Online Friendships: Can They Be Considered Real Friendships?

CCG writer, Daniele, looks into this very controversial topic.

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woodchipper892504d ago

I am not too sure. What do you all think?

BattleN2504d ago

Probably very rare but it's possible!

Army_of_Darkness2504d ago

Hey, if online dating can blossom into a relationship then I don't see why you can't end up having your online friend become real buddies in real life... Not that it's ever happened to me before because I never cared to try, but regardless I still think it's always possible for other gamers out there.

Redrum0592504d ago (Edited 2504d ago )

It depends on how one would define friendship. I know and hang out with many ppl, but only a few would go into harms way or make sacrifices to help me in time of need. JESUS CHRIST defined a friend as being one who layes down his or her life for a loved one.
An online acquaintance being a "friend", I doubt it.

But as BattleN puts it, rare but possible.

Naga2504d ago

Of the people I have met on Xbox Live, I am Facebook friends with some of them and have actually met several in person.

If you think about it, these people you befriend online and play with and talk to for hours and hours on end... You might already be hanging out with them more than your traditional friends. The fact that the venue is digital makes very little difference.

BattleN2504d ago

@Army_of_Darkness I agree, just have to find that one lol

admiralvic2504d ago

"Probably very rare but it's possible!"

It's certainly possible, though I think the rarity depends on the person in question.

Personally speaking, I am an introvert and generally dislike social interaction for a number of reasons. For this reason I don't have many friends and generally talk to people online more than offline. With that being said, my friends online are also closer to traditional friends than the people I know offline.

Back in high school I had like 8 friends in person and they refused to do anything with me because my house was 20 minutes out of the way (I transferred schools) and away from any interesting / fun social locations. My main friend for 9+ years almost never talks to me unless I start a conversation with him, I did not get invited to his wedding, nor have I ever been invited to do anything with him. I've also met a few people in college that were totally like "yeah, lets meet up and do something!" and 4 years later, I got a couple of Facebook friends I never talk to.

Then you look at my online relationships, which paint a different picture. I have one friend who constantly starts conversations with me, gives a darn about my life, is thoughtful (she made me a pillow of the Spelunker for the Winter holidays) and easily the closest non-adult relationship I have had. I met another guy on BioShock 2 a few years back and we became fairly close too. Not only do we talk, he actually bothered to send me a birthday card + gift (outside of the aforementioned girl, no one that I talk to remembers my birthday) and has done a number of nice gestures over the years. I also dated a girl online that I met every now and then, which probably would have resulted in marriage if she wasn't such a touchy feely type of person (I don't like to be touched).

So in the end, I know people in person that want nothing to do with me and I know people online that are friendly / warm. In a lot of ways I would say my online relationships are probably better / healthier than my physical ones, so I suppose I would count them as "real" friends, though again, this is going to vary from person to person.

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KinjoTakemura2504d ago

Do you actually think that any of the "friends" you meet online would ever help you in your time of need? Do you think any of them would even bother going to your funeral if they knew you lived nearby? I treat the internet like any other form of entertainment in my house. If i'm watching a television program, I don't expect any of the actors, news anchors, talk show hosts, or reality tv show participants to actually be my friend if I send them an email telling them how great their show is, and no one should expect someone on your video game console's friend's list to come to your aid in your time of need either. But there are a few and very rare exceptions.

stavrami-mk22504d ago

If ppl turn up at your funeral it don't mean there your mate. when ppl die. Everyone comes out the woodwork declaring there friend ship and love. Even though they were dusting the deceased misses or bad mouthing them a week before. If you have no one at your funeral that's when you know you truly have not pissed ppl off in life

Naga2504d ago

False. If you have nobody at your funeral, that's when you know you haven't impacted anyone in your life.

FogLight2504d ago

I am not a great guy in real life to be quite honest. Kind of insecure as I have really few people whom I could consider "friends" and just spend my days in school with just one of them during the breaks since I consider him my closest friend.

I then joined a community where I met really great people and felt more confident in talking. At first of course were just talking about games and etcetera but after some time, we start trusting each other and build friendships when we talk about different stuff. Whether they are just trivial, or serious stuff, it just takes time to form friendships.

I currently believe that online friendships could be considered real friendships when you take time with them. Just like in real life, it takes time to form them.

MysticStrummer2504d ago

"Just like in real life, it takes time to form them."

Yeah and in both cases people can be deceptive even after you think you know them, but the ones online have extra chances.

I have no doubt that online friends can be as real as the offline variety, but you also have to be more careful who you trust.

FogLight2504d ago

That is true too, but it is the same with people irl. There are people who will show off their true colors when they don't care but in both online and irl.

Just saying, but I do understand that

mushroomwig2504d ago

Definition of friend is 'a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection'

So, yes. Whether or not you know them in real life is irrelevant.

mixelon2504d ago

Of course, lots of friendships start online and transition to rl. They don't suddenly become real friendships the moment you meet. Online friends have helped me out a ton.

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