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
- 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.
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.
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.
- The Internet: Are We Too Connected?
The Internet is a wonderful tool we can find out information in seconds that used to take hours of perusing through books at the library. We can meet people on the other side of the globe but are we too connected?