  That's ok-- not everyone can care about you...  But I think it's important for all of us to get along well enough that we can at least be civil to one another.  You know, like a wave over the fence...  

I guess the part of me that annoys some people is that I truly care about the other people on this site.  I mean, if you're going through a bad time, and we all do, I care about it, and want to know how you're doing, and no matter what, I'd like you to feel as if someone here cares about you.  That's being a part of the community.  We all have to get along well enough in real life that we don't kill each other.  And being a good neighbor, to me, means helping each other out.  We're all going down the same road, after all.

When friends somehow suddenly decide they've had enough of you and want nothing more to do with you, I'm always shocked.  I never saw it coming, or it never occurred to me that they felt that way, or I'm upset that I didn't do more to nurture the friendship.  Granted, there are those that I write off, immediately, because THAT's never going to happen, but, for the most part, I see online friendships as being an important part of my life, and it expands my circle of opinions and ideas.  I learn from most of the people here-- and they make me think.  Some of those that shout at me, I just turn off, because I don't like to be shouted at or insulted, but, for the most part, I can listen to their point of view and if not agree, at least respect it.  

I feel that, if we look hard enough, we'll find something in common.   It may something simple, like we both like dogs, or both enjoy chocolate, or whatever...  But we're all human.  We all have our positive qualities, somewhere, and if you look hard enough, you'll find them-- at least that's what I think.  Maybe if we all looked for more common ground, we could lower our blood pressure, and feel better about each other.

I've had some bad experiences online, and who has not?  But, there are a few gems out there, with whom I feel a soul connection and they are certainly worth more than the bad experiences I've had.  What's that saying?  In order to find your prince, you have to kiss a few toads?  Well, that's the way online life is...  You weed out the ones that you can't possibly be friends with, and put in some effort to try to be friends with the others, and occasionally, you are fortunate to find a soul friend, that you hope to keep for life.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Dowser   5 years ago

A very well thought out answer, Dowser... couple of comments for you.

There are some people online that I am never, ever going to be friends with.  I don't want to hurt people's feelings, but that is just the way it is...  In my real life, there are people I can't be friends with, and they don't seem to mind hurting my feelings, while I go about my life trying not to hurt other people's feelings. There are those that seem to delight in being nasty and mean to others. 

I think that sometimes people are thoughtless and don't realize that they are hurting your feelings. On the other hand, if you feel it is purposeful, sure, why would you want to be friends with them. That being said, I think being direct is the best way to handle this. Just ask, and take doubt out of the equation. 

I guess the part of me that annoys some people is that I truly care about the other people on this site.  I mean, if you're going through a bad time, and we all do, I care about it, and want to know how you're doing, and no matter what, I'd like you to feel as if someone here cares about you.  That's being a part of the community.  We all have to get along well enough in real life that we don't kill each other.  And being a good neighbor, to me, means helping each other out.  We're all going down the same road, after all.

Actually, I think that this is an important issue. We often forget that a site is more like a community. And even if we disagree, when something happens within a community, usually we pull together. I think that some members just act as lone wolfs. It works for them, but not part of the community. Maybe that is why vine decided to go with nations. People who all get along and have the same values. On paper that looks good, but in reality, it makes for an echo chamber. I don't mind disagreements. What I do mind is destructive or thoughtless behavior. 

When friends somehow suddenly decide they've had enough of you and want nothing more to do with you, I'm always shocked.  I never saw it coming, or it never occurred to me that they felt that way, or I'm upset that I didn't do more to nurture the friendship.

This has happened to me several times and I have to say that each time I have found it shocking, and hurtful. Blaming yourself is just a guessing game. The real reason is in the other person's heart and if they didn't express it to you, well how were you supposed to know to help make it better?

I've had some bad experiences online, and who has not?  But, there are a few gems out there, with whom I feel a soul connection and they are certainly worth more than the bad experiences I've had.  What's that saying?  In order to find your prince, you have to kiss a few toads?  Well, that's the way online life is...  You weed out the ones that you can't possibly be friends with, and put in some effort to try to be friends with the others, and occasionally, you are fortunate to find a soul friend, that you hope to keep for life.

I couldn't have said it better! That is why I still keep an open mind about everyone. 

 
 
 
Moonchild63
Freshman Silent
link   Moonchild63    5 years ago

I saw this & kept meaning to get to it, as I was interested in what you had to say, yet also in WIF would even entail. Reading it, I was still 'confused' -

yes, I personally LIKED some words, then checked the bio & sent an email beyond the site - that I was on. I got a response, yet I didn't think more of it & certainly wasn't a friendship bonding moment.

One of the people lives in England (have always wanted to go there) and thought how nice it would be to meet the person and hang out, but that's all. Friends are my chosen Family & as such wouldn't make a cavalier one.

It's  sad (to me) that sites that promote themselves as a haven of debate, conversations or environments - past the casual nature of anonymity - then there's Beef

because they're Not.

If you do not engage with people beyond the superficial (when they have different views) then

Why cry, when it was Superficial after all? (not saying that you are 'crying' - just a general observation regarding subject matter) 

How does one get out of their comfort zone (or own way) in a fishbowl of Like mindedness!? How does one grow with guards up & how (mostly) can you know a 'Masked' person - period!?

I take people as they come to me, don't have to agree, yet a debates a Debate & an argument (well you get the just) in person, I would know instantly (blessing & a curse) if a persons "intent" was friend or foe.

Furthermore, people who talk @ you Rarely are/or want to be friends - are friendly.

Like presently, I joined NT thinking - like the Vine - it was diverse (LOL) & seemingly thought Buzz and I were "friends of the Internet."

Loosely of course (bonded over 💞 for 'Classic Films') yet apparently politics (even with Canadian's) doesn't presently make for bedfellows (good, bad, strange or indifferent LOL)

I posted Lala Hathaway's song 'Mirror' & I think the song speaks to the only thing 'Any of Us' have control over, yet in this regard though "IF" & their "Nature"

"Sometimes you gotta make the mirror your best friend & maybe then, you finds some peace within. Stop hiding yourself, stop hiding yourself."

In order to have a friend anywhere, you must first (apparently) 'Show Up' as one to begin with!

Your friends KNOW you, not an Avatar & opinions (of Like mindedness or naught - Buzz LIKES English🍻-a Lot✌😃) are like sphincters - we all have um - along with bad days & short tempers etc.

If you approach me as a friend (will still be leary, yet), I will make an attempt, but show me you never intended that an

Bye, Felicia (my gluts) more like Casper (Ghost - me or DOA -'IF')

 
 
 
Time Lord
Freshman Quiet
link   Time Lord    4 years ago

M'Lady...

"Internet Friends"...what an appropriate and "Time" lee topic! I find it heart warming to find soooooo many people responding to your article to be many oooooold "Time" friends from waaay back to the NV days of old. As you know, I've been MIA for gawd...several years! When I found my way back 'home' last night...it seriously felt like HOME. I didn't realize how much I've missed being here and surrounded by old...no, rephrase...long time friends. My journey has taken me to distant places, both internally and externally, but I am BACK...and it feels good to be in y'alls presence again. You've been MISSED...and that comes from the heart!

You mentioned three different ways a person approaches online friendships. I remember on NV...I was very selective about who I included into my 'circle' of friends. With many, it was kindova fad to collect 'friends' like baseball cards. It was like a popularity contest...the one with the biggest 'friends' list were the most popular ones on the block. I intentionally tried to keep my friends under 50. It's funny to think about it now. Sure, there are the fakers with their facades...the shallow relationships, and the meaningless avatars that tend to accumulate. I looked for people who had a sense of humor and presented as 'real'. I wus pretty picky about who I included into my circle. If a 'troll' got into yer friend list...they could make life miserable for everyone. 

I think like in real "Time"...it's jus a matter of "Time". Cuz over the course of "Time"...who a person REEEEAALY IS becomes mirrored through their words and reflected in how they treat other members...riiiiight? At least this has been my experience. It's funny...I remember YOU M'Lady, were the FIRST online friend I EVER had. How fortuitous...ah've ALWAYS enjoyed your presence and company. I have considered your friendship to be a blessing and an honor. You are one of the most 'real' people I know. But this has been reinforced over the course of many years of consistent action words and action. When you first opened shop with your 'partner', I remember things got pretty ugly. You've come ah loooooong way since then Miss Perrie.  

My time on NV set the stage for coming to "Newstalkers" and opening the doors and windows to "Timeys Place". There was a time when NV was full of trolls. My efforts to create a small circle of 'friends' on NV lead me to create a 'safe haven' free of trolls here on Newstalkers'. A place where people could come together and socialize, build and develop friendships while fostering a sense of community. Having fun together while we got to know each other inna relaxed, comfortable, caring atmosphere. That was and IS my goal. Personally...I felt like it was working and unfolding as intended. We fostered mutual respect despite getting sorta raunchy at times, but it was all in fun. Trolls weren't tolerated and neither were the trouble makers stirring things up. They went away...or got the boot, but that was only a couple three.                       

But I digress...bottom line, I think a person's personality/heart ultimately resonates through their words. And just like in 'real' "Time"...it takes "Time" to sift the wheat from the chaff...and my online friendships are just as meaningful as my real "Time" friendships. Both require an investment of tolerance, caring, appreciation, understanding, patience, respect and forgiveness...riiiiight...?

HUGE CYBER HUGS TO ALL MY LONG "TIME" FRIENDS POSTING HERE...YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE...!!! It feels great to be HOME again!

...TL steps down from his soap box...faces her Grace.."M'Lady" ...he removes his hat with a low sweeping bow... 

"Eternally in your service M'Lady..."

Time Lord

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Participates
link   Nowhere Man  replied to  Time Lord   4 years ago

Well my friend, your the guy that brought me here, been a few years and a handle change so I know you don't recognize me.......

All I can say is thank you. you were a light in a very dark place....

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Time Lord   4 years ago

My Dear Lord,

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, but I missed the resurrection of my old article. It is with great joy that I see you have found it again and also that you have found me again, as well. 

I can totally understand your position with friends. I too, like you didn't just acquire friends, for the sake of a number, but for the connections made. And yes, often that takes Time. 

You said:

But I digress...bottom line, I think a person's personality/heart ultimately resonates through their words. And just like in 'real' "Time"...it takes "Time" to sift the wheat from the chaff...and my online friendships are just as meaningful as my real "Time" friendships. Both require an investment of tolerance, caring, appreciation, understanding, patience, respect and forgiveness...riiiiight...?

And I would have to agree with you 100%., especially the part about, tolerance, caring, appreciation, understanding, patience, respect and forgiveness. It is very easy with the written word to have a misunderstanding which could lead to a falling out. But with the qualities you described, that can be overcome. 

It warms my heart to see you back and posting. You have been missed by many, including myself. Again, sorry for not seeing this sooner. 

Please accept my humble apology. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
link   TᵢG    4 years ago
I personally don't enter into a friend's article if I know that our points of view are too different to find a common ground and it will damage a friendship. 

Exactly!

One thing I have learned in my years of experience in this type of a forum is that there are precious few cyber friendships that can survive disagreement (not even heated disagreement - just disagreement).   A simple rule is thus 'do not disagree with a friend'.


My private (and informal) 'friends' list consists of individuals I am willing to engage (in agreement or disagreement) in a friendly manner.   Every new name is automatically on that list.   Those who come off that list are individuals who demonstrate that they will use dishonest tactics - especially if I was on the receiving end. 

Thus, in result, if someone shows a pattern of dishonest discourse (use of slimy tactics) with me I will likely consider them a non-friend and presume their comments to be hostile.   My responses, if any come, will not be friendly.

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
Junior Participates
link   Nowhere Man  replied to  TᵢG   4 years ago
Thus, in result, if someone shows a pattern of dishonest discourse (use of slimy tactics) with me I will likely consider them a non-friend and presume their comments to be hostile.   My responses, if any come, will not be friendly.

Amen...

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  TᵢG   4 years ago

Tig,

Again, please accept my apologies for not seeing this sooner.

I would have to agree with you, that disagreements are hard to overcome in the cyberworld. I have never really understood why. For that reason, I try not to disagree with those I don't know well. I would hope that to those who really know me, that our friendship could withstand a disagreement.. putting more value on the friendship than the disagreement. I have run into this once too often, and sadly I have lost some friendships along the way.

As for dishonesty, that is a biggie with me as well. Honesty, is at the root of every relationship no matter how casual, and it a person can't be honest, then there is nothing. 

I always assume the best of a person, but if that trust is betrayed by a lie or continuous deception, then for me the relationship is over. I will remain congenial, but the my opinion of that individual is pretty much unfixable and I adapt my behavior to defensive mode. Happily this has not happened to often.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Principal
link   Krishna  replied to  TᵢG   4 years ago
One thing I have learned in my years of experience in this type of a forum is that there are precious few cyber friendships that can survive disagreement (not even heated disagreement - just disagreement).   A simple rule is thus 'do not disagree with a friend'.

With a few rare exceptions, I have also found that to be true with friends online.

But ironically, I have friends offline with whom we can have numerous disagreements and still remain good friends.

Which raises an interesting question-- why is there such a difference between the online world-- and offline?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
link   TᵢG  replied to  Krishna   4 years ago
... why is there such a difference between the online world-- and offline?

I think because the consequences in real life are harsher thus people tend to be more patient / tolerant with one another.   Also, I think most people are careful to play disagreement only as far as the strength of the friendship.   For example, you might have political disagreement with someone you have known for 6 months but you would be guarded.   However, for someone you have know for 10 years you might have a much larger playing field in which you can confidently disagree.   Real life friends generally know each other much better than cyber friends so the cyber playing field is much smaller and more likely to have its bounds surpassed.

And, it seems, cyber friends are considered largely as expendable.   So why not disagree fully?   If two people can disagree honestly and remain friends then cool.  But if the 'friend' turns out to be less-than-honest then it is no big deal discarding the friendship (which is now poisoned and was probably never genuine in the first place) and move on.

 
 
 
Enoch
Masters Participates
link   Enoch    4 years ago

Dear Friend Perrie Halperin and All Contributors to This Important Topic: Internet and real life are not the same thing.

That said, people are people, for good and all where ever you encounter them.

Where I have met in person people  interacted with on line, I am pleased to report that 100% of them were positive events.

Most of what I do on line here, as at the news vine falls into a few simple categories of activity.

Identify research and present topics of universal scope range and domain.

Try to create a discussion thread where every one is encouraged to share their heritage and original thoughts and views on the matter. 

Keep an atmosphere of cordiality.

One where people can come, read, comment, and not be disrespected or personally attacked.

I like to co-author articles with people whose views are other than mine.

It is good for a site to see the following.

There is more than one way to address things with which all of us have to deal.

People can disagree, and still find common ground on which to work together in harmony, fellowship and mutual respect. 

As a Chaplain my private notes here, as vine mail at the recently closed news vine site is always open to anyone who wants and needs pastoral care.

Over the years, retaining confidentiality, and respecting the values and lifestyles of one and all with whom I interact, mostly through private email and telephone conversations.

Bringing people together who have trouble so doing, helping to save salvageable marriages and family break ups, where they cannot be reinvigorated working with anyone interested to assist in best possible outcomes, prevent suicides, get people help they need in whatever way they need it locally to them, end of life pastoral care and help to those in mourning thereafter. 

Most of what I do in the internet is not done in public, for reasons obvious.

Friendship is good.

As with all things, context makes some things appropriate or not so.

The internet, like real life is largely what we choose to make of it.

Peace, Abundant Blessings and Many Good Friends On and Off Line.

Enoch.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Enoch   4 years ago

Hello Enoch, 

I agree that internet friendship and real life friendships are not the same thing to start, but they can become the same thing over time. It really depends on the effort put into them. Some of the most wonderful people I have met from the internet. We went on to become real life friends and my life is richer for it. 

But of course, most of the people that I talk to on the site, or more like cordial friendships. 

I would like to highlight something you said:

People can disagree, and still find common ground on which to work together in harmony, fellowship and mutual respect. 

Everyday I see people who don't seem to like one another unless they agree.. usually on politics, but sometimes with religion, and I am kind of stunned. Can you like someone if you don't agree on a subject? I know that I can. 

As for your work here on NT, your insight has been invaluable. I know that many people feel that way. Also the co-authorships allow for people to share, and with that comes community. And at the root of everything here, NT is a community. 

Thanks for all that you do! 

 
 
 
Studiusbagus
Sophomore Participates
link   Studiusbagus    4 years ago

I started on MSN chat years ago. Friendships were different then as they are now especially noticed on Facebook, Twitter, and even this site.

 I joined a group called the "40's and 50's bar and Grille" Chatrooms had themes so your interaction followed along most times. I say that by using that room as my example, there were plenty of other style rooms that may not have produced bonds as we did. We even worked our schedule of vacation to meet with other members in Louisville at the same time. We exchanged gifts.

 Today? Not so much. The internet has not only gotten more savvy, it's become alot more paranoid. There are a few I could manage to meet still, but the innocence of human nature is lost here. Deceptions abound. We have become numb to the signs of integrity noticed or expected from other people. Cynical huh?

With the exception of a close few, I keep my cards pretty close to my chest.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
link   author  Perrie Halpern R.A.    4 years ago

Poppa Joe,

In the time that you have been here, I have found you very warm and friendly. So I don't think that you are as closed off from new internet friends, as maybe afraid to be hurt on some level. I get that. I have had it happen. 

Call me a cockeye optimist, but I still enjoy the friendships that I make and for the most part, they have been positive. I think the few times that I have been burnt (and some of them really big time), the good people I have met, have more than made up for the bad ones.

With great risk can come great reward. Just food for thought. 

 
 
 
Nona62
Professor Silent
link   Nona62    4 years ago

TL  !!    I have missed you so much!!  So....when is TL's Place opening?    We had soooo much fun there. I have missed it.

Welcome back. Big hugs

 
 
 
Nona62
Professor Silent
link   Nona62    4 years ago

  TL  .......I was Tzia back in the day...