Social Media Friends: IRL or not so much?

There was an article on a blog I read during the Slice of Life Story Challenge in March (which means I don't know which one exactly since I read so many) that brought up the topic of friends we make through social media--blogs, comments, twitter, etc. I have been pondering on it so much lately because I too have had the thought cross my mind: What happens if my social media friends just stop posting or tweeting? I would not know if they just decided to stop cold-turkey or if a tragedy had occurred. There would be no way to know and no way to help if they needed help. There is not much I can do, so the rational person within me says to stop thinking about it because you can't do anything anyway. But the worry bug bites (and it does quite often) and I start thinking about how I need to give my passwords to my BFF and maybe someone else so they can send a post out along the wires in the event that I can no longer communicate, just in case people might care if I inexplicably dropped out of the picture one day. I know it sounds ridiculous, yet I don't think it really is when you think about it. So many people consider social media not real life and refer to things going on outside of social media as IRL (in real life), but aren't I actually, in real life, sharing my thoughts, creativity, and parts of myself with everyone here reading this?

Please don't misunderstand. I recognize that my live interactions are different, but I refuse to discount the friendships I make with genuine, real people even if I have never met you. There are countless people who visit my blog, leave a comment, and by doing so become part of my support team--part of my real life. I have made friends with a quite a few men and women whom I would miss if I never heard from them again. There are even a handful of them I would miss after a couple days of not interacting because we have become good friends. There are two sweeties on twitter who, almost daily, wish me a good night or a good morning or do a shout out to their peeps about how I am so awesome. Who wouldn't miss that?! Those are definitely part of the rays of sunshine I have glimmering through my tempestuous storm clouds-- in real life. I feel like I have a support group of the virtual sort for my autism aspect of life. One of my autism buddies lives in Hawaii and we have leaned on each other during some really hard moments these past few months. I have a friend who I can tell pretty much anything and I never feel judged. We interact nearly every day even if it's just to make sure the other is alright--especially since we all know I'm not doing alright lately. even the opposite of alright.

So anyways.

This friend is who prompted me to write on the topic. I haven't had any interactions since Friday, and I know it hasn't been that long but it feels like a long time since I have grown used to having that particular friend as a facet of my daily sanity support staff.  I hope all is well. I hope my worries are not justified. The thought comes to mind that maybe I have become a bore. Or the opposite-- a car accident has occurred and my friend is suffering or worse. But, I stop myself and recognize I cannot change any of it. People find others boring after awhile sometimes, accidents happen, and sometimes there are unexplainables in life.

My life is crazy right now. I can barely keep breathing straight. But one thing I know is that I appreciate all my friends no matter the source from whence you came. 

I talk about the friends who do things for/with me to offer thanks for them. Well, I hope every single one of my virtual friends knows how much you make a difference, how you are helping me IRL, how I count you as for real friends (FRF).

And my biggest hope is I might make a positive difference in your real life too.






7 comments:

  1. I feel the same way about online friends. My family just doesn't understand that when I'm on Twitter I'm talking to real people going through real hardships and I can be there for them, and they can be there for me.

    You have had a positive influence in my life. Really. :)

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  2. I've had these same thoughts too. I do wonder when someone disappears for a couple of weeks if something has happened to them or in their life. I decided I needed to tell someone how to access the blog so they can report what has happened (in case something does). Is that weird?

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  3. I so agree. I was someone who did stop writing daily posts for a good amount of time but I think that sticking with Facebook and Twitter and Two Writing Teachers did keep me in the loop but your raise very interesting questions to think about
    Bonnie

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  4. It's funny. There are times when it's the NON face to face people that I chat with who help me open up about things I can't really share with those I see daily. I've been an online person long enough to know that those relationships are just as real, though :)

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  5. Similar thoughts have crossed my mind. I have worried when someone has had a longer unannounced pause in writing and how are the friendships in virtual world and real life similar and different.
    I hope that within the craziness of your life you will breathe, breathe, breathe.

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  6. You got me thinking, maybe I will have to schedule posts and tweets. That way if I die, people will still get stuff from me for years to come.

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  7. I feel brokenhearted over somebody I knew for such a brief time, but enjoyed immensely. I was always excited to see he was on Twitter, because I knew he'd say something bizarre, funny, ironic, something only he would say. He didn't seem like he needed to hide anything. Now, I wonder. I felt that he was real. He is gone. I wish I had REALLY known him. I can't think about him anymore. I just want to cry.

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