Are social media “friends” really friends at all?

friends

This is certainly true when I think about my social media “friends”. I have never met them, nor am I likely to. I don’t even know what some of them look like, what they do, their ages or very much about them at all. This got me thinking about friendship and whether they are my friends at all?

I was having a particularly miserable couple of days recently, triggered by the evil scooter sales lady (see previous post) and other events that conspired against me.

Once upon a time I would have called a friend, gone to the pub, ordered a bottle of wine (or 2) and felt better (pissed) within a couple of hours. It’s much more complicated than that for me now. If my misery is MS related it can be a long process trying to get people to really understand how I’m feeling. This is not their fault and sometimes I find myself minimising how I feel in order to spare their feelings. Self- respect also plays a part, do I want people knowing how things feel on one of “those” days?

Many of my friends have disappeared in recent years too, this is their fault! MS and young children make it more difficult for me to get out like I used to so there are only a handful of people who still come and see me and maintain friendships. What did I do when I got the blues recently then?

A woeful post on twitter or the muMS Facebook page elicits such warm, friendly, humourous advice and complete understanding that it’s hard not to think of these anonymous “strangers” as friends.

I got the following definitions from http://www.thefreedictionary.com.

1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.

2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.

3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.

I like and trust many of my social media MS buddies and we are certainly allied in a struggle or cause! That makes them friends in my book!

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2 thoughts on “Are social media “friends” really friends at all?

  1. i have this conversation at home fairly regularly – but i find that i probably spend more time chatting online than i do catching up with ‘real world’ friends – sounds sad but it’s the stage of life we’re all at – kids, jobs, commitments, etc.

    i have a real life friend who lives round the corner – don’t see him from one month to the next but chat almost daily on twitter.

    • Me too, especially with something like MS to deal with. It’s sometimes easier to find support from
      people who really understand than it is to talk to real friends. I try and offer as much support as I receive though too.

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