How’s things? Yes, I realise this week’s entry is somewhat late. Not that there’s a schedule or anything. Well, other than a personal promise to try and get a post per week. Still, now is the Easter of our content, so knickers to rules and work; time to kick back, enjoy the spring weather and try to avoid snaffling too many eggs 🙂
Having been away and missed Chameleons, this made me think about friendships. Modern friendships seem, at least to me, very different to pre-Internet ones. I mean, before the web and social media, you could visit a friend, ring for a chat or – hold to your hats, kids – write to them via snail-mail. Now, things are much more connected and the word ‘friend’ seems to have altered a little. I won’t lay this solely at the door of GoogleBookFace, but I’m sure social media’s had an impact.
I struggle with the word friend and by that, I mean it’s more than someone you sort of know. I can be friendly with someone, but they may not be an actual friend. A colleague at work, or the parent of one of my kid’s mates, etc. There are People I Know (PIKs? ED) which is a reasonable list, as it is with anyone who doesn’t live in a cave on their own.Some of the Chams massive are PIKs, just like the folk at work, on the school run and via the Ever Lovely Mrs J’s social circle. Then, from that, there are people I’d consider friends. People who I will make the time to keep up with, chat to, email or call, etc, and if I’m lucky, they’ll do the same. I guess for me, a friend is someone I care about.
So, here’s a question: can people you only know through t’Interwebs be friends? I’m going to go with yes on this one. I’ve met people through tech forums (yes, I’m a geek) and also trans forums, and these people have moved from People I Know to friends. People who’ve shared deep and very personal conversations with me (no, not cyber, you perv! 😀 ). I keep in touch with them, and vice versa. This doesn’t mean there aren’t times when we don’t speak for ages. So it goes with ‘real world’ friendships too. People are busy-busy-busy, and there are times when you’ve got to juggle your priorities. I find it strange, and cool, in that there are some folk, where you can not see each other for months, and then when you meet, you just hit it off as if little time as passed. Good times.
Looking at the darker side of social media, while it helps you stay in touch, is it lighter, less deep and real than a ‘real world’ friendship? Are we falling into the traps of Fear of Missing Out (been there, I’ll be honest), or judging ourselves based on the twisted prism of what other’s are posting? Is this friendship, so we can chat with mates and share their joys and woes, or is this just a machine for collecting advertising revenue and pushing the Look At Me mentality?