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Old May 22 2015, 02:16 PM   #1
Hela
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How much do internet friends 'matter'

Hanging around tvtropes last night, I somehow managed to stumble onto this.

http://michellephail.tumblr.com/post/1527791105

For those who can't be bothered, an (apparent) Internet celebrity rallied her followers against a rude 16-year-old fan. Said girl ended up pretty badly cyber bullied by a Twitter hoard, and had a bit of an online meltdown.

What fascinated me about the story was not so much the 'controversy' itself (which was ugly, but depressingly unsurprising), but the young girl's sense of betrayal when her online 'friends' turned on her

I have no doubt that said outpouring of emotion was slightly influenced by the girls age, and I imagine such a torrent of abuse would be extremely upsetting to anyone. However, I admit that i was bamboozled by how surprised she was that these people would turn on her. She seemingly viewed these names on a webpage, as being as trustworthy as her school friends.

The reason I was surprised was that I just don't have that feeling of 'closeness' - I simply never feel like I know people on boards well enough to be 'betrayed' by them. I may like 'Internet' friends based on what they say, but I just don't assume that posts will always represent the entirety of every person. I'm not saying that's the 'right' way to feel, and I'm sure that 99% of people are open and honest. I just personally am too wary of the 1% to be too open with myself on the net.

So my question is this: Do you trust - completely and utterly - 'friends' who you only know from communication over the Internet? Would you consider them to be as close or trustworthy, as a friend/friends you interact with face to face? Or is it the opposite, and you consider Net friends to be more honest?

Last edited by Locutus of Bored; May 22 2015 at 07:34 PM.
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Old May 22 2015, 02:25 PM   #2
ichab
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

Hela wrote: View Post
Hanging around tvtropes last night, I somehow managed to stumble onto this.

http://michellephail.tumblr.com/post/1527791105

For those who can't be bothered, an (apparent) Internet celebrity rallied her followers against a rude 16-year-old fan. Said girl ended up pretty badly cyber bullied by a Twitter hoard, and had a bit of an online meltdown.

What fascinated me about the story was not so much the 'controversy' itself (which was ugly, but depressingly unsurprising), but the young girl's sense of betrayal when her online 'friends' turned on her

I have no doubt that said outpouring of emotion was slightly influenced by the girls age, and I imagine such a torrent of abuse would be extremely upsetting to anyone. However, I admit that i was bamboozled by how surprised she was that these people would turn on her. She seemingly viewed these names on a webpage, as being as trustworthy as her school friends.

The reason I was surprised was that I just don't have that feeling of 'closeness' - I simply never feel like I know people on boards well enough to be 'betrayed' by them. I may like 'Internet' friends based on what they say, but I just don't assume that posts will always represent the entirety of every person. I'm not saying that's the 'right' way to feel, and I'm sure that 99% of people are open and honest. I just personally am too wary of the 1% to be too open with myself on the net.

So my question is this: Do you trust - completely and utterly - 'friends' who you only know from communication over the Internet? Would you consider them to be as close or trustworthy, as a friend/friends you interact with face to face? Or is it the opposite, and you consider Net friends to be more honest?
No to all the above. While there are posters whom I enjoy conversing with I would never consider them on par with my friends.
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Old May 22 2015, 02:30 PM   #3
trekkiedane
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

I trust people on-line to be more honest about their utterings than people IRL.

Basically, I won't smack you one if I don't like what you say on-line... but you should behave like a decent person If you met me IRL...

I like that you can, sometimes, and in some forums, discard the social niceties necessary for decent face-to-face conversation.

There is a BIG difference in how one should understand the word "friend" on-line as opposed to IRL: If you have more than 3-5 friends IRL you may be using the word "friend" in a wrong way... Remember, your friends are the people that would help you get rid of a corpse...
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Old May 22 2015, 03:24 PM   #4
MacLeod
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

Trust is earned not granted automatically. Doesn't matter if it's online or in person.

Some of my closest friends started out on online and progressed onto in person firends.
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Old May 22 2015, 03:45 PM   #5
hux
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

I think having a huge amount of online friends proves that you're a top bloke. Likeable, trustworthy, intelligent, sociable, interesting and generally quite a wonderful person

Both of my online friends would agree
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Old May 22 2015, 03:54 PM   #6
Jedi_Master
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

They matter more than Twitter followers, and less than Instagram followers.
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Old May 22 2015, 04:59 PM   #7
Tora Ziyal
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

Trust issues can be a bit different online than in IRL. You know, the classic cartoon: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

The handful of people I call online friends, yes, I trust them about the same as I trust RL friends. I've been hurt by both, and I've had healthy, close relationships with both. Two of that handful have evolved into close RL friendships.

Most people I know -- online and off -- I consider acquaintances.
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Old May 22 2015, 05:24 PM   #8
cooleddie74
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

It depends. I have Facebook friends that I feel I know better and trust more than some people I've known IRL and for many years. A few of my online friends open up and share their opinions and feelings a lot more frequently than some people I've known since I was a kid. I've met people on The Trek BBS, on message boards and websites related to my interests and on Facebook with whom I have great relationships and regular contact, and have even experienced and shared romantic feelings for and with a few people.

I have a lot of Facebook friends and people I know here whom I enjoy and not only like but even love and respect, and a lot whom I barely know but with whom I share one or two mutual interests and that's all I need to have a pleasant and fun online (albeit casual) friendship with them. Just like human beings you know and see in IRL those you have online span the entire spectrum from great people you have strong affection and even feelings for to those with whom you don't share much at all except perhaps an interest or a hobby.

Do they "matter?" Sure, if they've earned your affection and respect and you enjoy communicating with them. It's all in the eye of the beholder and about how much you and they get out of the online friendship. Besides: with the right people, online friendships can turn into real-life friendships and some of those can turn into even stronger feelings and lifelong bonds.
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Old May 22 2015, 06:32 PM   #9
Kilana2
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

hux wrote: View Post
I think having a huge amount of online friends proves that you're a top bloke. Likeable, trustworthy, intelligent, sociable, interesting and generally quite a wonderful person

Both of my online friends would agree

Sharing a good laugh or running gags is funny.

Internet forums are worthwhile, because you can meet people from all over the world who share your interests.
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Old May 22 2015, 07:14 PM   #10
MacLeod
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

Tora Ziyal wrote: View Post
Trust issues can be a bit different online than in IRL. You know, the classic cartoon: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

The handful of people I call online friends, yes, I trust them about the same as I trust RL friends. I've been hurt by both, and I've had healthy, close relationships with both. Two of that handful have evolved into close RL friendships.

Most people I know -- online and off -- I consider acquaintances.
Well we can all wear masks from time to time, sometimes people who are shy in real life can be more open on-line. Either way on or off line eventually that persons true personality will be revealed.
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Old May 22 2015, 07:38 PM   #11
Locutus of Bored
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

Hela, I kept this thread open since it had more replies.

bbjeg posted (in the duplicate thread):
Two good friends of mine not only met online, but they are now married, and they're perfect for each other.
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Old May 22 2015, 07:58 PM   #12
Chemahkuu
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

Most of my friends are online, largely because most of them are in other countries, they're the best friends I've made and I value them quite a lot.
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Old May 22 2015, 08:15 PM   #13
RandyS
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

I have internet friends?

Since when?
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Old May 22 2015, 08:44 PM   #14
MacLeod
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
Most of my friends are online, largely because most of them are in other countries, they're the best friends I've made and I value them quite a lot.

Isn't that one positive aspect of on-line friends. You can get to know people from various places around the world who you might not normally meet?
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Old May 22 2015, 09:02 PM   #15
J. Allen
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Re: How much do internet friends 'matter'

Yes, I consider my online friends to be on equal footing with my meatspace friends. I cherish them.
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