So, i've been putting thought into the whole notion of online friendships as of late, and i've been trying to pinpoint exactly where i stand on them. On the one hand, there's no physical contact with people you chat to over msn/email/online games, and sometimes you don't even know what the other person looks like. On the other hand however, surely the enjoyment you get from chatting and interacting with these people is no less "real" than that shared with people in a physical social environment.
I've been chatting online for many year now, as far back as 11 or 12 years old if i remember correctly, and in that time i've had friends come and go on and off line. I've fallen out with people from school, and people i've met through forums. I've felt emotionally attatched to people i've met online and off. I think it's reaching a point where i value my online friends just as much as those i have offline.
It's easy to become an object of ridicule for a statment such as that, as you open yourself up to the whole "you don't have any REAL friends, they're all miles away on a computer" but i don't think that should make a huge difference to how a friendship developes. I have made some pretty amazing friends online, whether they're through jpop forums (AHS) or online games (FF) i value them all. If they're unhappy, i'm there to listen to them. If they have some good news, i'm genuinely happy for them. If they just wanna vent, once again, i'm willing to hear them out. These are all aspects of a normal offline friendship, so in employing them online, you're pretty much breaking down the barrier of distance and computer.
I suppose i should stop now though, as i feel myself beginning to ramble aimlessly. I'll just finish with a short list of those who mean a lot to me (using screen-names):
(FF): Souel, Arnor, Milie, Rifu, Miry, Brigett, Hye, Halidar (don't ask me why :P)
(AHS): Soysaucestar, Pommy, Cory, Sxesven, Chibinina, Yvette.
Many of the AHS member's are no longer around, but i still consider them great friends.
Thankyou everyone, i value your friendship's greatly.
(and apologies to anyone i care about who was left off the list, i'm typing this on the fly and haven't actually got a full list to pick from lol.)
A breath of fresh air
5 years ago