Online Friends are Real Friends

I caught myself the other day referring to a blogger online, and was stumped as to what to call her.

An online friend?


Blogger I know?

I settled for friend, but it got me thinking: do people think it’s really freaking weird that I can say that I have friends that I’ve never met in my life?

(Similar to people you have “met” online but don’t get along with. What do you call them? Enemies? People you don’t like? Person you’ve never met in real life but think you could definitely NOT get along with them?)

I don’t even know what’s considered “normal”, but when I first started using the Internet, I played an online RPG (role playing game) for about 3 years.

And I made some pretty good friends whom I managed to work out a lot of problems with and got help from.

So to me, it’s normal.

I’ve been doing it all my life.

You can say things to strangers you’d never tell your closest friends

Odd to say out loud (errr.. type?) but true.

I can blog about things I’ve never mentioned to my friends or family, and privately, I have email conversations with other bloggers and readers I’ve never met or seen a picture of, about real personal problems and doubts.

With that in mind, we basically act like we’ve known these online people for years, rather than treating them as strangers.

Generally, there is no money involved

Sure, we make a little advertising dough here and there (still waiting to hit $100 on Adsense, but who’s keeping count any more? :P), but it’s not enough to pay the bills and live off the income.

(Not that I’d want to. Don’t get me wrong. I love blogging but I love doing my real job more.)

Generally speaking, everyone on the web who does any of the following:

  • write tutorials
  • blog about their experiences
  • write about tips
  • warn people about review services and products
  • support each other
  • pass the word along about someone’s post/business/idea

…are doing it just to be helpful, or just for fun.

It’s also a little bit of a challenge, being able to find the answer, or the right product to match what people are looking for.

We’re doing all of this stuff, being generous, supportive, patient, and helpful for free.

No one is paying those awesome, independent IT blogs to write those screen shot tutorials on what to do in programs, or to solve problems.

No one is paying forum members to write back thoughtful responses and help each other out online, with their honest, raw opinions.

Faceless can be good sometimes.

For instance, has anyone visited

No? Just me? 😛

Well if you suffer from chronic skin problems, it’s pretty helpful to read about experiences, testimonials and just to get help.

In fact, I think just reading and browsing the posts and answers helped me figure out how to take better care of my skin and to stop overloading it with product, which had a huge impact on how great my skin is now.

We are connecting in a “disconnected” world

Just the other day, I went through something kind of difficult.

I didn’t call my best friend (it was too early in the morning), and to be frank I wasn’t sure she’d understand why I was so emotional.

In fact, I wasn’t sure if I could even talk to her without breaking down in tears.

So I wrote out a huge long email to an online friend, and got it off my chest.

It helped hold back the raw emotion and tears, because I was typing, rather than speaking.

Odd, right?

She immediately replied to my email and we had a good email discussion, which helped me put the issue to bed and get over what happened the night before.

The power in the kindness of someone I have never met or talked to, whom I now call a friend.

I know that I can just go on Twitter, or blog and find a range of answers to almost any question I can imagine.

It’s kind of amazing when you think about it.

What do you think?



New Age of Technology we’re entering?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.