Finding New Friends Online


The Internet has made it easy to meet people all over the world. We no longer have to drive miles or spend a fortune calling long distance to talk to friends who live far away and that is great but it's not always better.


Pros and Cons of meeting people on the Internet


Pros

  • I have many wonderful friends I would not have met otherwise if not for the World Wide Web. There are billions of people in this world and we would have to spend many hours and spend lots of money traveling to meet even a fraction of the people we meet online. Meeting someone on the internet is very easy.
  • You don’t have to get fixed up or even dressed if you don’t want to because they don’t see what you look like. You can post a photo of yourself or just use a cute avatar; the choice is yours. In case you don’t know, an avatar is a picture of a character or image that represents you.
  • People read your comments or posts and decide if they want to be your friend. You can also send a request to a person you think you might like to know on some social media sites.
  • It’s easy and free to join a social media site. Even shy people can meet new friends and even find a boyfriend or find a girlfriend if they want or even sometimes unexpectedly. Many new relationships are started each day and many of them are unplanned.

  • You don’t have to meet somewhere unless you want to, you can just log onto your social network site and start talking. In the past you had to call and make arrangements to meet somewhere or go to someone’s home or they would come to yours. People still meet in person but now we don’t have to unless we choose.


  • Social media has made it easy to interact with people all over the world.


Cons


Losing friends

The problem is sometimes they just disappear and we don’t know if they are hurt or even worse--- died.

We can check on friends that live close, by driving to their house or in many cases we know other people that know them and even possibly know their family but we don’t always have this information for online friends.

Things happen, people get sick, have accidents or if they are older some die of old age and many times we just don’t know what happened to them. It’s sad.

This has only happened to me a couple of times and I wasn’t real close to them but I have other friends I am close to that I worry about if I don’t hear from them on a regular basis.

I don’t want to ask my online friends personal questions making them feel uncomfortable; not everyone wants people on the Internet knowing who their parents or siblings are. And yet it would be nice to have a way to find out if a person is indisposed in some way instead of simply wondering whatever happened to so and so.

I have accumulated a huge amount of friends. This is good and bad. Good because many of them are great people I am honored to know but bad because I have so many friends I can’t possibly keep up with most of them.



People get angry


In person we have facial expressions and body language to help tell us what a person is thinking or whether they are joking or not. Emoticons or those keyboard symbols we use for faces helps some but even then we don’t always know if a person is angry or joking.

Sometimes people get upset by a political banner, religious views or even a joking statement we made that wasn’t meant to be taken wrong but then they unfriend you without an explanation or notice.



When we move we lose.

Have you noticed when you move from one home to the next some things get broken and others simply disappear? That happens each time I move to a new social networking site. My friends don’t break but some tend to change. People are different everywhere they go and social media seems to be even more that way.

Some people change and have a totally different personality depending on where they are. On MySpace some were more outgoing and playful but now on Facebook, possibly due to family and employers hanging out they seem more subdued or introvert.


There are friends that follow along and stay with the group but then there are others that either stay where they are or move to another location feeling more at home somewhere else.


Email addresses


I’ve gotten email addresses for some people and keep in touch that way but that won’t help locate them or find out if they are okay in the event of an accident.

Having their phone number helps but most online friends aren’t close enough to do that. We communicate online and that seems to be as far as it goes for most of us. Effective communication would be to leave your friends more ways to get in touch and family or friends to notify in case of an accident.

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Comments 21 comments

kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Pamela, all great points you make about having online friends. Having a lot of friends does make it tough getting back to them all.I blogged 8 1/2 years on Windows Live Spaces,and most of those friends are now my friends on facebook.And just lost one of those friends just before Christmas last your,she use to write here has well(carrie450).Even though i have not meet any of them some are my dearest friends.

Vote up and more !!!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Kashmir, some of my dearest friends are online. I have friends here locally too but it seems I keep in contact with my internet friends more.


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire, England

Some very important points here Pamela.

The difficulty of trying to convey our meaning in writing, can so easily be misunderstood.

Personally I have had some serious time challenge's lately. My wife is battling a serious condition. I updated a hub about it today.

Luckily most of my social network friends are experienced enough to know that, something 'must be up'?

They know what is happening in my life. Because I tell them.

Hubbers are in my experience, a very loyal and forgiving group, as they too in many cases, have challenge's daily.

Online Friends are friends, some friendships are stronger than others much as in life.

This is an important hub and very helpful to clarify the distinctions that we all make everyday.

I agree that it is 'different', as we don't really know what is going on, in online friends everyday lives and can feel a little helpless sometimes.

That is the way the web is I'm afraid. Glad to have you as a friend.

We are all learning a new way to communicate. In that respect we are all pioneers.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Great hub Pamela! In the many years I've been on social network sites I've met some amazing people who I consider family all over the world. We exchange Christmas and birthday gifts. We are there for each other in times of sorrow or glee. My closest friends are also friends with my husband or daughters and I'm friends with theirs for those just in case moments. If it wasn't for MySpace or Facebook I might never have met them.

I'm a bit peeved at Facebook for the Timeline, but I'm more thankful for the site:)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for this awesome hub for us to share ours!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Hi Pamela--you do make some great points--people come and go at various sites, but overall, when they do, I hope they will return and that they are well and safe--


jellygator profile image

jellygator 4 years ago from USA

This touches a nerve with me. I have made online friends that I care about but have not met, and it's true - sometimes I've worried that something has happened to them but have no way to find out. I'll link this into my next hub topic, which is related to online dating and being able to identify liars - different but related.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I've made a lot of new friends from all over the world right here on HP. You are oneof them!


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

regardin HP: I've met some wonderful people on this site overall and I'm happy I did. But none of them are more important than my cat or parents.

About FB:

I originally joined FB to keep in touch with people I knew in high school who live too far away to call without long-distance charges. In that respect it is helpful. But then I started to add people who live here in town. Why bother?

Beyond that, it's something that takes away time that could be spent more productively as I spend too much online.

If it weren't for advertising hubs on HP, I wouldn't have reopened my FB account last year. I had actually quit it.

With all the different social networking sites, you could end up spending all your time online socializing and none writing, for sure. Not a problem if you are retired and have lots of time. But if you aren't...


learner365 profile image

learner365 4 years ago

This is a nice Hub.You have very distinctively pointed out the many pros and cons of having friends in the online world.A nice read it is !!!

My vote up ,thank you for sharing your thoughts !!!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

This is a great list of the pros and cons of internet friends. I had a period of time where I was ill and just didn't get on the computer, then it felt like so much had changed when I returned. Voted up!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Molometer, I hope your wife is okay. Life can get hectic sometimes and when we are gone our online friends don't always know what happened to us.

Sunshine, some of my closest friends are on the internet and I am grateful to have them.

Audrey, I've lost a few that never came back and not sure what happened to them. I know one man who suffered many health problems as well as depression. He lived/lives in Canada and he disappeared.

Jellygator, some use a pseudonym so we don't even have a way of checking the obituaries. I'm hesitant to ask too many personal questions but it would be nice to know a bit more for these situations.

Thank you Mary. I have also made many great friends here on HubPages.

Flora, I work full time from home so being able to talk to someone once in a while is nice, especially when they also write and can relate with my occupation. It can be too much of a distraction if we aren't careful.

Learner, I've written about my observations as an online friend and figured others have probably had some of the same experiences.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Pamela, sorry to hear of your illness. I'm glad you are well again and still with us.


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

A well-written hub on internet communication with people. What you explained reflects the reality of social media sites as well my experiences on such sites and I totally agree with you.

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome and Interesting. Vote up and socially shared.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 4 years ago from USA or America

Excellent hub to point out meeting people on the Internet. Many people have lost friends who they were close to, such as a couple of people who were among HubPages and even off HubPages. The Internet has definitely opened up the entire world to a more social venue and it has it's good and bad. I'm glad of all the connections that I have made in my time on the Internet. Voted up and Awesome! :)


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Ishwaryaa, The internet is a great place to meet people but there are a few concerns, still I am glad for my good friends.

Ray, there have been a few dear people who passed away recently. It's sad to lose good friends. I'm glad to have you as my friend.


celebritie profile image

celebritie 4 years ago

I agree with the fact that the internet has opened up many avenues and connections that were impossible before. Facebook is an example of this because I have connected with long lost school friends and co-workers that way.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

It is a great place to reconnect with old friends, thanks for reading, celebritie.


sam209 profile image

sam209 4 years ago

Over the years I have met some great friends online and I've lost some. I still sit back and wonder what has happen to some of those friends that I've lost contact with. Very interesting hub Pamela! I enjoyed reading it!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks, Sam. I often wonder what happened to people too. Some we will never know about.


Jynzly profile image

Jynzly 4 years ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

I just cannot see why people in the net call themselves "friends"; has the internet distorted the true essence of the word? The net is a delusion. Sorry to say but My observation over the years show that "friendship" here is shallow and a delusion of the true meaning of the word.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Jynzly, I've met some really great friends I've known for years and keep in contact with on a daily basis from internet forums. They are certainly real friends. Some are closer than local people I know.

You just haven't met any you can feel close to yet.

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