Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Are Social Media Friends Real Friends?

This has been the question on many lips recently. How seriously can you take the connections you make online?

It’s easy to the outside world to under estimate the unique connection that is available to us online however sometimes within the social media arena it’s easy to forget that although we may or may not have met these people face to face the emotions we feel are the exact same as the traditional relationships we have. We feel love, friendship, happiness, laughter and sometimes frustration or even anger…just as life as we know it.

For me I have always felt like I was different and although I have always had many friends there was always that element of difference. So when I went to work on cruise liners it was like all of those people who “were different” in their home towns we all had that common ambition that drive and determination to make a difference…to be free. We felt at home, we felt understood. Over 1500 crew members from all over the world our up bringing were totally different but that didn’t matter because we had a mutual respect and understanding of what we were doing and why we were there. When I got home it was hard to settle back into normal life in fact it took years to adapt but it was still that feeling of finding people who understood “me”.

It’s that same feeling I get when I’m online because truth be told very few people in my day to day life actually know and understand what it is I “do” whether it be they don’t understand or they don’t care because they are not career orientated. So it’s that feeling of isolation and having that network to bounce off.

Social media brings all of these people together in life to brainstorm, to encourage and to support. You connect with people and you relate with people; some more then others, just like in life and its matter of putting yourself out there and building relationships, friendships and connections. Some people you will love some you will like and maybe some people you will loathe and that’s ok because that’s life and you take the good with the bad. But for me there is definitely more good then bad!

I have come to love the people I have connected with it is refreshing to have a whole bunch of like minded people to bounce off and they get it. It’s such a diverse range of people all with something to share and story to tell. Personally I love the support and for me it is very real and I am a better person for knowing these people, they allow me to grow and be myself. What more could you want.


Dorothy said...

I'm with you, Renee! Most of my online friends are people I would not normally meet in real life, but have because we had something in common - a particular outlook in life, a sense of humour, values, etc.

While I'm not in business and don't really use FB for business networking, I love that I've met people who are and whom I can support and learn from, like yourself, Amanda, Debbie, Larna, Emma and others. You all inspire me and show me different ways of making it on your own. I may use that one day, or not, but regardless of that, I value your online presence and contribution to my life.

I recently had an experience with a FB friend who decided to separate their online and "real" friends in two separate profiles. I actually have been following this person for a few years and really admired what they were doing, even met them a couple of times. However, I actually felt a bit miffed to be put in the "online" basket, as if that wasn't a real relationship. And I guess to this person it isn't.

I understand about having a separate business and personal presence online, but if you are going to invite people to be your friends on your personal profile, than I would expect that that's just what it would be. Personal...

Thanks for another great post, Renee!

Bra Queen said...

My pleasure Dorothy!

Alot of people are separating the 2 but for me some of my "real" friends just don't understand like me "online" friends so I wont be doing it.

Thanks for your support
Renee xx

MadCow said...

Renee, this is so timely for me! I've just been wondering something similar, but you've put it into words I couldn't string together.

I think there are some connections you meet online that stick. Some a great learning experiences (as horrible as they may be) but you DO meet some awesome people and just feel like you've known them forever.

I think the trap can be thinking everyone is like that. It's just like in the "real" world, our here on solid ground - you don't connect with everyone.

And you dont' get to see faces or tones of voice or expressions, which can make someone seem something they aren't.

The brainstorming and connecton and networking can be awesome.

Love your work (agian :))

Bra Queen said...

Thanks Amanda,

That's it you put your faith into people and most times it's great but sometimes there is disappointment. Such as life :)
At the end of the day we can still choose the type of people we want to surround ourselves with.

Renee xx

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