Internet Friendships – True Stories of Friendship and Love Bridging the Miles

As we all spend more and more time online more of our friends will be people we have met online. Does a friendship require that you meet up in the real world? Can an online friendship evolve into a romantic relationship? Can online friendships compare to those you form in school?

My Online Friends

My life revolves around the Internet. It wasn’t always like that, I used to teach and meet real people every day. I have just two friends from my 28 years of teaching. Since I started working online four years ago and meeting virtual people I have made too many friends to count.

Now I know you can debate whether those people are real friends or not, but they fit my definition of friends. A friend to me is someone who will put himself or herself out to help me, someone who cares about my well-being.

I have made friends thousands of miles away, who I will probably never meet, but who would put me up for the night if I was ever within 20 miles of them and phoned. Some of these people I have not spoken to in two years, because our daily lives have diverged, but I know they are still there for me if I need their help.

My friendships largely evolved through contacts at InfoBarrel.com, MyBlogGuest.com and MyBlogU.com. I talk to people on Twitter chats, Google Hangouts and forums; sometimes we hit it off and our friendships have become deeper.

In 2010 I found the InfoBarrel forum to be a great source of friendship and the emotional support that I needed at that time after losing my job. I found that people were super-helpful on writing-related topics and in turn I shared the knowledge that I had. I can recommend InfoBarrel to any writer who is looking to make friends online.

In 2014 I joined MyBlogU at the site’s launch and have had many conversations with other bloggers that have arisen from our interactions on the site. I can wholeheartedly recommend MyBlogU.com to any blogger who is looking for online friends; people on the site help each other out even when they are working in different niches.

Others’ Online Friends

I asked people at MyBlogU.com about their ideas on online friendships in a brainstorm request. There were six replies from: Tat Apostolova, Jeevan Jacob John, Mark W Kuglin, Daniel Garcia, Pete Kontakos and Erica Martin.

A few people made the point that friends and acquaintances are not the same and that friendships are not all the same, that some are deeper than others. A few people told me of online friendships that have led to romance and marriage and I know several real world couples who have met through online working relationships and dating sites including uDate.com and AOL.

Friends often evolve from working relationships and mutual friends on social media sites. Even a social media cynic like me has to think that making real friends through Twitter or Facebook might just counteract all the pointless noise that these channels generate.

One contributor told me how he made real-life friends using Facebook by commenting on friends posts and then looking up other people who commented on the same post and making direct contact.

One woman told me of bloggers from the Australian community site Digital Parents who have become real world friends who meet up regularly.

BlogEngage.com comes highly recommended as a means to build meaningful relationships with other bloggers in similar areas by helping one another out in small ways. The site is organised to help you find bloggers with similar or complementary interests.

Special Online Friendships

One friend from the Philippines told me of online friends he made through the backpacker site, HelpX.net – who had visited him and who later sent him financial help when he was affected by a typhoon. These are people who would have loved to be there to physically help, but distance and other commitments meant that that was not an option, but they were able to help with money to pay for food and local help.

The Internet allows friendships that would be frowned upon in the real world, such as those between men and women of widely differing ages. One person told me the moving story of how he met his online virtual daughter on Twitter because they were tweeting on the same subject. He will never meet her, but it is still a very deep friendship that could only have evolved online.

Your Internet Friends

Do you have online friends, people you can count on to be there for you when you need them? Would you like to share your own story in the comments below? We would love to hear about your online friendships . . . Click in the comments box below.

Hippie

Six Ways To Determine If Your Best Friend Is A Hippie

If you suspect that your best friend may be a hippie but aren’t quite sure how to tell for certain, there are several signs that indicate membership in the hippie tribe. Once believed to be almost extinct during the glitzy, dark years of the 1980s, the American hippie has made a comeback and is now thriving in a variety of urban, suburban, and rural settings across the country. Closely related to the American hipster, the American hippie is nonetheless a unique species that has taken its rightful place as a permanent fixture in the country’s cultural landscape. Following are several sure signs that your best friend is a hippie.

hippie_sallyannfield.com-15

The Typical Diet of the American Hippie

The American hippie lives mainly on a diet of locally grown vegetation. Hippies who consume animal products at all generally stick with eggs from free-range chickens, artisan cheeses made from the milk of goats and sheep, wild salmon and meat from animals raised in bucolic pastures rather than in corporate farm feedlots. Healthy hippies usually have glowing skin, shiny hair and are brimming with basic good health as a result of their diets.

Shopping Accessories

A proper hippie never goes to the farmers market, the food coop or even a traditional supermarket without his or her trademark reusable tote bag. These tote bags may be plain, personalized with embroidery or splashed with vibrant colors and patterns, and they are always made from cotton. Hippies generally keep several toes bags in their vehicles or bicycle racks in case they forget to grab one on their way out the door to go food shopping. A careful examination of your friend’s personal items will reveal an abundance of cotton tote bags if that person is indeed a hippie.

One-of-a-Kind Jewelry

You will never find the American hippie wearing mass produced jewelry that appears to have come from a department store display case. Hippies naturally gravitate toward handcrafted personal adornment items, and they have a particular affection for jewelry created by Native American artisans from the American Southwest.

Tie-Dye as a Cultural Indicator

One of the surest signs that someone is a hippie is that they wear tie-dyed clothing on a regular basis. However, some don’t stop at wearing tie-dye but decorate their homes with it as well. It is not at all unusual to see a pair of tie-dyed curtains at the window of a modern hippie.

Hippies Go Green

Hippies recycle paper, metal and plastic products, plant trees and generally treat the Earth with kindness and respect. Most hippies do not smoke, and those who do refrain from littering the ground with their cigarette butts or needlessly exposing others to their second hand smoke. Hippies routinely celebrate Earth Day with reverence and commitment and truly believe that we must take good care of the Earth because it is our home.

Hippies Have Hair

Early versions of the American hippie were easily distinguished by their trademark abundance tresses. Although many other modern Americans have long, full heads of hair, hippie hair tends to be bereft of elaborate styling or unnatural dyes. It is usually shiny and soft, however, due to the healthy properties of the American hippie diet.

Hippies tend to be happy and healthy beings, so consider yourself lucky if you should discover proof that your best friend is a member of their tribe.