30Stories: Online and IRL Friendships

Day Three of 30Stories in 30 Days is at Live*Laugh*Write today, where Shawn Leddington asks:

Q: How do you balance between IRL and online friendships? Are they the same or different for you?

Stop on by to read my take on how to determine which relationships to sink your time (and self) into, and hear how Shawn found her small and beautiful Soultribe. 

Your story is important. May you sing it from the rooftops.
 -R

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One Q Interview icon30 Stories in 30Days: I love getting behind the mic. So for my birthday month I’m answering questions and telling stories every single day. Email me your question along with the link to your blog, and I’ll book you a date on my 30Stories whirlwind. Watch for daily YBH (yes, but how) posts on friendly blogs, along with bi-weekly storied podcasts at Magpie Girl.

30Stories 30Days: The Collection

Oct 1:  What is the intersect between work and play and how can I find it?
Oct 2:  How has your spirituality shaped your sexuality?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany October 4, 2010 at 12:11 am

Oo, I liked your answer. A lot of people I know IRL are wary of online friendships (if they think online friendships count at all!), and I find myself getting super-defensive about the terms “real friends” vs. “internet friends.” Are these insightful, encouraging kindred spirits I’ve found across the world not real just because I haven’t talked with all of them face to face? Are our interactions not meaningful because our words are usually written rather than spoken? Thankfully, I have a husband who doesn’t mind letting me run off to Rome to spend the weekend with an internet “stranger. ” :)

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Rachelle October 9, 2010 at 9:57 am

Ah Bethany…we ex-pats really need some on line friends for when the language/cultural barrier hits us upside the head. :-) I’m so glad we got to meet in Rome and spend time at your home. Kiss the kidlets for me!

Love,

R

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melanie October 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I don’t differentiate between IRL friends and online friends, unless I’m talking about an online friend to my parents, for example, who don’t have any experience of “online”.
I met Neil online, Jade met her husband online. I met chel – the friend who told me about your Power Stories course online. I’ve met IRL a lot of my friends who started out as online friends.
Like Bethany, I wonder why people think these are not valid relationships. One of my younger granddaughters godmothers is an online friend, who, sadly, has vanished off the face of the internet. I still miss her, and wonder about her often, and I’m sure that she still misses us – me and her other online friends, despite the fact that she’s the one who vanished.

In my case the internet gives me a huge opportunity that real life doesn’t – I suffer from anxiety disorders and social phobias, and really struggle to meet people face to face. Using the phone is equally difficult. On Sunday I’m meeting a friend I haven’t met yet face to face, but I don’t feel the dread that I would feel if I didn’t already “know” her. For me, and many others like me, the internet gives me a social life and a circle of friends that it would otherwise be impossible for me to make.

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