Does Online Social Networking Friendship Really Work

- | 102 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Love & Relationships

A girl chatting online social networking friendship on laptop

In this digital era – social networking friendship is the way to go! Don’t you all agree with me?

Social networking is hot on the Internet, and you too are on so many of the social networks; aren’t you?

I’m sure you make plenty of friends on them. Literally, thousands of them!

But are they really your friends? Of course, not every one of them can be called a friend.

Or, maybe YOU believe they can be. Obviously, this would depend on your personal definition of friends and friendship.

Do you think online social networking can develop true friendships?

Can you really compare online friendships with the traditional friendships?

We’ll try to answer these and many other related questions in this post.

Let’s first define the terms and the try to understand the complex evolution of friendship, and various perspectives of social network friendship.

What is Online Social Networking

A social network, according to Wikipedia, is the term used to describe a social structure determined by interactions, such as relationships between individuals.

A community is an example of a social network. Generally, it is specific to a geographical location and built upon an ideology, lifestyle, and belief common to all.

Today, communities have lost their geographical limitations and have evolved becoming global through online social networking.

This is a platform for like-minded people to share their views, thoughts, and feelings.

Common online social networking platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and many others.

Online social networking is a way to build communities and online friends.

Who Are Online Friends

I’ve discussed in detail about “who is a friend” in one of my earlier posts, but I’d just share what I read somewhere online:

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.” ~ Anonymous

Do you agree? One of the online dictionaries defines a friend as a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard and a person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.

However, today we often loosely use the term friend for any casual relationship. A classmate, colleague, the person you met in the bar, or the one you meet regularly at the saloon are all friends.

Similarly, for most people, anybody whom we connect to through the social networking friendship platforms is an online friend.

Whereas, I beleive dealing more at the personal level and connecting to online people for who they are, their views, and thoughts could be termed online friendship

Then, making acquaintances and contacts for social and business benefits and purposes can be called as social networking.

“Hold a true friend with both your hands.” ~ Nigerian Proverb

Online Social Networking Friendship

I believe that friendly relationships may be graded into different levels like acquaintance, social or business contacts, friends, and good or true friends.

I’d say the term online social networking friendship covers all of the levels of friendship, and the definitions of online friendship and social networking.

As per this term, you develop social contacts to seek reciprocation, mutual cooperation and help, but are concerned about them and treat them as friends.

Your friendship is not purely commercial or completely selfish, and not based on some ulterior motives. This relationship is transparent and there’s no deception.

Social networking friendship is social networking that does not end when your interest or objectives are met or not met. You treat it as a friendship and not just as a contact contract.

Such friendships are treasured at a personal level and are bonded by just your thoughts and online presence.

It’s time to look at social networking friendship from another perspective.

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Social Networking and Friendship – A Bloggers Perspective

Bloggers are altogether different – aren’t they? I can see your head nodding in agreement. 🙂

As a blogger, I believe in making as many social contacts as possible to build connections and relationships.

And, this way I’ve made many online friends, who might not always be from my niche – but they are friends.

We’ve a special place for each other in our hearts and minds. After all, successful blogging is all about developing long term relationships with your readers and building a community with them.

In an online friendship, you generally bypass all factors that could make your relationship biased like physical, financial, and personality attraction.

You evaluate each other only through what is written or spoken online. Skype chats and Google+ Hangouts provide more dimensions to your online friendships.

Imagine that most of you just see one permanent picture of each other all the time, and don’t meet face to face ever, yet you feel so strongly attached and related.

This is definitely not due to your face, where you come from, or what your background is. Instead, it’s due to what you share and contribute through your words, which are nothing but a form of your thoughts.

And, have you noticed that some of you must be even using your old pics that maybe don’t at all look like your present appearances!

In an offline relationship, you can know the person by seeing them face to face and reading their body language.

However, when I interact with a person on my blog through the comments, I feel as if I can almost read the mind and understand the person.

I think this is great because in such relationships we tend to consider each other as equals, as fellow humans.

I’ve developed some great online friendships over time, and I can shout out loud that online social networking friendship rocks for me!

But does it really always work this way? There are some people who think differently.

“Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.” ~ W Clement Stone

social network media

Pros and Cons of Online Social Networking Friendship

Like your physical or offline world, the online world too is not ideal. Does such online social networking friendship really work?

There are definitely disadvantages and limitations of social networking friendships. However, there is also something special about such relationships that bloggers are able to leverage beautifully.

Disadvantages

  • Sometimes social networking destroys relationships, or online friends might turn out to be imposters or villains.
  • Not all online social networking relationships are real as people fake them for their own selfish reasons.
  • Online friends can even create false impressions by manipulating their thoughts and words, and you may never find out.
  • On the social networking platform, you may find people pretending to be what they’re not. They might even deceive you about their location, age, and sex!
  • You’re surrounded by many people, yet you feel completely alone. This I feel is a major drawback of social networking friendship.
  • I’d say that social networking friendships create a feeling of closeness and intimacy, which actually doesn’t exist.
  • Social networking friendship mostly follows the principle – out of sight, out of mind. Once you’re out of touch and contact, you forget each other and don’t feel that connected and concerned- unless you are really close friends

Although this may happen in real life too, but it’s easier to do the vanishing act online.

I’ve seen people coming over at my blog and interacting a few times, and one fine day they just disappear never to appear again – all I can see are just the links they left behind. 🙂

Tell me, how many of you would really like to personally meet your online friends from any corner of the world and carry on the same level of relationship as maintained online?

Would you not be dissuaded by differences and the factors of background, culture, and way of living, habits, language, etiquettes, and others? Not necessary I heard you say, but some might.

Is your online social networking friendship for real?

Advantages

  • An online friendship can smoothly graduate and undergo the transformation unaffected by any factors and turn into a true relationship.
  • Yes, many online friendships convert into true life friendships because they believe the online relationship makes it easy for them to help know each other at their basic thought level. Some of these friendships even turn into beautiful relationships that end up in happy marriages.
  • Social networking friendships do a great job in connecting people across the globe and round the world.
  • The cultural differences and boundaries become insignificant in social networking friendship, helping to exchange great deal of information among people.
  • It’s not only easy but also quick to find like-minded people in any corner of the world.
  • Social networking friendship removes any age barrier that might be present in traditional friendships. You’re more free, open, and acceptable to other people’s thoughts and experiences.

I can personally vouch for online social networking friendship. I’ve been able to develop a strong blog community because I’ve treated all my social contacts as friends.

I’ve been blessed with many online friends, many of whom you’ve seen leaving wonderful comments here.

While there are many others, who don’t visit my blog as it’s not of their niche – but that’s ok – we are still friends. 🙂

“A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Is Social Networking Friendship Working for You

I conclude by asking the same questions as I did in the beginning of the post.

Do your online friends really become your friends in the true sense? Can there be a true friendship between you and your online friends?

Can you really compare online friendship with the offline or traditional friendship? Which is more successful?

I hope you were able to find your answers.

If you’re looking for genuine friendship, do you think social media is the right place? Does it offer deep or shallow friendships?

Can social networking keep alive the true spirit of friendship?

So let’s wrap up this post by taking this poll.

Did the result come as per your expectations? Has this poll made you rethink on your concept of social networking friendship?

Lastly, as some of you know, I’m experiencing some problems with my Facebook account and am not able to access it.

In fact, the Facebook people sent a security code on my registered mobile number, but unfortunately that number has expired and is no longer in use.

Until I feed in that code, which obviously can’t happen till I update my number on my account, Facebook won’t let me access my account. That’s silly, isn’t it?

I’m trying my best to correspond with the Facebook support team, which isn’t very responsive, but I still hope everything will all work out soon.

That means, I’ll not even be able to share this post with wonderful people like you and other fans and friends.

Although I never ask, but this time will you be kind enough to do me a favor and share it on my behalf with your friends and fans?

Thanks so much in advance for my being my good online friend. 🙂

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” ~ Aristotle

Over to You –

What do you think about online social networking friendship? Do you think the meaning of friendship has changed in this social networking world? Have you had any good or bad experience with online friends? Do share in the comments below.

 

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos



Show Comments

102 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Theodore Nwangene

    April 10, 2013 at 3:04 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I choosed can’t say because just as you said, there are both pros and cons of online friendship. I strongly believe that you can find a good friend online as well as a very awful one.

    Just as you said, there are many people who are just faking themselves and identities online for there own selfish reason.

    I’ve gotten some messages on Facebook before from some people who claim to be girls saying that they saw my profile and liked me and would therefore like us to be friends.

    They also included an email address through which i can reach them, some will also tell you that you should contact them soon so that they will send you their pictures and that they have something to tell you.

    They first time i got such message, i sent the dupe an email and she/he started telling some jargons thinking that I’m a fool.

    There are many people out there looking for whom to take their money and their best platform is always on the social networking sites.

    Therefore, you can find both the good, the bad and the ugly online. Not all who claim to be your friends online are really your friends. Some are just Wolves in Sheep clothing.

    Lets all watch out.

    Thanks for sharing Leena. You are also a friend whom i hold in high esteem.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 8:08 am

      Hi Theodore,

      Thank you for being candid about the poll you took, and I think that you’ve your personal reasons and experiences to back up the option you chose, which is absolutely alright 🙂

      Online friendships can really be very deceptive and fake at times. And, we all do have such bitter experiences as part of our social networking friendship online.

      However, I feel the law of attraction work here as well – you get what you expect! Not that it happens instantly, but over a period of time you really begin to understand the basic intentions of the online friends we make through observation and experience. But if you do heartily expose your best friendly face, you might even get the fakers to respect and respond to that.

      I agree there are people who’re always on the look out for innocent people who believe in other people, just to dupe and extract money from them. They may go to any extents to do so and won’t feel any regrets because they aren’t really connected with you, and their only motive is to earn money, anyhow. We need to be wise and careful of any online lucrative advice or offers.

      Social networking friendships are often hijacked by such people as people often drop their guard at such places, bring down the firewall, just to find a friend and ironically fill their loneliness with online friends. But you can be careful and aware, and just filter out such people.

      You’re right in that you can find all; the good, the bad, and the ugly online. We all need to watch out. I too do that, but I find that a bulk of my online relationships are genuine, honest, and real.

      These friends are now helping me promote this post on Facebook because I can’t access my account, and Facebook is the major traffic source for my blog, which is experiencing a downfall in its rank for that reason. This is also a trying time for me. 🙂

      Thank you for considering me as a friend, and I too consider you the same with high respect.

      Thank you for taking out time to share your valuable opinion with all the readers, and I’m sure they’ll learn and benefit from them. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  2. Donna Merrill

    April 10, 2013 at 3:05 am

    Hello my Friend!

    I mean that! I feel as though I know you Harleena. If you were to ask me a favor as a friend, I would be there. And that is the truth! I know you from blogging buddies only. We haven’t chatted on skype or phone, but being together as “blogging buddies” built a friendship. You are a go giver, a person that cares about others and I can tell that just from your reciprocity.

    So it is a beginning of a friendship. I have friendships on this level and suddenly I hear someone needs help, or someone is sick. Immediately I’m there for support. And the same goes for me.

    Have you ever noticed on Facebook (pardon me, I know you are having trouble now) when someone asks for prayers for a relative how many responses there are? People come out of the woodwork.

    Also, since I have been blogging there have been blogging and social media people I know who have gotten ill, or had to go on vacation and I or someone else would guest post and also comment on their blog.

    I find that most of us who are loyal to our own business and to others break all the boundaries of culture, geography, etc. We are here for the same reason and can be truly empathetic to one another.

    I always find it fascinating how many friends I’ve made across the globe who I do consider being a friend.

    It is just like real world life. Some people come and go in and out of your life and some stay a while. But as you quoted above: “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Go giving is the answer. We end up really caring for people we have never met in real life. And that to me is the joy of this business.

    Your friend
    Donna

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Hi Donna – my dear friend 🙂

      I mean that too – and it feels good as well to know that though we are distant, we are close in our hearts and mind, which matters most I feel – isn’t it?

      I agree that even though we are only blogging friends and met online, yet it seems like we’ve been friends for long. That’s how relationships are built, and I would call it the power of online social networking friendship. Aren’t you too a giving person Donna – always ready to help and support, which you do through your coaching too. I’m always there for you too whenever you need me – though online 🙂

      Being there for each other in time of need is what I would call a real friendship, whether it’s offline or online. It’s almost like there are no words needed and a friend would always understand. Oh yes… I’ve noticed the online support of friends on Facebook, people known and even unknown ones are willing to reach out and help, provided you just ask for it. This rarely happens in the offline world though, or perhaps we can’t go around telling people all our problems and worries as the reach is limited at a given point of time.

      Ah…trust you to be so kind to help other blogging friends when they are ill or had gone on a vacation, not everyone is as considerate or compassionate to take out their valuable time and think about anyone else. But these very friends would always appreciate and value your gesture for years to come, and be there for you too whenever you need them – isn’t it? That’s what I love about having good friends.

      Yes indeed, boundaries, cultures and locations really hold no bars where friendship or reaching out to help is concerned. I too have made so-so many online friends from all over the world, whom otherwise I’d have never known. I know for one that there are many friends like you and others who would reach out and help spread this post, and I can vouch for that, because you all care – and I appreciate your spirit to help out in my time of need.

      Like in our real life, friends come and go – it’s the same with a few of the friends I made in the blogoshpere too. I won’t say they have gone, but they have found other better options perhaps or diversified in their field of doing what they prefer, but we do catch up online sometimes – just for a quick ‘Hello’, which I feel is understandable- each one to his/her own.

      I love that quote too – it says it all. There is always more joy in giving than in receiving, and am sure you nod in agreement with me there 🙂

      Thanks for such a lovely and heartfelt comment – you made my day! I appreciate and value your friendship and support. Have a nice week 🙂

  3. Debbie

    April 10, 2013 at 3:25 am

    This is quite a post. I believe that face to face builds better friendships, but at the same time they can be built into more over the internet.

    ‘The cultural differences and boundaries become insignificant’, to me this is great. How we get to know people all over this planet. Now I have the tech guy that helps me with my blog. A few years ago we did go to the UK and met him and his wife. (wonderful people) We even stayed at their house.

    I just wished they lived closer, so we could socialize more.

    I have found that some like yourself are sinerce in being a friend, there are others that do come and go.

    In all I thank you Harleena for being a friend, because I can tell you truly are.

    Hugs,
    Debbie and yes I shall share for you. No problem!

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Hi Debbie,

      Nice to know your views on online social networking friendship, and I think those who have more of offline friends would vouch for that, while others might prefer online friends (just my assumption!)

      I also believe that when you are face to face in any relationship, you know the person well enough as you are able to meet the person for real. Yet again, we come across so many cases where even such people turn their backs, or stab you in the back, which leaves you heartbroken. So, one can never really be sure what really works.

      While online friends are there, yet they aren’t there when you switch off your Internet connection. It’s almost like you meet them for a short while, perhaps daily, unlike your offline friends, but over time you get to know the real person behind the screen too and that’s what brings two people into the bond of friendship. But here too there are no guarantees, for things sometimes don’t work, even if you feel so sure about a person – isn’t it?

      Nice to know about your friend from UK, and that’s what making online friends is all about. You reach out, connect, build on those relationships, and such online friends sometimes turn out to be great offline friends too as you can always head over and meet them, if they are close or even distant, as in the case of your distant friend. He must’ve been so happy to see you 🙂

      I agree, very few online friends are really worthy of being called true or real friends – in it’s real sense. Yes, they can be called friends we meet off and on, while few of them come and they go, and I guess we all learn to accept that as part of life too – just as it’s in the offline world.

      I thank you too Debbie for being a dear friend, and always being here to show your support in more ways than one. Know that I appreciate and value you and your friendship. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing dear friend – hugs back to you! Have a lovely week 🙂

      • Debbie

        April 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm

        Thank you for the Smile Harleena. I always enjoy your comment back. have a wonderful day or evening.

        • Harleena Singh

          April 13, 2013 at 12:57 am

          Most welcome Debbie 🙂 A smile costs me nothing, but I know it conveys a lot 🙂

          Have a lovely weekend as well 🙂

  4. Sherman Smith

    April 10, 2013 at 4:14 am

    This is a great post Harleena, and I have to tell you that I had some success in growing my relationship with a minority of people I met online.

    The one’s I talk to all the time, we weren’t trying to sell each other. We were trying to feel each other out, then the next thing you know we’re talking like we’ve known each other for years. I like the fact that we’re all on the same path, which is to become successful, but at the same time we don’t have the ulterior motive.

    The bad experiences I had were those that didn’t find me that valuable. Either I didn’t want to join their opportunity or I just wasn’t giving them enough information on how they can become successful. Sucks for them LOL … I believe I’m genuine and whenever I have some answers I will provide it. Outside of that Im a good person.

    But when it comes to finding friends online, you really have to filter people. You have to figure out who’s genuine and who’s not. But more importantly you have to really be comfortable with yourself and not come off as someone else. But that’s another story. Thanks for sharing!

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      Hi Sherman,

      Nice to know about how you build your relationships online 🙂

      I agree with what you said – friendship should be about getting to know each other better – the real person within, whether it’s offline or online, without any ulterior motive. I’ve often come across people who make friends, and the very next moment they try to sell you their things, and if you don’t accept that – they are off in a jiffy to make new contacts! Such people are best kept at a distance.

      I think with time and experience one can make out the genuine lot from the rest, but again there are no surety’s anywhere – unless you’ve known each other for years or quite sometime. And friendships take time to develop, they don’t happen overnight – isn’t it? I believe you are a genuine and good person, even though I don’t know you for long, but one can make out at times 🙂

      Oh yes…you need to be the real you, whether you are online or offline, and be happy about it. More than anything else, I think you need to answer to your conscious and your inner-self who is watching you all the time. So, be true just the way you are, and you’ll see people starting to like you for being that, as your originality will shine right through.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. 🙂

  5. Bren (Pibbles & Me)

    April 10, 2013 at 4:26 am

    I believe the meaning of friendship has evolved over the years and as you stated above, there are many degrees of friendships. I have to admit, I have developed some online friendships and am confident in calling them friends.

    Given the chance to meet real-time, I’d jump at the opportunity! We had a tweet-up in my state before and I got to meet some of the local people I was tweeting with! How cool is that? So yes, friendships can develop but you must be cautious. I think you can figure out, over time, who is real and who is posing. I’ll be honest again, some of my online/blogging friends are there for me more than some of my “so called” friends who live near by me. Sad isn’t it? Some people in my real life are so consumed with themselves that they can’t take the time for you.

    Imo, those are people I kick to the curb. Friends are there for each other through thick and thin and despite how many miles or oceans may separate them. One more confession! I met my husband online too! Hmmm…. how about 🙂

    Great post Harleena, my friend!

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Hi Bren,

      You’re absolutely right – the meaning of friendship has evolved with time, and am glad you’ve found some wonderful online friends. Speaking of myself, I think I’ve more online friends now than offline ones, and I meet them more oftener anyways because I’m literally always working online! 🙂

      I agree, if you’ve known someone online for a long time, you’d love to meet them in real like, and if they’re living not too far from your place, they can become your real time friends too. Nice to know about the tweet-up in your state – that’s such a good idea! I know of many people who met online, but became good friends offline and are pursuing their friendship. So, I too vouch for online social networking friendship, though only the ones I know for long or those that have developed with time. You have to be very cautious of choosing the right friends.

      You don’t have to be sorry at all, as most of us feel the same ways. Sometimes our neighbors aren’t as friendly or co-operative, nor supportive as our online friends. I guess with times changing, no ones got time for each other, at least in the offline world, unless you chalk out a plan to meet at so and so time. But online, even though you are busy, you know you’ll bump into each other on the social networking sites, or interact through your blogs – so there is communication taking place. And this only helps get to know each other better I feel – isn’t it?

      Yes indeed, friends are there to always stand for each other – no matter what. Aha…I met mine online too – how cool is that!! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views dear friend. I appreciate and value your friendship too 🙂

  6. Babanature

    April 10, 2013 at 4:34 am

    Hello Harleena,

    I have met a lot of good people that i’ll boldly call a friend online and to be honest, they are worth more than my real life friends:) though most of us have not seen physically but we do talk on skype, google hangout and even facebook video call.

    The advantages of social networks over weighs the dis-advantages and i know you’ll agree with me. I feel we can still find true friendship in the online world (but only if you want)…

    Thanks for this lovely post and hope to connect with you with one of these social networks 😀

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      Hi Babanature,

      I agree with your there – some of my online friends are really worthy of being called real friends, and are any day better than the offline ones I have.

      It’s good that we have facilities like Skype, video calls, and hangouts now to make things easier to remain connected with our friends, and these help us to even see our friends behind the screen to know them better.

      Oh yes…I second that, though a lot of people think otherwise, or perhaps they might’ve had bitter experiences, which I hope they share here with us. If we are careful in choosing our friends – anything is possible, while on the other hand, where’s the guarantee that the offline friends we make will remain forever! So, it’s a risk you take and be happy taking it 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views. Let me get my Facebook back, and we would surely connect, while Twitter we can right away 🙂

  7. Lisa

    April 10, 2013 at 4:53 am

    Harleena, I think you can form great friendships online and I chat with some more than my offline friends. You can learn a lot through some of their blogs and postings. There is always a chance one can be fake. But so can someone offline too.

    I think bloggings also creates friends with similiar interests too. Its a great way of meeting people around the world.
    I found this post via Facebook. Ate you back on? Great topic!

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      Absolutely! I also feel the same way, and have more online friends than offline ones now. Just as I was telling Bren above – it’s mainly because we keep meeting each other either through our blogs, or the social networks – and all of this helps to know each other better- isn’t it?

      You really can’t guarantee whether you’d meet fake or genuine friends online, but as you said, neither can you do that when you make offline friends. I guess it works best to follow your heart and judge people you want to make friends with the little voice that says ‘go for it’ 🙂

      Blogging surely is a great way to connect beyond the boundaries and if you have similar interests – it’s all the more better.

      No, unfortunately Facebook isn’t working for me as yet. I think someone has been kind enough to share this post on Facebook, and that’s how you must have found it there. “Thank You’ for all those who are sharing this post on Facebook. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, and sharing your views 🙂

  8. sapna

    April 10, 2013 at 8:24 am

    HI Di,

    Great post as always!

    When I started I was bit skeptical whether people online are good enough towards women, how they behave when they’re online. But I’d say that most of the people I’ve met are really exceptional and you being one of them.

    When the heart meet and the frequency matches I think the friendship strikes. You’ve been a great friend and supporter.

    But yes I’d say that there are people who are faking their identities and the reason better known to them but with many others I’ve been able to break the cultural barriers and I think we’re spending more time with them then with some of the offline friends.

    Thanks for this great share. Have a great week ahead.

    Sapna

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Hi Sapna,

      Glad you liked the post and could relate to it. 🙂

      I agree, such thoughts do come to mind when we venture into the online world, more so in our country. Firstly, because we are women and secondly, being online we are open to a lot of things that we don’t really know about, and all of this can lead us to meet some funny kind of people too – so we need to be cautious.

      I too am glad to have met you Sapna, and I think we did strike a chord – something just clicked when we met, which is how a good friendship starts. I’m lucky to have met so many other wonderful blogger friends, and if they are good to you and become good friends along the way – nothing like such online social networking friendship – isn’t it?

      Yes, there are all kinds of people in this world, whether offline and online. We can never really make out the fake ones at times as they wear a false mask or try to impress us to become friends to get something out of us. I guess we just need to follow our intuition about them.

      Oh yes…breaking the cultural barriers and reaching out to people in different parts of the world is a major advantage of having online friends, and like you – I too am blessed there. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, and for always being a dear friend – I appreciate you. Have a nice week ahead as well. 🙂

  9. Corina Ramos

    April 10, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I for one have been very lucky to have met some great folks online and can say we’ve developed an online friendship and I value them just as much as I value my offline friends.

    I agree that there are some bad people out there but if we’re careful we can easily weed out the fake ones.

    There’s just something about the blogging community. I remember reaching out to Lisa on one of her tweets. I was so scared. I thought, “she’s not gonna reply.” “She doesn’t even know me.” And I was so wrong, she replied and was just so approachable, still is 🙂

    As usual, this is a wonderful post, and I would love to share it! Hope you get a fix to your Facebook issue. 🙂

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      Hi Corina,

      Nice to know that you value both, your online and offline friends 🙂

      I’ve made some lovely friends online too, just like you and others too, and it’s indeed been a pleasure to get to know everyone better each day. I guess that’s how online friendships develop – isn’t it?

      I agree, bad or fake people we would find everywhere – we just need to be careful of them.

      Ah…I can so well relate to that being on Twitter for the first time. In-fact someone tweeted to me, and I didn’t know how to respond back. I was just scared and wondering it at all I should reply back or not. I think when we are online and if we are bloggers, we need to keep trying out new things, and taking what works for us and leave the rest – that’s another beauty of being here – it teaches you so much. 🙂

      Thanks so much for sharing the post Corina, I know I can always count on you for the dear friend you are. I also hope and pray that my Facebook account is activated soon, though I know things take time at their end, so I just wait and catch up with other things in the meantime.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views. I appreciate your support. Have a lovely week ahead 🙂

  10. Linda

    April 10, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I have a LOT of online friends, but I did not meet them through social networking sites, for the most part. I met them through various different businesses in which we needed a more personal friendship.

    The other ones I met through online marketing courses. Of course you meet some great people through blogging, but I must say that my true online friends definitely came outside social media.

    Now, I do have friends that I regularly communicate with on that level, but they are not close friends and certainly not people that I would put my trust with. As you said, they could be imposters or criminals or who knows what else.

    I would love to have a meet up with my online personal friends, but I would literally have to travel around the globe. Hopefully some day I will be able to do that – think it would be fun to meet those that we talk to on a regular basis, don’t you? 🙂

    What a great post!
    Linda
    P.S – Hope you can get back in your facebook account soon.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Hi Linda – nice to see you after a long time 🙂

      Nice to know how you met your online friends, which is a little different from the way we normally meet ours.

      I guess it was your business and online marketing that helped you make online friends, while for me it was mainly through blogging and the social media.

      I agree, not everyone we meet can be called a real or true friend, and we have to be careful of the impostors or fake people who might just be wanting to become our friends for their own motive.

      It’s not possible to travel all over the world and make friends, but that’s where online friendship works as it crosses all borders, and with the help of chats like hangouts, skype, and videos, the distances seem to get closer. 🙂

      Yes indeed, it would be a pleasure to meet the friend we’ve been talking to onscreen – in real life if possible.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I too hope my Facbook account is working soon. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

  11. Ahsan

    April 10, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Hello Harleena,

    Another great post on merit & demerit of online friends. Certainly friends are important for living, to make life cheerful & above all a true friend can do anything for you. But if you discuss only online network friends which we’ll never meet – just see them in online. There we chat, discuss in different things etc. Sometimes you can share any problem with online friends very easily but not with real friends.

    Another thing, there is a statistics which say lots of divorce are occurring due to Social network specially Facebook. So this is an Alarming note.

    But above all, for bloggers online friends are important to discuss, share their opinion, review etc.

    I think every tech gadget has good & bad effect. We need to take good one & avoid bad. So we can live peaceful life.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Hi Ahsan,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Yes indeed, true friends will do anything and go out of the way for you. I agree, with online social networking friends, we tend to discuss things or our problems openly, which we might not be able to do so if we were face to face with them, unless they were really close ones.

      Your stats are indeed correct that while there are plus points of social networking sites, it does have it many negative aspects too. I guess when people spend hours online, they might tend to get carried away or seek people outside their relationship, which would affect their personal offline relationship, or marriage, if they are married.

      Being bloggers, I guess most of us tend to share a great deal of information with each other, which happens only when we are online, and some of these very people turn out to become good friends over time.

      There are pros and cons everywhere, and like you said, you choose the good or pros and discard the cons or negatives and move ahead. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views.:)

  12. Anonymous

    April 10, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Dear Harleena,

    I choose to remain anonymous by choice here, but you have addressed a very real and a very big issue in this post. It is very easy to get carried away by the online people-facing persona of some people and in most cases, a degree of vulnerability does come in. Also, most of us, if you mention bloggers, prefer to keep things very open, and as they are. Not that everyone does that, but those who blog honestly, assume everyone else is honest too.

    Perceptions are not easy to manage and even more difficult to understand. In fact, some people go to great lengths of creating a big online image, that becomes like a dual personality. One never knows where the line of deception ends, and where the truth begins.

    It is of vital importance to cross check with real people in and around your online friends, and family members, before getting too deep into a friendship. Boundaries need to be made and adhered to. Always better to be safe.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      Hi Anonymous,

      I do not allow comments without names and faces, but yours gets through as an exception because it is an acceptable comment.

      I agree with your suggestion that it is always better to be safe. We teach our children not to talk to strangers, similarly, we as adults should not fall in a deep relationship unless and until we know a great deal about the person. Till then, as you say, boundaries should be made and adhered too. And, that’s being very sensible.

      This is a great fallout of social networking that most people have started to have, as you rightly mention, dual personality! Deception or anonymity helps them to be what they could not say or become in the real life or identity. While some can be harmless, few can have vicious plans. I’ve seen and observed people whom I know to have created a totally different and unique personality online, in contrast to their normal self. That’s their way to live a second life!

      Talking about bloggers, if they’ve revealed their identity on their blogs, are sincere and dedicated to their blogs, they do maintain a responsible and real identity online.

      Thanks for your comment, and I hope you’ll make it comfortable for me next time by revealing your identity. 🙂

  13. Evan

    April 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Well, I don’t think that Social Network friendship has so many disadvantages. I would name only a few like time-killing in front of the screen and out of sight, out of mind. I personally know a few people who found their love on Facebook and got married after… I think the role of Social Networking in peoples lives is a bit exaggerate.. There are no absolute pros and no extreme cons. Everything’s relative. But thanks for discussing this issue.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Hi Evan,

      I agree with you there, though I know many others would have their own views about that. 🙂

      Yes, there are many such cases where they met online, fell in love, and are living a happy married life – such things do happen. But like Ahsan mentioned above, even divorces and breakups sometimes occur due to the social media, so one can’t really say what works and what doesn’t. It all depends from person to person and all that they undergo.

      I guess those who are online, and make friends would be able to answer the question whether online social networking friendship has worked for them or not – they are the best judge to see if there are any pros and cons in it. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by:)

  14. Jon Mertz

    April 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Harleena,

    Social networking is a starting point. So far, I have never been disappointed when I meet bloggers for the first time. We have an immediate connection and the conversations start immediately. We know each other to a certain degree, so relationships solidify more quickly. Staying in the online world only is not healthy though. We need to balance and get out into our neighborhoods to get to know others and do work to build up our immediate areas.

    There is a balance, but I have been blessed by the people I have met through social networking. They challenge me, make me think and write in a better way.

    Thanks for all you do and the community you build!

    Jon

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Jon,

      You’re quite right there, social networks are usually the starting point and often conversations start rather nicely there, which might later turn into friendships.

      I agree, being online for too much of your time isn’t good, though most of us have our lives revolving round our work or then blogs. If we are bloggers then lots of time goes into commenting and sharing each others post, for which even if we don’t want to, we have to be online. But just as you mentioned, we need to strike a balance between how much of time we are really going to devote to being online, and how much we need to spend making new friends offline, and of course family.

      Yes indeed, our online friends always do bring out the best in us and enhance our writing skills more than anything else.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. It’s because of wonderful people and friends like you that the blog community is growing – so I need to thank each one of you instead 🙂

  15. Mosam Gor

    April 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Hi Harleena ma’am

    Great Share..
    Informative post Indeed. and yes, Online Social Networking Friendship Really Work ma’am… Thanks for the Writing.. 🙂

    Mosam

    • Harleena Singh

      April 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Hi Mosam,

      Nice to know that online social networking friendship works for you as well – great to hear that. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  16. Oluwaseun Babajide

    April 10, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    For me, online friends are business partners. We help each other out to grow our businesses. Regardless of where you meet someone, COMMUNICATION is always the key.

    The meaning of friendship has changed significantly. Most people do it because of the benefit they get from each other. I will be very careful with online friends because you do not know who you are dealing with and what their intentions are. These could be fraudsters, 419s or your competitors. Do a bit of research on people before you get attached. Too many fake facebook, twitter etc accounts out there.

    Choose your friends wisely….
    Wonderful post, I enjoyed it.

  17. Harleena Singh

    April 10, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Hi Seun,

    Nice to know your views about online friends 🙂

    Yes indeed, communication IS the key and is vital for any relationship. Some people who make friends for their own benefits can’t really be called true or real friends I feel. I guess you need to be careful and not get too close to such people.

    I agree, they could be frauds, cheats, and just get in touch with you for their own motives. I like your suggestion of looking up their profiles before making them your friends. And nowadays you can get to know everyone through their Facebook or Twitter accounts, or even if you Google up their names. We do need to be careful in all cases.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views about being cautious. Have a nice day ahead 🙂

  18. Mary Stephenson

    April 11, 2013 at 1:49 am

    Hi Harleena

    Great questions. I picked “I can’t say”. I see pluses and minuses on both sides of the online friendships. Probably feel this way as when first starting out there are many people eager to call you friend and take your money for the newest and latest piece of software that will make you rich overnight. (A loss of trust.)

    But even with all that aside, there have been many terrific people I have found online that I could call a friend. But is it just an online friendship…would I feel that way if I spent a day with them, do we have anything else in common other than our blogs. Sure we may have many similar interests, but are they enough to sustain a true friendship. Our are personal beliefs so entirely different that we could never see eye to eye on those levels? I have met people that have similar likes and dislikes, but did not connect on some ambiguous unknown feeling.

    There are people you instantly gravitate to and can’t describe what it is and others who you should have a lot in common with you are indifferent to. Maybe it is a chemical thing and of course this could only take place on the physical realm.

    I think all in all we have to be careful how much of our personal lives we reveal online. It is great to be able to make that real connection with your audience, but at the same time you cannot become an open book in every aspect of your life. Too many people can get a hold of that information, which is not in your best interest. Nothing is private once it is published.

    Mary

    • Harleena Singh

      April 12, 2013 at 10:49 am

      Hi Mary,

      I agree, there are pros and cons on each side and it does get tough to decide from either of the two. Ah…I had a few people like that, and they first become friends and win your trust (as that’s how you feel), only to realize their real reason behind the friendship was to sell their stuff.

      Online social networking friendships I feel are great, provided you really make some good and real friends. I like your questions that often come to my mind too, but I think it goes beyond our blogs and visits, which happens when we get to know each other better. But these questions would come to mind even in an offline friendship I guess – what would we really call a good friend then, someone who has similar interests, who knows us a lot better than just a normal friend would. Yes, sometimes people click even though they have nothing in common, and they get along to become the best of friends. I guess it’s all the matter of clicking and how far you make efforts to becoming a good friend with someone – isn’t it?

      Yes indeed, we have to be very careful of revealing our personal details, even if it’s to a good friend on the other side – nothing is really safe online. The social networking sites are the wrong places actually to discuss any such detail, though emailing might still be a better option. Nevertheless, the lesser you share your details the better. Yet people tend to get carried away, only to realize their mistake when it’s too late.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your words of wisdom 🙂

  19. Ryan Biddulph

    April 11, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Wow, it has been awhile. Lots of travel recently but I am back to my commenting routine. So happy to see your comment on Sherman’s blog, and of course, after reading your post I left with some newfound insight on social media networking and how it relates to developing friendships.

    I believe you can develop strong friendships through social sites if you keep up contact on a daily basis. People seem to fade in and out of our lives easy enough offline, and the “out of sight out of mind” mindset prevailing among many social networking users makes building meaningful friendships difficult.

    I do my best to connect with as many people as I can daily but only if I am making an impact. If I neglect making an impact I just missed the chance to make a good friend, or build a strong friendship with an individual who I have been chatting with.

    Be consistent. Help, with no ulterior motives. In time, you can make great friends online, as I have with a select few individuals.

    Thanks Harleena,

    Ryan

    • Harleena Singh

      April 12, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Welcome to the blog Ryan – nice to have you over!

      Yes indeed, it’s been a while since we last met online, and am glad you dropped by today after your travel. 🙂

      Ah…it’s nice to meet new friends, and Sherman’s blog I just visited a few times, so I guess we need to thank him for re-connecting us again. I agree, if you keep in touch with your online friends, you can make good friends here. I think most bloggers visiting each others blogs or stopping by each others social media profiles to say a quick ‘Hello’ and chit-chat online, over time do become friends. Though the more you interact, the better you get to know each other and the friendship grows.

      Reaching out and connecting with new people, or catching up with old friends online is the only way you can make your relationship, or make the existing ones better. And as you mentioned, if you make an impact in the first meeting, or click with the other person – you start off a friendship right there, or else it might just fade off and be a one time meeting. All of this is not easy because each of us is leading a busy life, but if you want something bad enough, you’re going to make all the efforts to get it – isn’t it?

      Being selfless and consistent is what I believe in too, and we see the results with time – so be patient as well. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, and hope to see you here again 🙂

  20. Andrea Hypno

    April 11, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Very interesting post Harleena, well detailed and balanced.

    I think that the net is good especially for keeping in touch and interacting with people you would never have the chance to meet in person, different continents and so on. But I think that the net cannot and should not substitute real life.

    It’s an addition but can’t substitute a real interaction face to face with human beings. That’s how we are made.

    It’s like ebooks, they are good and deliver a bunch of information in a short space but will never substitute real books, unless printed. And reading an ebook on a smartphone is a pain. 🙂

    Cheers!

    • Harleena Singh

      April 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Hi Andrea – nice to have you back 🙂

      Glad you liked the post.

      Yes indeed, we do get to meet lots of friends online, whom we could never have met otherwise offline. Even the distances seem near when you are online. It cannot substitute real life face-to-face friends, but for those of us who spend a large time of their life online, there is not much of an option other than to be here, and while we are online – we do get to make lots of friends. But yes, the moment you are off the Internet – you are back to your offline world and friends there.

      Ah…I liked your example of eBooks, but what about those who have got so used to reading these that they don’t like the real books any longer! I agree about reading an eBook on a smartphone – I can never enjoy it too 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      • Andrea Hypno

        April 13, 2013 at 10:41 am

        Well, at least they must hope to never run out of batteries. 🙂

        • Harleena Singh

          April 13, 2013 at 10:55 am

          I agree with you there Andrea…lols…:)

          Thanks once again 🙂

  21. Annie André

    April 11, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    I absolutely agree that you CAN make true connections online. It’s like the modern day penpal. However, I think you can’t have more than a handful. In the beginning i tried to focus on too many people and it felt to fake and phony. So i disappeared from a lot of the blogs and lives of my fellow bloggers because It was consuming me and i was ignoring my core goal which was grow my online business and spend time with my family. Now i have less than 20 online friends who i keep track of and contact. Many of which i don’t comment on their blogs anymore because I don’t have anything to add but i email them every once in a while.

    I would love to meet some of my fellow bloggers. I hoe to attend some blogging conferences and meet some people in the near future. That would be AMAZING and scary at the same time. I am actually very shy. :O

    • Harleena Singh

      April 12, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Hi Annie,

      Yes you can, but just as you mentioned, very few of them can really be called good or true friends.

      I can understand how we tend to get carried away with fake and phony so called friends, only to realize our mistake later and withdraw. I think you did the right thing to move away from such friendships that weren’t actually moving ahead and were just there for the heck of it. If we make too many friends, who aren’t friends in the real sense, where do we have time left to focus on things that need our attention, like our families, kids, work and blog. I like the choices you’ve made in your life to stick to a limited few, and yes, these few will value you much more, and vice-versa.

      Ah..that would surely be fun, more so as you mentioned, you have a limited few, which must be making you close enough to them to want to meet them in real too. We all have a little bit of hesitancy in us I think, but the moment we meet and connect – everything becomes alright. Need to try it out once. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. 🙂

  22. Cynthia

    April 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    I moved to England about three years ago and it really forced me to evaluate a lot of my face to face relationships and if I truly had friends. Moving to another country and not knowing each other really makes you rely on the people who you feel are close to you. I learned really quick that a lot of them were not friends, they were just placemats in life taking up quality time and masking as good friends.

    I started blogging about a year ago and in the beginning I was really open to the people that I met online because I am a typical Texan, you are our friend until you prove us wrong. I learned that might not be a good approach to online friendship or in person relationships. What this year has taught me is if you can push away all the barriers that we set up, it does not matter where you meet the person, a true friendship can develop.

    Because of all the person out there that are unstable, I think that most of us are cautious about meet for fear that we will get it wrong and cause some harm to our families or ourselves.

    Even with the fears that meeting about someone from online, there are people such as yourself, Lisa, and Bren that I would grab lunch or a phone call with without hestitation. One of the things that I have learned from reading your blog and theirs, you are real good people who want the best for the people who surround yourself with so it would be hard to not want to be a part of that.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 12, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      Hi Cynthia,

      Nice to hear more about you.:)

      I agree, moving to a new place can be difficult too, as you really don’t know very many people and who to rely on, and who to really call your own – because you need to start from scratch, which can be scary at times. People who might come forward to help or portray as being concerned or friendly in such a case, might not be what you take them to be, so one has to be very careful, especially when you are new to a place.

      You are not alone Cynthia, as when I also started blogging – it was almost like everyone who came over to the blog or whom I met online – was a friend! I still feel that ways, though with so many years of being online, one can make out the true from the fake – in most of the cases, though one’s still always cautious. Yes indeed, even though all these things happen, you still can make good and true friends online, and social networking friendships do turn out to be good ones provided you maintain them too.

      If you keep your distance and don’t give away all of your personal and other details to anyone online, and know your limits, making friends online does work – it has for me, though like Annie mentioned above, you can only have a very few true friends, which happens even with offline friendships.

      Ah…that’s so sweet of you, and I agree – anything to be with all of you too! We do find our kind of friends online, though it takes a little time and patience, and when we do, we better stick close and keep in touch – isn’t it? Because the more you reach out and connect, the better the friendship becomes.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I appreciate you dear friend 🙂

  23. Ferb

    April 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Social Media is great place to communicate but the more we use it the problems come. I believed that social media is absolutely great to communicate, sending inbox to friends instead of posting new status. But sometimes I feel bad and sometimes feel good about using social media, all I can say is use it whenever you feel good about it.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      Hi Ferb,

      If we aren’t able to use social media efficiently, problems do arise, and they do so because somewhere or the other we aren’t able to set limits to the amount of time we want to spend online – isn’t it?

      It sure is a great place to make new friends, communicate, and keep up friendships. I know that feeling Ferb, and feel that that’s mainly because we tend to get carried away in doing things that take away much of our time, leaving us with less time for things that need more of our attention.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  24. Sonia

    April 11, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Developing friendships online can be tricky, but if you approach people with a genuine heart, then people know where you are coming from. I will say I have seen and heard some “dirt” amongst bloggers over the last 3 years that I have been blogging. It is unfortunate, but it happens.

    One thing I will point out, is to be careful of the information you give out as well. We can get very friendly with other and might give passwords and such to people we really don’t know. I tend to take my conversations offline to really get to know people or if they are local I have met a few here and there. They were all girls of course, but it is not to say, that you can’t have true friendships too.

    There is one or two bloggers that I speak to on a regular basis offline and its because we stayed in touch and had the same common interests. Some will be friends online and some offline. I suggest making sure you know the difference to avoid problems later when or if the relationship turn sour.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 12, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Welcome to the blog Sonia – nice to have you over 🙂

      Absolutely! Online social networking friendships can be tricky and scary at times too, and it sometimes get tough to make out the real friends from the fake ones. But as you mentioned, when you are true at heart, people know your intentions are true too, though some people are still tricked into all of this. I agree, you find funny people everywhere, though luckily I’ve really not come across such kind of people, or perhaps am pretty happy with the handful of good friends that I have online 🙂

      Oh yes…that’s an absolute no-no, and giving passwords of anything, or revealing any kind of personal details should never be done, even if you have very close friends online. I guess it’s only being careful, and I don’t think even your friend’s would mind that. I like your idea of catching up with friends offline if they are living close by, or perhaps talking on the phone or Skype is a better option.

      Nice to know about your few blogger friends, and that’s exactly how I feel too – have a few good friends, and keep up with them. They appreciate and value your friendship much more, and vice-versa. I agree, some friends you’ll meet online, while some offline, and you need to learn to manage both and even know your limits in both cases. I guess if a relationship has to turn sour, it can anytime differences arise, whether you are offline or online.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. 🙂

  25. Hiten

    April 11, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This was a wonderful post on whether online social networking friendships work.

    The disadvantages you listed are all highly relevant and one would be wise to bear these in mind when thinking about friendships online.

    I personally believe strong friendships can be built online. As you quite rightly said, connecting online removes all kinds of barriers, including age, race, gender, class differences etc, which in the real world could impact whether two people would even become friends.

    My guess is the stronger the bond created through online interaction, the easier the friendship would be to continue in the real world. However, I don’t have too much experience of this directly, as most of my personal online contacts are all across the world!

    Thank you.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 12, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Hi Hiten,

      Glad you liked the post. 🙂

      If we are careful with the kind of friends we make online and all that we share with them, I think we are pretty safe to go ahead and make new connections.

      Yes indeed, we can make good friends online and don’t we have many such friends already on our list? Not to mention that most of them are from various countries all around the globe, and all of this is only possible because we are all online – isn’t it?

      Your guess sounds so right Hiten – when your friendship grows stronger online, it’s easier to carry that forward into the offline world if you wish to, which would work wonderfully if you and your friend are living in the same place or near by. I’ve also not much of an experience as most of my friends are online too, but it does seem natural I guess. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  26. Michael Belk

    April 12, 2013 at 1:05 am

    Harleena, of course you can not consider all of your social network associates to be friends because many people you meet face to face you can not call them friends.

    I think the word “friend” is a little ambiguous because not everyone cares for your concerns or well being like a true friend.

    However, you can meet some nice people, but you need to be cautious.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 12, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      Hi Michael,

      I agree, not everyone we know online can be called a friend, just as it’s in the offline world. I guess we actually get down to making just a handful of very close and good friends, and they can be offline or online, depending on how well we get to know them.

      We do need to be very careful while choosing our friends online and offline, and not share every detail with them too. Sometimes we do tend to get carried away if the friendship grows – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  27. Mayura

    April 12, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I’m late to the party and I know it 😀 lol…

    As I believe, this is a broad topic involves with different kind of perspectives.

    Compared to others, I’m slow at making friendships Harleena 🙂 Countable number of connections but never found an odd friend in my list so far. I feel that’s perfectly alright for me too as I like to be simple and don’t wanna overwhelm. Some folks come and go, but that’s alright too. It keeps the perfect balance 😉

    Facebook is where I connect with friends and keep up with ’em most as other networks easily allows to follow anyone and everyone.

    As I strongly believe, it doesn’t matter if your friends are offline or online, true friends will be always around or leave memories with us Harleena. Yet we need to understand that friends have limitations too. But you know, no relationship will exist longer unless both parties dedicate for it.

    Mmm… Blogging friends. It starts with the blog and will go beyond it. There were times I try to extend the friendship, but I was pushing it alone. You know, then it won’t get succeed and I had to give priority for folks who care it most. Even I didn’t know you at first place though you were commenting at Adrienne’s place, but now, things changed 🙂 We both valuing the friendship, else we won’t be talking, no?

    When you talk about disadvantages, I agree, faking is so much easier. But if you are careful enough about whom you connecting with, I don’t think there will be any problem Harleena. I find the folks on social media, especially younger generation need to aware of it as they tend to accept anyone just to increase the number of friends or due to some other reasons too 🙂

    I’m always grateful to you and other online friends I’ve made as all of
    ’em are such fabulous and like-minded personalities to hang out with.

    You have a wonderful week over there Harleena 🙂

    Cheers…

    • Harleena Singh

      April 12, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      Hi Mayura,

      You are never late here – more than welcome anytime 🙂

      You aren’t alone there, as I too take time making friends. Acquaintances are different from real friends, and true or real friendship only develops with time. I agree, some people come and go, and that’s part of having online friends, though offline too such things happen but you know them a shade better perhaps if you’ve long with them as you can meet them in real.

      Facebook is indeed the place for me too as you can chat and do lots of other things, even privately if you wish. Sadly though, it’s still nor working for me and I’m missing being on Facebook for sure. Not to mention, not being able to interact with my fans for days now. I guess certain things are just not in our control, though am trying hard to get things fastened up.

      Absolutely! No matter where you make your friends, true friends will always be with you in your heart forever. But you do need to keep working on your friendship too, just like in any other relationship, though good friends are good enough to even understand your absence or limitations if you can’t catch up – they always do.

      I agree with your there – sometimes we tend to make all the efforts to make friends, whether they are our blogging friends, or other social networking friends, and we find no reciprocation from the other side, or not the same kind of affection we are sharing with the other – that warmth is missing. I guess when things don’t work, we have to turn to those who value our friendship, and yes – that’s how we became friends too, and I do value our friendship more than anything else 🙂

      Fake people are all around, but if we are careful, we can keep away from such people. You raised a very good point about the need for our younger generation to be more cautious as they tend to accept anyone in their friends list and share so much of their personal details online, just to increase their online friend count. My kids used to do this, till I told them not to – I guess until they aren’t told or explained things, they don’t realize their mistakes.

      I value all my online friends too, and you are very special and friendly person – just glad we met and are good friends now. Cheers to that 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, and sharing your advice with us. 🙂

  28. Sue Neal

    April 12, 2013 at 2:26 am

    Ah, Harleena – I admire you so much for tackling the most tricky topics with such thoughtfulness and care. This is a very difficult one, and I think you do right to outline so thoroughly all the pros and cons of online relationships.

    When I started exploring the possibility of working online, I never imagined that I would develop relationships – which I do regard as friendships – with other bloggers, as I have. It’s been a surprise and a real revelation to me. I’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness and willingness of other bloggers to share their thoughts and feelings so openly – and also surprised at my own response, because I’d always been reluctant to engage in any kind of social media activity, regarding it as intrusive and a bit risky.

    In some ways, as you suggest, online relationships are ‘easier’ than real world friendships, in that you’re insulated from some of the messier aspects of human behaviour and it’s possible for people to conceal things that their online friends might find objectionable. Although people do misbehave online and say things they may later regret, it’s probably easier to avoid some of the conflicts that arise in the real world, because you can control your contact and interactions much more readily than you can in the real world. As you say, that can be disappointing or even upsetting if someone you’d regarded as a friend just ups and disappears – that’s definitely a down side.

    I think the same principles apply with online friendships as with our relationships in the real world – at the end of the day, it’s all about trust, compassion, empathy and meaningful communication. And although I sometimes feel a little vulnerable online, particularly with people I haven’t got to know very well, I guess you can just as easily get hurt or taken for a ride by people offline.

    I sometimes think I’m a bit naive – I like to think that most people are decent and honest, but I realise there are some bad guys out there and we obviously need to take care of ourselves and do what we can to protect ourselves from harm.

    I have to say, I think the advantages of forming online friendships most definitely outweigh the disadvantages and risks – the support I receive from online friends like you and Adrienne is a huge factor in motivating me to keep going with my blog, particularly when the going gets tough.

    I’m sorry about the problems you’re having with Facebook and hope you get it sorted soon – I’m very happy to share this post on your behalf, Harleena – and very honoured to be your friend 🙂

    Thanks for a great share,

    Sue

    • Harleena Singh

      April 13, 2013 at 12:07 am

      Hi Sue,

      Thanks so much for your kind words, and yes, this was a tricky one as I knew people would have a tough time figuring out whether online social friendships really work or not. 🙂

      Your’e absolutely right there, and I think none of us really think that we could really make friends online when we first come online or started off working on the Internet. I for one came here just to explore work opportunities, and blogging was something I just started two years ago. It was through my blog that the relationships and friendships started building here – not through my professional work. I guess when you are working, you really meet working people, who are acquaintances and can’t really be called friends, though a few of them might go ahead and become friends with time.

      I agree, once we are online and make friends, our blogging friends are ever so kind and generous with their comments, shares, visits, and interactions. Not to mention that each of them is open about their feelings and views – at least here they are, and I simply love that part of them. It’s like I can so well connect and relate to them – seems like we are almost talking openly to each other, even though we are just online. I guess that is what I would call the power of friendship – it crosses all boundaries and touches the hearts of one another.

      Real world friendships are a little different in some ways than the online ones, as in the real world – we need to face our friends and there are demands of meeting them regularly or other expectations that come in the way. Online friendships differs for the reasons you mentioned, and also because there are fewer expectations as compared. It’s almost like you close your Internet connection – and those friends are off. Yet, when you switch it on the next time – they are all there – waiting for you to reach out and continue from where you left off earlier. Yes, there are all kind of people in the offline and the online world, and I think we just need to keep away from them or remain cautious in the way we deal with them. Some people do the vanishing act pretty soon online, but such is the case even offline if you aren’t all that close to a so called friend.

      It surely is all about understanding each other, being compassionate, trusting one another, and making efforts to grow our friendship, and this is the case with friendship anywhere – online or offline. It’s the matter of clicking as they say, and when our hearts and thoughts click – there’s nothing stopping us. I too am blessed to have such wonderful friends like you, Adrienne, and so many others who inspire me too and help me in more ways than one to proceed ahead, and like I always say – my blog and I’m here because of all of you. I think with time passing, we have begun to understand each other much better – isn’t it? And that’s how friendships develop.

      Ah…I still can’t access my Facebook account, and I’ve contacted support so many times through their form and emails too, but they keep sending the code to the old expired number, instead to my email. I just keep trying new ways to contact and grab their attention, hoping they respond soon and solve this problem.

      Thank you so much Sue for sharing this on my behalf, I know I can always count on you, and you are indeed a dear friend who I treasure a great deal. 🙂

      Thanks once again for stopping by, and sharing your words of wisdom with us. Have a lovely and relaxing weekend 🙂

  29. Carolyn

    April 12, 2013 at 3:59 am

    HHarleena,

    I’m a big believer in online friendships. I feel incredibly close to my online friends, even though I’ve never met them in person.

    One of my fondest wishes is to get all my blogging friends together in one place. What a wonderful time that would be. I would also love for our fathers to meet someday.

    Over at Bill’s place today he is playing a game that shows how well we know each other. 🙂

    • Harleena Singh

      April 13, 2013 at 12:15 am

      Hi Carolyn,

      So am I, and that’s how we all met!:)

      I agree, even though we’ve never met our online friends in real life, yet there is an special bond that binds us all together. Just as I was telling Sue – it’s almost like when we are online – we are with them, and then we switch off. But whenever we are back online – we are with our friends again, so they are so much a part of us – isn’t it?

      I wish your wishes come true some day, Carolyn! It would indeed be a pleasure to meet you and everyone else. Ah…yes – our fathers too for the similarities they share. I keep imagining them talking and sharing their similarities, especially of playing golf 🙂

      Sounds like a nice game, and it would surely be an eye-opener to get to know ourselves better too.

      Thanks for stopping by. Always a pleasure to have you over 🙂

  30. Carolyn

    April 12, 2013 at 7:17 am

    BTW, when I shared this on Facebook, and mentioned your name, your account did come up. Hoping you’re back on Facebook soon!

    • Harleena Singh

      April 13, 2013 at 12:20 am

      My account is not banned Carolyn, because it has been positively verified by Facebook, but it’s just that I’m not able to access it, because they want me to enter a security code, which they’re not sending to my email address, but to an expired mobile number. Unless I fill in that security code, I cannot enter my Facebook account. I’m trying my best to contact their support and make them understand the problem, and hope for the best. The account is up and running, that’s how you could share it.

      Thanks so much for sharing the post Carolyn. I know I can always count on you for being such a dear and supportive friend. 🙂

  31. Rafi

    April 12, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Thank you for your love and friendship over the past 4 months, Harleena..!

    And what I am concerned is not about this article or social friendships..

    Your health and fingers is taking a huge toll and the world needs your services for a few more years…

    If you are single handedly replying to all the comments and also posting comments in other blogs, then I would say burnout is heading your way..I may be wrong as well..Yes, you are more courageous and more experienced than me because you have faced enormous challenges in your life, which you have expressed in one of the comments in my blog.

    If you have assigned someone to handle the comments, then it makes sense..The final call is always yours and what I see in bloggers is fatigue, sore eyes, painful wrists and similar other diseases..

    “Health is wealth” and your health is so imp for your family, my friend..

    Please ignore if it doesn’t make any meaning..!

    Sincerely,
    Rafi

    • Harleena Singh

      April 13, 2013 at 12:32 am

      Hi Rafi,

      Welcome back to the blog after a long long time.

      First of all, I’m happy and thankful to you for your concern about my health.

      You’re right about some parts of what you’ve mentioned in this comment. I do sometimes have a feeling of burnout and I don’t deny it.

      Blogging has become more like my passion, and a little less than an obsession. I’ve a habit of doing what I do completely and with all my heart and complete dedication. And this is what I’m trying to do while blogging, but I confess that I’m not near perfection at all and neither able to do all that blogging demands.

      Blogging is really tough because you’ve to write blogs, answer to comments on your and others posts, do the social media bit, and technically update the blog too. While I do the rest myself single-handed, I leave the technical aspects of the blog to my husband. Frankly, like I have already mentioned before, my hubby does help me by giving a second read to the posts I write, offer suggestions or edit if required. That really takes some pressure off me, because I don’t need an editor!

      If you read some of my earlier posts, you’d know that at one time I decided to be away from the social media because I felt it was demanding too much of my time. Later, after a break, I changed my routine in such a way that I could make time for it because social media is very important if you wish to be a successful blogger.

      Don’t worry Rafi, I’ll survive for a few more years and maybe even beyond! I again appreciate your concern and thanks for reminding me; I need to take more measures to take care of my health – I’ve no problems with my fingers or wrists by the way; I’m used to typing fast and a lot too. 😉

      I always wait for the winter and summer vacations and that is when I take my long breaks from my intensely busy blogging schedules. You can call me a Type A personality – when it comes to working, I’m really working!

      Do you think anybody else can write the comments like I do? (Lol.. just kidding; of course, people do, but I like to write long comments and try to do that on every blog I go to, as well as mine here..excepting some blogs where brevity is the publicly accepted norm. 🙂

      You’re right about fatigue and all other symptoms of exhaustion – recently I saw a Google Hangout and I was surprised to see how Neil Patel looked so taken down! Or perhaps it was lack of sleep – or just a comparison to how he otherwise looks in his pictures.

      Health is really wealth, and my hubby keeps reminding me that, and that is why sometimes you don’t see me everywhere on the blogosphere because I give time to my family too. And, now that I’m not able to access my Facebook account for the last 10 days, I really feel a bit relieved too. So see how He has given me time to spend with my loved ones, though I’m doing that and also catching up with pending comments – while I wait for my account to get alright. 🙂

      Thanks for your concern, and I hope I was able to clarify some doubts that you had in your mind and give you the assurance that I’m here to stay for more years to come, and you’ll get more of such thought-provoking posts. 🙂

  32. Angela McCall

    April 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Some online friendship works out.

    I have had friends here for over 10 years and we keep each other in contact. From Livejournal to Facebook to Google Plus…but some of my online friends have contact me in person like sending gifts then suddenly just VANISHED from face of the earth. Their website are still there…contact the person. Nothing. No words whatsoever. And yet she sounded like my best friend. Text message me both mobile phone, myspace, facebook…then suddenly BAM. Never to return again. Wonder, what the heck happen to her. What in the world have I done to deserve this.

    None of my online friends I have met in person either.

    Then I have REAL friends offline…she’s on my facebook but HARDLY ever respond to any of my post and yet when we see each other and hang out, we seemed to be the best of friends. And so it is really hard to tell whether offline friends are better than online friends. Or vice versa.

    It is too confusing sometimes.

    Anyway…it is almost 2:00 AM. Gotta hit the hay. Hope we can be friends someday. I think once a person is connected with me, took the time to get to know me, I can be a LOYAL friend.

    Angela

    • Harleena Singh

      April 13, 2013 at 12:51 am

      Hi Angela – nice to have you back 🙂

      Yes, they do. You have friends online for that long a period! I guess you must be very close, and you sure are lucky to have made good friends over time. Oh yes…the vanishing kinds are everywhere, and it makes me wonder as to why they make friends if they have to leave! I guess they make friends for a purpose or motive in mind, and when they see that we don’t take to what they want – they leave to find more venues elsewhere.

      It is sad indeed, more so when you can see them still around the Blogosphere, or even send them emails and contact them as you mentioned. I wonder if you had any misunderstanding that wasn’t resolved or she mistook something that you said, as such incidences happen when people think differently than what we meant and shut themselves off, without giving a chance to make amends.

      I’ve never come across such people, though I know of friends who don’t visit my blog any longer, but that’s alright and it’s their choice – no hard feelings and that shouldn’t break a friendship – isn’t it? Perhaps they have their other priorities they need to take care of or they are busy doing other things, which as friends at times we need to understand. But yes, responding to emails sometime or the other, or just leaving a message etc is what we do, and that helps keep in touch.

      Ah…the offline friends are very different from the online ones – aren’t they? I guess they live more in the offline world and wouldn’t really bother much about blogs or comments and shares, they prefer real people – real talks, and real friends who they can talk to face-to-face. But even with offline friends, you need to be careful as they get hurt so easily, and if you are staying nearby, it can cause a break in your friendship unless you make up soon enough.

      It surely is tough to decide which kind of friendship works, and it all depends from person to person and the choices they make – isn’t it? I too hope we can catch up on Facebook, which I will once I have access to my account once again. I know you can be a very loyal friend, and I look forward to knowing you better too. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us 🙂

  33. Vikash

    April 12, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Nice Post Harleena.

    Even I would vote a Yes for Social Networking Friendship. I was a blogger once and now turned an affiliate marketer, in the past 2 years I have made around 200 blogger / affiliate marketing friends over Facebook. Today atleast 40-50 of them are in my personal list, it is because over the time we developed a bond which made us explore each other’s life other than blogging and business as well.

    Thanks for the great share 🙂

    • Harleena Singh

      April 13, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Welcome to the blog Vikash!

      Nice to see your positive vote, and I think that’s what the poll also shows where making online social networking friendships are concerned 🙂

      That’s quite a number I must say, though I feel when you are into marketing you have to make many friends. But as you mentioned you have a few of them in your friend list, so online friendship surely has worked for you. I agree, the bond of friendship only grows with time and it just gets better.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  34. Adrienne

    April 13, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Hi Harleena my wonderful dear friend! Oh yeah, I mean that.

    Like anything else in life I think it depends on the person really. I make friends easily because I truly care about others. I know that a lot of the people I’ve met online seem to have the same caring heart.

    Just like Donna mentioned in her comment, if you needed something even though you are a world away, we would do what we could for you because we care about you. Isn’t that what friends do? When prayers are needed, we give them. If you need support with something we’re here for you. We may never have met in person but that’s okay. I have a friend from high school I rarely see anymore but we send cards, emails and an occasional phone call. I still love her even though we don’t see each other hardly anymore.

    To me you can tell when someone is genuine or not for the most part. I did have a girl that approached me and although I hadn’t taken the time to really know her I considered her a friend. Then I later found out she wasn’t who she had told us she was. She confided in a few people but not me so my feelings were hurt. We can all be deceived, even by people we’ve known forever.

    I have met so many people online that I truly do believe they’re good friends and I do hope to meet them someday. We chat via the phone, email, Facebook, Twitter and we see each other on Google Hangouts. We just genuinely care about each other.

    So I do believe it’s possible Harleena, I definitely do.

    Thanks for bringing this up and hope you’re on the way to getting your Facebook issue resolved. We miss you!

    Have a good weekend.

    ~Adrienne

    • Harleena Singh

      April 13, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Hi Adrienne,

      That really felt good – dear friend 🙂

      Yes indeed, it all depends from one person to another and how they take their friendship. I agree, making friends is easy online, especially when you click or get along, and something within tells you that this is the kind of person who is as caring and warm as me- and things move ahead from there.

      Mostly people online whom I’ve met have become good friends, in-fact I hardly know of anyone who has ditched or cheated me, but I know some people have gone through that. I guess if you are your true self, caring, and open – you will find similar friends online, but you do need to be cautious.

      I was moved by Donna’s comment and yours too, and yes – that’s what friends are for. It reminds me of that song of Stevie Wonders (That’s what friends are for…keep shining…keep smiling…knowing you can always count on me…). Same goes for me too – and the distances really don’t matter where friendships are concerned, because we begin to understand and trust each other, which again, happens with time as our friendship develops. Sometimes words aren’t needed because friends understand it all, though online things are a little different, yet those who care – reach out and connect, or understand the feelings.

      There are friends whom we might not interact with as much now, due to various reasons, but that’s alright – we still are friends. And just as you mentioned, sending them an email, message, or short call makes up for the lost time, and they also do the same and it’s all understandable.

      I too can make out about how genuine a person is, but this comes with time and after you’ve been online and made friends, and so far I’ve been lucky that all my friends are as they were – great friendships I must say. Those who have left, weren’t friends but acquaintances I would say or those who visited the blog for a few days and then went away. Yet there are others who come, but not that often, though the friendship remains. But as you mentioned, we can be deceived anytime, whether they are our online or offline friends, which again is a very normal part of life.

      I know you are a warm, wonderful and friendly person that everyone would love to be friends with, because you are very true to heart – that’s what makes you see the good in others too. And am sure the chats and hangouts are great as you go beyond your friendships to get a little more personal there, which again comes with time and once you get to know people a little more and are willing to open up with them.

      Ah…Facebook! It’s so nice to hear that someone IS really missing me there, because I sure am missing all of you and the small talks we used to have. The worse is when I just can’t share my own posts, nor anyone else’s on Facebook because I Still can’t login. It’s been days and they are still sending the code to my old mobile number, instead of sending it to the new one. I’ve tried everything, and have mailed them with the required ID proof and documents now – hoping this issue is resolved soon. And the first thing I’d do would be to remove my cell number from the security login I had put up, which must’ve led to all of this. My blog traffic of course is affected as Facebook was the biggest source for me, but seeing the positive in things – I’m getting more time to spend with my kids and family, and doing up some pending old post comments too. Fingers crossed that it all gets well soon 🙂

      Thanks so much for asking and for your concern – that’s what makes you so special 🙂 Have a lovely weekend too. 🙂

  35. Sylviane Nuccio

    April 13, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Hi Harleena,

    That’s a well done post about online friendships.

    To the question, can we make true friends online? I’d say yes. I’ve made very good friends online, especially through blogging and blog commenting.

    As a matter of fact, yesterday I had a 2 hour conversation on Skype with a blogger friend, and even though we’ve spoken before, yesterday we really found out how much we have in common.

    Like anything else, there may be some cons to online acquaintances as you’ve mentioned, but for me it’s been very good.

    Thank you for writing about this very up to date subject.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 13, 2013 at 11:59 am

      Hi Sylviane,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      I totally agree with you, and the same goes for me too. Just as I was telling Sue above, my online social networking friendships started only when I started my blogs, not when I was working online earlier. Those are different and professional kind of friendships, which one can’t call real or true friendships.

      Nice to know about your Skype conversation – such chats only make us understand our friends better – isn’t it? Yes, for me too it’s been all good so far, but because I know some people would prefer offline friendships, or don’t really believe in online friendships, I thought it best to write about the cons and seek everyone’s views.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with everyone 🙂

  36. Shalu Sharma

    April 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Very good post on online friendship.

    I definitely think that some write things for the sake of writing and hence giving the wrong impression. But all in all, over a period of time, one can give a true picture of themselves. Friendship over the net is possible but its not the same as in real life. But it certainly has opened a host of possibilities and opportunities for connecting to people from all over the planet. It certainly works for blogging.

    Great post Harleena.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      Hi Shalu,

      Nice to know that you liked the post 🙂

      I agree, we find fake people all over and they might just say or write things about themselves, which actually is a lot different from who they are or what they do. And we really have no way to find out other than believe in what they say – that’s how things function online.

      Real life friendships are a lot different, though they too have their share of problems – isn’t it? Yes indeed, online social networking friendships work well for bloggers and those who are really keen to make friends online – and that’s how we met too 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. 🙂

  37. Sarah Arrow

    April 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    An interesting post as always Harleena. Many of my real world friends started as online friends. I was a mum with a baby and a toddler and I couldn’t get out into the real world as much as I’d have liked. As things and time progressed I find that I have more “real” life friends who don’t go online to chat or to blog.

    But wherever your friends are, they still have the ability to support or wound you.

    Just reflecting on your FB “sabbatical”, I noticed you were gone, but thought you were okay as I still saw you on Twitter (although that could’ve been automated). I didn’t reach out, because everything looked normal to me. I should have paid more attention!

    • Harleena Singh

      April 16, 2013 at 12:15 am

      Welcome to the blog Sarah – nice to have you over 🙂

      I agree, many friendships start online and then carry on to the offline world, and that makes people bond better. I can understand the restrictions new moms face, having undergone the same years back. It’s good to know that you have more of offline friends now, though am sure they are online too – aren’t they?

      Oh yes…no matter where our friends are – they can be good or bad ones. I guess we just need to be careful about who we choose.

      Ah…Facebook problem just came up all of a sudden when they asked for a routine security check, and sent a code to my expired cell number. I guess I should have been more careful and updated the number to receive the code to feed in, which I couldn’t, and so the delay. Rest of the social medias were working and I was there very much, except for Facebook. Glad it’s all over after a long wait. Not your fault at all as how’d you know what happened, unless you read this post earlier. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your concern too. Have a nice day ahead 🙂

  38. Srikanth

    April 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Hi Ma’am,

    Connecting different people from different places can be possible only by Social Media !!! It depends on us how to use it for a good deed or for bad deeds! Coming back, friends are the one who have no limit for us in their life.!! After parents, friends, teachers are the most important people to remember!! 🙂

    Thanks for the post !!
    ~Srikanth

    • Harleena Singh

      April 16, 2013 at 12:21 am

      Hi Srikanth,

      Yes indeed, online social networking friendships connect each other from all over the world, and that’s how we all have such wonderful friends from all over. Friends are people we need in our lives, and then come right after our own family and kids 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  39. Debbie

    April 15, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Great post, Harleena!

    I definitely have some genuine online friends, (going back to my participation in a Q&A site), and even met a couple in person. They were exactly the same as their online personas. Will be meeting a couple more (and possibly a third), when we go to Europe in Sept. Over the years, only one phony con artist came to light. She eventually confessed, apologized and disappeared. That was quite a shock, as many of us held her in high regard and she was extremely intelligent. We were completely fooled! Generally though, I think you can get a feel if someone is real or phony. It’s definitely easier to make friends online than it is in the physical world, so I have many more cyber friendships than standard ones, which are few, but span decades. It always puzzles me when an online friend, (and I mean someone with whom you have a long term, close rapport – not just an acquaintance), just disappears without a trace. Not something I would do, unless I was incapacitated somehow, so, I do worry about what happened to them.

    Hope your Facebook troubles have been resolved.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 16, 2013 at 12:36 am

      Hi Debbie,

      Glad you liked the post, and nice to know about your online friendships 🙂

      It must be exciting to meet online friends, offline, and take your friendship forward from there. I have yet to find such friends. I guess we find funny people all over, who aren’t worthy of being called friends, and that happens whether we have offline or online friends – isn’t it? Am glad she confessed and went away too, or else people are often deceived for a long time and heart-broken in the end.

      With time we can make out if a friend is genuine or not, though sometimes we also tend to get tricked. I’m with you there and have met so many new friends when I started blogging – that’s how we met too! Ah…the disappearing acts amaze me too, though I wouldn’t call them as real friends, but yes, they have been on this blog for a while and then vanished into thin air. I guess we need to let them be – each one to their own. Instead, we need to appreciate and value who we have now with us. 🙂

      I’m back on Facebook thankfully, and all is back to normal 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, and for sharing your experiences with all of us. 🙂

  40. Olya Thompson

    April 15, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    I found people who shared my professional interests and reconnected with people I used to know. However, as you say, it is not the same as actually meetng with and spending time with a friends.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 16, 2013 at 12:41 am

      Hi Olya – nice to have you back 🙂

      Nice to know that, though usually professional friends rarely become good or true friends, but there are always exceptions there too. I guess the carefree attitude you can have with real friends is missing there.

      Thanks for stopping by, and hope to see you around more 🙂

  41. Beka

    April 16, 2013 at 12:57 am

    WONDERFUL POST!!

    I have to say face to face friendships obviously benefit on different levels. ALTHOUGH…. I am a stay at home mom and after many years of all my face to face friends having to be at work all day long and in desperate need of adult conversation, haha.. I found myself creating wonderful friendships via social media. With that, about a year ago I stared getting involved in internet marketing and found myself not only socializing and making new friends, but getting the ability to increase our income substantially because I was introduced to a system by someone I met online 😉 So I would have to say I spend more time socializing via online media sites vs. face to face. Allowing yourself to open your horizon your in return opening yourself up to a much larger vast of people. Rather then hanging out with a few friends in town vs. on line you have the ability to get involved with the whole world, quite literally.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 16, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Welcome to the blog Beka!

      Glad you liked the post. 🙂

      If you read all the previous comments, people surely have different views about online social networking friendship against the offline ones. I guess whichever suits you is what must be working best for you – isn’t it?

      I agree, for stay at home moms or those working from home, online friendships are best. Nice to know about your new contacts and internet marketing, though I wonder if you could make real friends that ways, or were they people you dealt with on a day-to-day basis and they become acquaintances rather than real friends. I say this as some people above mentioned the same thing.

      Oh yes…there is no limit to the number of friends you can make online, and that too from all ends of the world, which is the best part of friends online 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  42. Lawrence Bergfeld

    April 16, 2013 at 3:44 am

    The bottom line is that if you do not connect on a personal level nothing else matters.

    Lawrence Bergfeld

    • Harleena Singh

      April 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Hi Lawrence – nice to have you back 🙂

      I totally agree with you there. Whether it’s online or offline friendships, if we don’t connect with each other – nothing really works.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  43. Jennifer Cunningham

    April 18, 2013 at 5:44 am

    I enjoyed the article. Online friendships develop without some of the baggage of offline friendships. I engage with people and read blogs that I am truely interested in. If they become unpleasant, I stop communicating or engaging. There are no hurt feelings, very casual.

    • Harleena Singh

      April 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      Welcome to the blog Jennifer!

      Glad you enjoyed the article. I agree, online friendships are very different from offline friendships. Oh yes…our blogs are great ways to connect with each other and they often can make or break a relationship too. If things work, well and good, and if not – people tend to move ahead.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  44. Mike Cleveland

    April 26, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Hey,

    I feel like there are pros/cons to online relationship. Until two people meet in person, the online relationship is like a honeymoon stage of marriage. There are not real demeans place on the relationship.

    Think of this way, we keep statistics of how many marriages end in divorce. I am wondering how many on online relationships end when people really place true demeans on the other person, he/she doesn’t like what you said or you have a disagreement.

    Have you ever had a person unfollow you on Twitter or unsubscribe from your email subscription, those were relationship that started online.

    I am not saying that true friendship can’t be formed on social networks, but it is harder to judge whether it true friendship.

    • Harleena Singh

      May 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Sorry to have missed your comment earlier, though I’m glad to be here now 🙂

      I agree with you there, and yes, there are pros and cons, which are also there with offline friendships – isn’t it?

      Oh yes…arguments, disagreements, and broken friendships are very much part of online social networking friendship but so are they a part of offline friendships too – aren’t they? I guess a lot depends on how we deal with our friends, whether they are offline or online ones.

      Yes, all of us have people unfollow us on the social medias, or end their email subscriptions, but I don’t think they were more than just acquaintances – not real friends. And even if some of them are real friends, perhaps things weren’t just meant to be. Such things happen a lot in the offline world too where our friends just leave us or break ups occur.

      I agree with you there and it is tough to make out who our real friends are in the online world. But what I best like about online friendship is the fact that all your friends are visible when you are on the social media platforms or email, and the moment you open your laptop and PCs, other than that – they are all away. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  45. Temilola Globalwalyy

    April 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Everything in this life both have its advantages and disadvantages, I will not be surprised to see you list so much disadvantages…

    Social networks have given most people chanced to voice out their opinion and the same social networked have Destroyed so many life…..

    When making friends Online and both offline, its good to know who your friends really are..

    The kind of friends you walked with can as well determine the type of person you are
    “Show me your friend and i will tell you who you are” ~ Nigerian Proverb

    • Harleena Singh

      May 26, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Hi Temilola,

      Yes indeed, there are pros and cons to everything in life 🙂

      I agree with you there, and having online social networking friendship also has it’s good and bad points just as mentioned in the post.

      It’s good to have friends and know who they are, though sometimes you really don’t get to know the real friends from the fake ones when online as you really can’t say who the person actually behind the computer screen actually is.

      I liked that proverb 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  46. Sebastian Aiden Daniels

    May 26, 2013 at 2:13 am

    Another long post which I didn’t know or care how long it was. Excellent!

    I think Online friendships work if you are careful. I think the fact that people can be impostors is scary, but if you ever get more intimate you can always skype and that at least will show people for what they look like.

    I don’t think online friendships can be as powerful as relationships in person. Maybe they can be, but I am new to the whole online blog community so we shall see. It is way different to interact with a person in person because you have time to think and craft your responses rather than on the spot where body language and the emotions of the moment are involved.

    Either way online social networking is a complex and new world to explore. I am having fun doing it.

    • Harleena Singh

      May 26, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Hi Sebastian,

      Ah…most of my posts are long, and I’m glad if you didn’t notice this one’s length, which also means it kept you engrossed right till the end 🙂

      I agree with you there – anything works if you are careful. Yes indeed, skype and chats are great ways to know the real person behind the scene, and this does help, provided the so called friend is willing to chat with you. Perhaps after a while they are willing and you also get to know more about such a person with time.

      There are lots of similarities and dissimilarities too in the online social networking friendship and the offline friends we have. Just as I was mentioning to Mike above, arguments, disagreements and breakups occur in both cases along with many other things. However, as I’ve been online for a while now, I think I’ve really made some good friends, yet I am not dependent on them, nor are we so attached that if they left, it would break my heart – which happens more with offline friends.

      I guess I hardly have more of offline friends now as compared to the online ones, being online for most of the time, but yes, the good thing about it all is that the moment you close your laptop – such friends are out of mind and out of sight too, unless you sit and think of them of course. 🙂

      Yes that can be a factor, though when we are with friends online, we don’t wait and think about what we should or shouldn’t say – we just say it – at least I do, because it seems like a face to face conversation I’m having with the person just like offline friends 🙂

      I hope you do enjoy your online journey and explore it to make new, and good friends too 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  47. Silviu

    July 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Social networks are places where friendship can begin. Friendship is between people and cannot be restricted by a medium.
    Friendship means communion: ideas, feelings, behavior, values.
    It does not mean to “accept you as you are”. If you are alcoholic I will help you as much as I can but I will not accept you drunk in my house.
    Because friendship is spiritual and means soul connection and attachment, it can happen everywhere. So, yes you can make good friends on social networks, too. However, it is better in the offline world.

    Have a nice day

  48. kumar

    July 8, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I think social networking friendship is not a true friendship because there are most of the profiles are fake in social networking.

  49. Reginald

    July 11, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Hello there!

    Thank you for writing and sharing this!

    For me, technology (and social networking) is a very great tool regardless if it is for business or leisure. However, the risk is very real. You gotta be careful in everything that you do or you are going to regret it.

    Especially when you have younger children, you got to make sure they are always mixing with the right group of people etc. It’s not wrong for them to use technology but they have to be educated on the danger etc 🙂

    Just my 2 cents!

  50. Kalina Slavkova

    August 7, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Wonderful post, Harleena!

    I really like the quotes you included as well as your blogger’s perspective. Overall, I feel it’s something that should be treated without any attachment or expectation. You meet people online to establish a network. If you connect and click, then you become friends! I met someone on Tumblr who I ended up meeting in person in Colorado, and we had a great time!

    Your blog is absolutely phenomenal, and I definitely look forward to updates 🙂 Thank you!

  51. Ashutosh Kasera

    September 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Such an interesting post and gosh, I didn’t know how was it missed!!!

    Online social networking, friendship and blogging. Wow… What a wonderful merger of all the three in the same dimension. Really, it is one of the best posts that I have liked on your blog.

    True online friendships proves as a rich connection between two humans on the same ground without getting effected by any other external factors encompassing from this material world.

    We know each other, we trust each other, we have faith in each other not because how do we look like, what is our social status but simply on the basis of our thoughts and thought process. The connection is totally at the mental and emotional level and I really love it.

    In my short blogging journey, I have met many wonderful people and I can proudly say that my friend’s circle has increased widely. I know them based on their mental level and that in itself is something that is sometimes hard to experience in face to face friendships.

    Thanks Harleena for sharing such a wonderful post and as far as your Facebook account is concerned, I hope and wish that it gets resolved soon. In the meantime, no need to worry, we all are with you and your posts are moving on FB. 🙂

  52. Charmie

    December 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Hello ma’am,

    Indeed a topic which can lead to an endless debate and discussions. Well, the world is changing and so are the means of communication. Being a part of it and using the same for maintaining the relationships I am acquainted with both the advantages and disadvantages.

    No doubt you can check out what your friends do but simultaneously there’s lot more wrong things happening with this tool. People even take wrong advantage by spamming, exploiting and misusing the profiles.

    Thanks for this awareness generating article.
    Regards

  53. Mosam

    December 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Hello ma’am,

    Well I personally use facebook mainly as a updating hub and moreover for social media marketing and nothing beyond that. Oh yes there are friends who live far and I need to be in touch with them and this is the best way I think.

    Thanks for this article. 🙂

  54. Maketta

    May 16, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Hello Harleena,

    I do believe that you can have real online friends. Before Facebook and Twitter I used to visit some chatrooms. I met some wonderful people and we still keep in contact today. So, I do believe that you can make real friends online. Of course. I do believe in being careful but you get what you give. If you are sincere and you treat people good that’s what you will get in return and that goes for offline and well as online.

    I have met some wonderful people blogging and I feel that we have a lot in common. So, yes I do believe online friends can become real friends. A friend is a friend. Whether online or off. Thanks for sharing this with us!




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Does Online Social Networking Friendship Really Work

by Harleena Singh time to read: 8 min