Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a new take on friendship

So much busy in my life. Ugh. I wish it left more room to blog, but sadly it doesn't so much anymore. When I'm not working, I'm in class or doing homework for it. When I'm not doing either of those, I'm doing my OCD thing and blazing through seasons of Doctor Who. Yes, I finally caved in to the 4 or 5 people who insisted I start watching, and, for whatever reason, there are over sixty 45 minute episodes on netflix instant. I started season one, episode one with a quick prayer that went something like "god help my social life. amen" and then went on to obsessively blow through 4 seasons. I did the same thing with Dexter. I did the same thing with freaking Full Metal Alchemist. It doesn't matter. If it has multiple seasons and a basic story line, count me out for a few days, at least. I feel like waiting to watch them all in sequence allows you to connect with the characters better, because you don't forget details week to week. It's all there at once.

Anyway, not what this post is about. While I've been at work, I've been making new friends. It kinda got me thinking, along with a conversation with another friend, about friendships in general. Mainly internet friends (oh hi guys) versus the basic, in-person kind. It's an interesting thing to look at. People you know in person, you share something basic with. School friends, you have the same school, maybe the same classes. Work friends you obviously met at work, more often than not. Random friends you met at a party, you share some common friend and like to go to parties. There's always a reason you met them. Something in common in your habits or friends or hobbies. After you meet them in whatever setting, you may trade phone numbers or something like it, and then maybe start talking outside your common setting. Getting something to eat after work, studying together instead of partying together when you realize you both have that awful geology class. That sort of thing. That's when you start to know person. They stop being an associate, a school acquaintance, that guy at that party. They become your friend. Someone you confide in, someone you share memories and thoughts and feelings with. Someone you can count on to have an opinion when it counts. After time, it becomes more than words. You start to hang out more often, sharing more memories and living future memories together, laughing the whole way. Suddenly years have gone by and you're best of friends and have been for years, and it's just normal. Maybe he's in your wedding. Maybe she's your best friend that lives across the street. 

Now, that's how lifelong in person friendships go, I think. Having not had a lifelong anything, I can't say from my 19 year old perspective, but that's kinda how I imagine it happening. Internet friends are a different story. The time line above allows for months of friendly interaction without any real connection. It gives even more time before two people start talking outside of a common situation and begin exchanging pasts and secrets and such. The internet is funny. There is no commonality. How'd you find my blog, if I don't know you physically? (the rest of you, I'm fairly sure I know how you found it) You linked to it from a friend of a friend of a friend one day when you were bored on blogger. You hit that B until you stumbled upon it. Maybe you legitimately StumbledUpon it. Point is, it wasn't intentional. You weren't looking for me. But you found me. Then you read. You skipped months of getting to know me on a basic level and skipped to my thoughts, my past, my ambitions, my plans, my ramblings, and everything in between. You know me on a deeper level than most of the people I communicate with in person. And you're still here.

Does that make you better friends than most of the people I know? I don't know the answer, I'm really asking. Are we friends? You sure know me well enough; I don't hide anything on here. You've got all of me in front of you, just in writing. Hell, it's the internet. Go find my facebook; it's not protected, I don't think. Between that and this, is there any part of my life that's not on the internet?

But then, what's the fun in that? That good old fashioned way of making friends seems so much more meaningful. There's so much more invested in it. So much time and effort, so much connection. When you have those building blocks, you can move forward to create together instead of simply share to each other. That's something that will never happen, probably, between you and me. We, again, probably, I shouldn't ever say never, will probably never meet in person or share memories together. We have separate lives, yet I know you so well, and you me. But is it that special? Where was the effort in getting to know you? Just reading what you write. In person, you know how long it takes to get to peek into someone's personal little journal of rants and scribbles? How long it takes for them to be comfortable enough with you allow that sort of intimacy? The internet is a beautiful and terrible thing. There is no consequence to what I say here (okay, again, not talking to those who I talk to outside of the internet). There's nothing you can do that will have a severe impact on the majority of my life. So I feel no shame sharing everything. Its a great thing, to have all of you here, ready to listen to whatever shit I have to say, whether it makes sense or not. I always have an outlet, someone who cares and will listen and occasionally respond. But let's be real. It didn't take any effort to get you here.

In person relationships, those that took so much effort and consideration, mean more. If I've judged a person to be worthy of all this information, then I've looked into the future and seen the two of us still conversing, still being friends. I have no thoughts of you taking this information and using it against me, or taking any complaint I have and telling me to grow the fuck up. It's part of that 'choose your friends wisely' thing. Here it's just not an issue. But the thought it takes in real life, the actual choosing of my friends makes them all the more special.

I say all of this out of pure interest in the topic of different kinds of friends. I don't want to belittle you who don't see me outside of this website. I think you guys are awesome for putting up with me completely willingly. There's nothing keeping you here except interest of what I have to say, and I think that's freaking awesome. Internet versus physical relationships isn't a contest. They're apples and oranges.

By the way, if you still read this silly ranting nonsense I call a blog, please do comment telling me so, so I know this whole shout out in the last paragraph wasn't all for nothing. Kay? Kay. :)


  1. ooh me! :)


  2. I see how it is. We not cool enough to be your friends, yo?