Thursday, March 17, 2011

Another Friendship Issue......

I got some really good comments on yesterday's post concerning friendship.  Several commenters raised some thought provoking questions, and that got me to thinking last night about an enormous issue that is going on right (literally) below our noses.

We all know there is a revolution continuing in our world, and it grows every day in every country---electronic communications.

Up until only about 20 years ago, people the world over socialized and made friends and sustained friendships the same way they had done it since human beings first roamed the earth---they met each other in person, conversed in person or by telephone and sustained their friendship by actually knowing one another by having a face-to-face relationship.

Today, that age-old method of creating and sustaining friendships is changing, whether we like it or not.

Today, our children "meet" other people on the computer or on their cell phones.  They "converse" by texting or E-Mailing.  They will tell you that most of their "friends" are people they have never met---and may never meet.
Even we adults are creating relationships on Facebook, MySpace and Blogger with folks we have never met.  This is a huge revolution in social interraction.  In another 20 years, I cannot even imagine how we will define "friend" or "friendship".


---Is a follower on Blogger---someone you probably will never meet---a true friend?  In 20 years, do you think your answer will be different than it is today?

---Sociologists say that children of today are losing the ability to relate in a face-to-face manner.  What kind of world is this creating?

---Do you have any strictly on-line relationships that you would classify as "friendship"?


  1. Actually I have met two friends from cyberland,
    one a blogger and the other on FB. Both at Nashville. Both were very nice people but I never wrote about them as they wanted me not to.
    It was a strange expereience but all went well and who knows if I go to Nashville again I hope we will all meet up.


  2. I have met people on line that have become friends, but it is rare. While I do agree we are loosing touch with human contact, this cyber thing has allowed me to meet great people I would have never know otherwise. There is good and bad in everything.

  3. I've 'met' some wonderful souls thru blogging that I have truly bonded with. In addition to exchanging blog love, we've traded emails and packages via the mail service and customs. I definitely consider these people friends as they are willing to reach out to me to vent or share and are willing to listen to my worries as well. Even tho we may never meet, I adore them and love them like I've known them a long, long time. To me, they are priceless.

  4.'s a mixed bag. The social media has offered incredible opportunities to meet people and more importantly, re-unite with old friends who we have lost contact with. My husband and I will be singing at a wedding for a couple that found each other over the internet. They had previously known each other from school, but lost contact and went their different ways. Time past, lives unfolded, and they eventually re-discovered each other. Then, they met IN PERSON.

    Another good thing about social media sites is that they enable a person to actually say MORE. For people that are easily intimidated, that is a key factor. BUT, I have noticed that though the opportunity to say more is there - most people actually say LESS.

    Clint, like the saying goes: I don't know what the future holds but I do know who holds the future.

    I cling to that.

    God Bless You~

  5. Yvonne---thank you for your always wonderful input. Apparently, Nashville has everything...but a slide. Heh heh.

  6. Texwis---I understand. Before I go any further let me reiterate that I met Cindy on-line when I was looking for a pen pal. This was ten years ago or so, and all our friends told us that it would never work out because (fill in the blank). Now, a few short years later, on-line is the way most people meet. Ha.

  7. Shay---you make an excellent point. You do have the ability to say more on-line. If someone is shy, they are likely to make more input on-line than in person.

  8. Wow! This is a great post! Thought provoking! I missed the other post yesterday...I went back and read it but I'll focus on this post today. :)

    Some people consider online relationships "less that" face to face ones. I don't think one is any "worse" or "better" than the other, but they are very different. But different does not mean less meaningful. I have been on a certain message board for 6 years, and over the years I have been extremely blessed by it. It is for believers. I don't mention it much elsewhere because for me, it is a "haven" of sorts...I have shared many things in that forum that I might never share with people in real life. I think online gives a certain amount on anonymity which can be a blessing for some folks who don't have IRL (in real life) support. For example, on this board, women have confessed to abuse going on in their homes behind closed doors that no one IRL knows about...through this forum, they've become educated on how to protect themselves and their children, and where to go for help. They don't get that kind of support IRL because they don't tell, or feel they wouldn't be believed. People share their hearts in such a way that they could not face to face, for whatever reason: fear, judgment, embarrassment, etc. I think that can be a blessing. For introverts like me, the internet is a great place for friendship, because I express myself much better in this medium than in a face to face conversation.

    But there's always a flip side, a dark side, as with anything. Satan can always come and pervert any kind of communication. We have to be on guard.

    I'm sure I'll have more thoughts...when I think of them, I'll come back! :)

  9. Really great post! I do have friends online. But I also have friends in real life too. I am concerned about the issue you brought up of children not interacting with other kids. How will they learn politeness and citizenship?

  10. I don't think I've have found true friends through blogging. I think I've developed relationships that could become true friendship
    given the right circumstances. Without face to face contact I feel a bit like a mail order bride :-). Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. Great Question!

    No one loves blogging more than I do. But I've learned that blogger "friends" come and go kinda like some so called real friends do at times.

    I think cyber friends are important and can fulfill a void that real live flesh and blood friends can't and vice versa. But when push comes to shove I'll take my real life family and friends every time :-)


  12. I scrolled down to read several of your past posts including this one. I loved everything that I read here - about your marriage to Cindy, about your thoughts on face to face friends... and now todays post on cyberspace friendships.

    I love my face to face friends. No one can really replace that kind of friendship.

    But I also love my online friends - the few who are really friends, and have become real life friends as well. It is different on blogger or face book... so easy to come and go. No real commitments. But you do come across real friends, the kind who are committed, and are not only after your visits or comments. I think online friends are precious, too!

    THanks for the deep thoughts I read on your blog place.


  13. I missed two blogger friends who had stopped blogging. They are my friends even though we have not met.

  14. you pose a lot of interesting questions, clint. i've connected with a few bloggers in person... two i will consider lifelong friends as we really hit it off. another was much different in person than the impression i got online.

    john and i reconnected after high school via myspace.=)

  15. Clint,
    I have met nice people on blogger. Yet true friendship is shared experiences, locality, and like mindedness. I believe friendships can be fostered, especially on blogger, if the person is real. I have a friend who met someone on "paltalk" in a Christian chat room. She invited this person into her home. Needless to say, that relationship lasted about 5 days, before she had her husband to tell her friend to leave. Seems that nothing this woman had said in the chat room was true. It turned into a nightmare for her.
    Yet I have met with people on paltalk that was in close proximity to the locality to where I was. A couple of them went to the church I use to attend. I consider these people friends. There were shared experiences, and luncheon meetings. These were friends. And we became friends from paltalk not church. Church just gave us shared experiences to talk about.

  16. It's called Buddy List, but for me it's always "first known" and maybe after a while may be "good friends".

    With the word friend,and that means for me a person where I can count on by 100 %, I'm doing myself hard, because it takes a long time and has to prove himself.

  17. this is a great question, I think the todays eletronick help the friendship only if people are intelligent...

    internet help a lot for example naw in north africa and rebellions...

    your posting is always intresting Clint, congratulation

  18. Over the past 12 years online has been a big part of my life. Yes I had face to face friendships but a good 50% of the face to face came from friendships that I made online, meeting them in person. Some come and go and some have continued to be my friend, from phone calls to texting on phone to online ways. Now that I had a stroke (November 25, 2009), almost 85-90% of my communicating is online. I moved one month before so I really don't know many people nearby. I have a few "friends" that are on the surface from the church nearby but not any that I classify as true friend. My husband, who I met online, is my best friend and we spend everyday together. Thanks for your post.

  19. It will be interesting to see how this "social media" thing progresses. I am shocked that I have gotten into like I have.

    Just last night I was thinking to myself how it would be fun to go to a party where all of our blogging buddies attended!