I was talking online to someone this week and the conversation got round to social sites. ” Of course” I was told ” you can’t make friends online. Not real ones. Plenty of acquaintances but not real friends”. As the conversation ended it set me thinking. I’ve often referred to some of the people I have on Social sites as friends. Could I be wrong?
I’ve been using social sites for quite a long time. From private members sites to Facebook, twitter and Gather.com. I think the first person I met that I named friend was on a private members site. He’s a lawyer from the U.S. called James. He thinks I’m friends so that I always have a lawyer to call on should I need one but in fact he’s been there as a dependable friend and confidante through some major crises in both our lives health wise and has often helped me in a fraud sideline. We reached a point of gifts at birthdays and Christmases that require real thought and indicate a real friendship.
Not all friendships can last of course as sometimes people go in different directions. I had another long lasting friendship that led to a really nice lady editing my books for me before they went on the Indie publishing sites. The fact that we did go separate ways in the end doesn’t diminish the friendship we had in my eyes. Of course because these are social sites we meet people on the ether from all over the known world. The internet makes it easy to laugh at distance. I was very fortunate that one young lady was due to come to the UK as an Envoy for her school and a youth group. Julia, Yvonne and I had the opportunity to meet her for a short time as she ventured close to Wales. We had been writing for a long time as she’s also an author, and yes, many of my friends are authors since it’s a common interest. In the case of this young lady I’d also been writing to her mother so she felt secure in letting her daughter meet us. What happened? Well we arrived at where she was waiting for us and she immediately ran to Julia and hugged her. To Julia!!!!!! It was me had done all the writing. But yes, I got my hugs as did Yvonne. I still write to Patti and I still consider her a friend and not an acquaintance.
I have friendships all over America. One in particular with a talented lady who trusted me enough to share her problems with me and who took a real interest in mine. That’s a big part of it for me, the fact that a friendship is based on sharing the problems or the fun with someone who doesn’t just want to talk about themselves or their latest book. One of my greatest treasures is an Hungarian Aussie who sends about eight one line messages a day which are responded to in one line responses. We make them as funny as possible and delight in scoring points off each other. And yet, when Julia died, this friend was there for me with messages of comfort and help.Thank you Andrea.
If I added the name of all those I’ve come to call friend and the reasons we’d be here all day but there are some exceptional people I must remember. So I’m going to say thank you to those who’ve proved themselves cast in the correct role and please don’t think that this is a complete listing. I will forget some here and kick myself later when I realise it. Pauline ,Metan, Normandie, Earl ( Gather), Wendy (Gather) Renata, Mary J., Jolyse, Lorene, Lori, Chris (ASMSG) Grey (ASMSG), Niamh, Angelika, and more recently Martine. I’m more grateful than most of you will ever know. If I’ve forgotten to name someone it’s not that I don’t count you as friend it’s purely the sign of an ageing memory. Please forgive me and know I still value you greatly.
I’m adding an edit to the post at this point as I need to add a friend I greatly value whom I was not sure would appreciate inclusion when I first wrote this. She was not amongst the friends I was remiss in not adding by accident but rather on purpose. She is yet another writer and her name is Sherie. An author of good books she has become a friend in a relatively short space of time and after the death of my beloved Julia was hugely supportive. I owe you thanks Sherie. xx Hugs xx
Take it from me, you certainly can make a good and lasting friendship on Social Sites even though you may never meet the person. If you’re open to friendship it can come from the most surprising directions.