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Internet Friends
69 replies
178 days old
last post: Jun 19, 2020

Internet Friends

1 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-24 05:07
Are they real friends, can people who are closed off from others still have meaningful relationships with people online? The world may never know!
But seriously, it's a talk I don't have often but I feel very strongly about. From since I was an early teenager onward all of my real meaningful friendships have been with people I've never seen face to face, and I don't know if that's a good thing for me or not. I know that it's kept me from being totally isolated and has really given me an outlet, but friendships online seem so volatile and easy to fuck up. I've fucked up several friendships over stupid shit just because all we can really use to communicate with is purely words, so they can mean a lot.
I think online friendship has the potential to be more meaningful than many offline ones since you can really be yourself and many of the social queues are gone, letting you be more open and frank, as well as have long conversations without having to do anything but read and write what you think.
The other end of the sword is that you can feel really disconnected and isolated because you don't have any offline friends, or good ones at least. I fall into that category very often, and it really hurts. My dream really is to get my own place and meet my best friends face to face, because without doing that I feel like they might disappear and I'll be forever lonely and isolated.
I don't know what I can really say more. What do you anons think about it?
2 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-25 09:44
I have always wanted online friends, but have been too busy with work or too socially awkward online to talk to new people on a videogame/discord/whatever.

How do you make online friends?
3 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-25 15:38
You just have to force yourself to talk. I'm very shy but there was a lovely internet community I found that I really wanted to join. After a good half a year of lurking I forced myself to start greeting everyone and make small talk until I got comfortable enough to relax and open up properly.
For more social people it's probably quite easy but if you're like me it'll take time and persistence. I'm really glad I put the effort in though, I love these guys.
4 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-25 15:55
The only online friend I'd consider more than an online acquaintance was an offline childhood friend I got separated from, but stayed in touch with online. Our online friendship was kind of similar to our offline friendship. We played games together, shared things we made, linked interesting stuff to each other and talked about random things. All the other online contacts I had were mostly just inviting/getting invited into games and occasionally exchanging a few words, which wasn't as exciting.

We later met up again offline, but both of our offline and online personas were too different from each other, that it just felt somewhat off meeting offline. In the end we got separated again and I lost Internet access for a long period, which put an end to that online friendship. We've had sporadic contacts since then, but the long time span without regular contact took its toll. I've tried making other online friends, but it always seemed forced or it'd end up being someone that is completely out of their mind.
5 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-25 16:23
I had two people who i've lost due to my pathetic behavior and unstable mental condition despite having reasons for it. Only after healing up a bit, years later, I realized that it was a big mistake to lose them so carelessly. Then, despite having things to share I saw that it's a mistake to even talk like a human being in this modern oversaturated internet. There's no shame in wishing to communicate but be careful or you will meet some vile behaviour from those who even forgot that they are real people.
6 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-25 16:28
Sage advice. It's really important to remember that even online, people are real people and shit you say does have meaning. That's not a PSA against trolling or anything, it's just when you're friends with someone and you treat them like dirt they're not gonna stay friends with you.

You gotta put yourself out there man. Try joining some communities for things you're interested in, try to participate and (hopefully) the rest will follow.
7 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-26 00:49
A surprising topic I've given much thought to.

I think online relationships are destructive forces. The function of a conversation is to employ a process to somewhere - but when the function itself is the process, then only one thing is guaranteed: disappointment.
What I mean is that if all you can look forward to is further correspondence over mutually exclusive lives, it is easy to feel even more alone than before. Relationships are vectors where one shares experience. Some may take this as a conversation, but there is a backdrop within these dialogues. You may be walking around a city, or eating in the park. There may be a festival to attend, or a board game.
In online realms, there is little memory to weave together; there is little to bask in if there only are diplomatic islands disclosing what the water is like on their end.

Social functions are far more than words. A fact somewhere states that around 80% of our relations take place in body language. There are many nuances that simply cannot be shown in texts or voices - goes to show just as OP mentions that they have lost so many people to inane things that a simple expression could clear up.

Not only are these things lacking so much on the connection front, but also these things chip away at your personal time in the form of notifications. Inevitably, it is quite rare to report on anything else BUT the state of the water. That is, the exploration of the other, mutually, leads to an end. For rarely does both in correspondence take time to actually live. The lifestyle necessary to entertain online relationships usually, through unfortunate circumstance, calls for a benign half-presence. This means a lack of personal growth, and a limited view of curiosity. It is often why many people shed themselves of so many others, for it's unsettling to be even remotely aware how much stagnation has taken place for either party.

In the event both in correspondence do take time to live, it then seems inevitable to notice how online communications hurt their full-presence lifestyle. To always be in finger-reach evaporates things to catch up on. It makes things confusing. When do we get a break? Where is the divide between friends and myself?
Either one becomes hard to reach and hurts their online friendships, or gives up in being in the world and double downs on finding a quasi-fulfillment in talking about the water for the hundredth time.
8 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-26 04:40
This hurts, but it's filled with a lot of truth. The fact is that in some ways an online friendship is objectively worse than an offline friendship (I refuse to label them "real" friendships since online ones are real too, however many problems they may have) but I don't think they're totally destructive. As someone with a history of having offline and online friends, I've gotten different things out of both. I find myself having a really hard time being totally sincere and uncensored around my offline friends, and generally have a hard time being myself. The upside is that I can actually do things with that person besides listen to music and play vidya.
Online friends on the other hard I've found I can be totally honest with, and have unfiltered conversations. The lack of physical setting is a double edged sword, but when you don't have any physical things around you, you can totally focus on the content of the conversation, and almost entirely eliminate things like uncomfortable small talk.
However I know that to be forever just online friends with people and never see them will probably end up being destructive to me, so I've set a goal to try to actually become offline friends with my online friends at some point. One of the few really solid goals I have, because honestly friends are the only people in the world that I really feel I belong with.
There's my cool post
9 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-26 15:34
I regret not building up more online friendships when I was younger. I don't even know where to begin nowadays. I've spent far too much time on anonymous boards to adapt easily to being tied to a single identity. Especially since I'm now well aware that I'll change as a person over time and that things I said can come back to haunt me. I have some offline friends, but who knows if they'll still be around when we're no longer in the same city?
Even if I was to later conclude that online friendships aren't enjoyable, I'd still want the ability to make them. I'm worried that moment has passed. Maybe, just maybe the mistakes I'm likely to make would be acceptable if I was a child - but as an adult? I doubt it.
More than that, I never have anything to say. I always feel as though I'm intruding on a conversation between friends. Imageboards have lead me to see it as somehow narcissistic and shameful to just state my thoughts or blogpost like I'm doing now if I do it in a medium with a username.

I feel like it was so much easier before everything centralized on Twitter, Discord, Reddit and so on. A million little forums and IRCs seems like much more fruitful territory for meeting people and socializing in a way that doesn't seem narcissistic and shitposty.
10 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-26 17:14
so I've set a goal to try to actually become offline friends with my online friends at some point
Then you're free from what the post describes. Your vector is pointing toward mutual experience, eventually. Most online relationships that people entertain do so with a bit of insincerity, ironically. They would never consider the person more than someone to talk to, as you have. This leads into my other response.
You will always regret everything you do. This fact seems to be the only solace I could say here.
The important thing to do is to emphasize the benefits of what you've done and minimize the benefits of the other side. For I'm sure you'd just as strongly regret bothering to form online relationships.
In my opinion, there is little to regret especially if there is no intention in seeing them in person.

The online friendships you crave are far more likely to fail, and the sincere connection you seek is rarely found in online communication.

Far more likely to fail because of as you described. The complete insignificant barrier of entry for the average internet user nowadays.
I scroll through scattered forums and wonder why do I still have faith that some post worth reading will crop up?
And if it does, when compared, would not a book more likely preclude dissatisfaction?
For all printed words have the same auditing, and all authors know what it means to name the work after yourself.

As for sincerity, it is easy to mistake honesty and words for good intention and action.
Take for example someone repeatedly saying "I love you."
If they genuinely did feel that, would they not instead show it through their actions? This is a chief principle of anyone you come in contact with.
And the irony is, for online relationships, all one can do is say I love you. Repeatedly and without feeling. Without feeling?
Well, have any of you ever caught someone on the phone doing something else, like doing the dishes, while you were divulging something vulnerable?
Your thoughts aren't really priority, is what was conveyed. That feeling of betrayal that could follow is impossible with online chatting, since it is asynchronous, but rest assured most of the indulgence one does in conversation is only but a part of a circle of actions chronic internet users do.

The half presence described does not just mean physically, it also means even to those you talk to. For the stream of someone's words eventually appear only as words, and as you become more "of your self" and exposed, the less you can easily remember there is someone on the other end. Everything is easy to interchange. Even the posts you read online. Are these your words or mine? Why value my words more dearly than a friends? You aren't you say, but you still read this, no? How can one begin to profess loyalty to an online friend if you share the same actions among strangers? How is an online friend different from an online stranger? The amount of time you could put in seems negligible, since, as shown earlier, the time is nothing. There is no return on investment, for there are no memories to invest in. Mutualy exclusive lives. I suppose the only distinction is how much you know each other's story - but this seems to be more of a voyeurism than of a concern for another person. And how painful it is to genuinely care, among either wolves who want your attention until no longer they find it tasteful, or among the people you love but in all likelihood can never be anything more than a pile of words.
11 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-28 05:10
I'm just hoping that I'll be able to meet with some of my online friends offline soon, but money doesn't grow on trees and when your best friends live across the country or in other countries, shit's tough.
12 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-29 08:10
I honestly wish I could keep friends that I make online. However, they end up getting bored with me because I want to talk and keep up with them I guess too often. Yet then get mad at me when I'd rather have a conversation then play a video game with them. I'm not really into modern games and more into playing retro games so that's usually the main problem that stems in online friends in my case anyways.
13 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-29 12:46
Online friends seem more of an outlet than an actual friendship. Maybe down the line it can turn into a genuine friendship, but people tend to put too much emotional investment in before that.
This is a person you know nothing about. Everything they said about themselves could've been made up on the spot. Maybe they could be an oil prince pretending to be a farm worker in Hungary. Unlikely, but how would you know?
14 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-29 14:23
I think you have an interesting point here, but I'd like to propose a counterargument. It's somewhat funny this will take place in the "letterbox" because that lies at the core of what I'd like to try to say.
I don't think the concept of what an "online friend" actually is, is altogether new. In fact, I think when taken in certain ways it’s an incredibly old sort of friendship. What are dear friends trading correspondence via letters over weeks and weeks and years and years any more or less than what we now do, only slower? There were generally likely some shared experiences in the real world prior (barring those that became known to each other via means like being published publicly and written to), but the tradeoff is far slower methods of communication over having had a root to the relationship in "real" life. Even if the relationship started in “real” life decades ago, does that really count for those that continued to trade letters into late years, with no plans to meet again? There are countless examples through the years of what appear to be close relationships conducted purely through written communication. I do not see why the communication found in forms of online communication are so different, and why the bonds of friendship can't be kept alive through them.
In fact, in terms of means, I can think of examples at least a hundred years old for every standard method of communication we now enjoy.

IMs, text -> morse code
Voice chat -> phone calls
email -> letters

All of these, to me, are legitimate methods that friendships were kept alive, people use the means available to them to reach out to each other. They are living their lives apart from these things, but it’s possible to do that and allow yourself a little corner to cultivate a friendship like this. I do not think that words and lived experience are the same, but I think you greatly discount the power of the written word. I think there is far more to being able to state “I love you” and mean it, even when spoken. In the negative case, is there any difference to someone who will two-facedly proclaim their love in person? Why would that change anything other than maybe having a better chance of figuring out their lies? It surely must be possible to get feelings across properly within writing as well, I'll allow that it might take significantly more thought and effort, but those are in fact luxuries and strengths inherent in asynchronous communication, not defects.
That said I realize there is a world of difference between these sort of bulletin boards and attempting to forge a true connection with a single person. I suppose it’s possible I would mistake you for me, but just merely from this I wouldn’t mistake what we shared here for friendship.
15 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-29 22:48
I really like your perception on this subject matter.
Thank you, I took in a different approach from your post.
16 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-30 09:06
Yeah, you're right. I'm glad you made this post, definitely showed the flipside of a lot of the negative points around internet friendships in this thread (not to discredit everything they've said, though).
17 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-31 00:51

If I was more certain we're on the same grounds, I would go into why I don't even think these earlier forms of communication were worth the time.
My sentiments aren't necessarily restricted to the digital age, nor are they new.
“We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate... We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the old world some weeks nearer to the new; but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad flapping American ear will be that Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough.” -- Thoreau

But instead I probe on this: what is a friendship?
Keep a friendship alive through these methods... for what?
Is it to
...[find] a quasi-fulfillment in talking about the water for the hundredth time[?]

Even with letters, continual talk of water makes it awfully hard to swim with one another, which, I find at least, to be the essence of relationships.

If one thinks that merely talking to a person is enough for you, please continue to try then.
In my experience you will feel MORE alone in the end, if that is another purpose of friendship.

What is a friendship? Through your answer you'll understand if online ones are possible.
18 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-31 03:25
I think the base of your approach is probably why we disagree so strongly on this. I think it would be fair to say that you probably place much more emphasis on activities shared together as friendship in itself.
The metaphor of talking about state of water and taking action to forge ahead, to me, feels like a false dichotomy.
There seems to be a lot of implication that written communication is merely limited to small talk, most directly with the "whooping cough" quote, which I think you must admit downplays how incredible the communications we now enjoy in the world today are at least slightly. Surely you must be able to see that it is possible to talk about far more than just the mundane goings-on of so called "mutually exclusive" lives.
This is not to discount the value of having someone physically there with you, forging ahead together, but only stating that forging a connection with someone by other means is not something to dismiss.

It seems that you might be oscillating between these sort of written relations being "false" and merely "less". I don't know if I can say that they are equal or not, but they are surely different, and I suppose it's a personal value judgement on whether or not cultivating one is worthwhile. You seem to hold a lot of negativity towards the idea of "just" talking to someone.
I have had plenty of conversations in person that seemed to loop endlessly, talking about nothing more than the current goings-on around us. I have had plenty of conversations online that were deep, meaningful, and personally affecting. Of course, the reverse also applies, but the venue itself never seemed to matter all that much.

Maybe the key is whether you think you can understand someone more deeply and better via action or communication. I suppose both are valid.

So what is a friendship?
I think it must be here where we split. You say that relationships are shared experience, I say that they are shared understanding.
I think at it's core, I might view friendship as "communication" while you view it as "action". I don't think there's anything wrong with this, but I must admit you seem largely dismissive of communication with things like "merely talking" and the implication a sincere letter reaching out to someone you know is the same as a book, a pile of words at the end of the day either way. It is true that the action conception of friendship precludes online friends by default, and also true that it's probably harder to forge that sort of action-oriented friendship in the current world, but I think that's neither here nor there.

If I'm off the mark with my interpretation here, please feel free to correct me.
19 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-31 06:20
I think at it's core, I might view friendship as "communication"
This is really how I view friendship, it's how I've really felt real connections and friendship with people I've never seen face to face before, and still feel close and connected
20 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-31 08:08
You've caught me on a day. Before today I would say action is superior. Now I'm at a loss as to what a friendship is to me. Not even sure if understanding is the answer, but I will concede the picture that paints is a lot prettier. There have been days past wrapped around with activity but no substance in the interchange.

Mutual exclusivity - code word: sharing doldrums - appear inevitable. There's a deficiency that unearths itself among the hyper-connected. Or in me, at least. For it's not the written word itself. You can convey something a whole lot better with writing. I could fault technology or people, but I will point to how unlikely it is to exchange mutually interesting thought. Conversations dull overtime, topics close in, what else is there to say? Nice weather. To always have a line one can tap upon is to lower the form of dialogue eventually. Short conversations supplement the nods of a face-connection. A tap to assert it's still here, this is happening, a connection is at hand.

I don't know what friends are for. If it's to mutually waste time, then both mediums are equivalent. I mean, that's what it seems to be to me. I don't remember most of the people I've talked to, or what we even talked about. Nor do I remember ever being understood - rather, it was always a torrent of layered justification as to how I am and act as I continue to figure out the other side - and this feeling was probably mutual.

Sometimes I have a theory that what ~appears~ as connective force is instead delusion. If it really was a connection, wouldn't one remember it? Be moved by it? It'd be easy to discredit all I've said since I don't even know what a friend is as of now. But I say this from a position of someone who had a lot of people in pastime.

I don't want this to devolve into a matter of definition - since it doesn't seem right to define what a friend is for the subjective human experience.

I'm not entirely unfamiliar with forging connections through word alone. I just lose sight of where or how this even means something. Writing letters is infinitely easier than showing up.
I would trade all the sincere letters anyone has ever wrote for me, in exchange for a day where they felt contented. Or they grew in some manner. Took in some solitude, forgot about me. Something I could hear about if our paths ever cross again.

Let's combine to make the ultimate form: a friend who has both understanding and power of action.

Either way, online or not, it is just very unlikely to find a friend.
Even as I type this I forgot why I'm doing it. I slightly regret it, since it's contradictory to what I think. It makes me feel bad.

Ironically, if you'd like to be understood, although written word can appear superior in exchanging thoughts, principles, ideas, they fall rather short on conveying the whole mood and existence of a person, don't they? I mean, simple misunderstandings always happen. The curtness perceived in my previous post was the least of its intention, but it still comes all around that way.

I think my mistake here was ignoring the initial post wording. That is, "counter-argument." I have no intention of arguing, nor do I want to prove anyone right or wrong. I suppose me replying implies I am, if you offer such words. I always share my thoughts with an undertone that it's subjective. it has been stupid of me.

All I wanted to do was share my views. As of now I don't know why. I guess I messed up there too. If they're wrong, I guess I'll learn eventually.
21 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-31 13:58
The fact that being selective automatically means you'll end up with no real friends by 25 says a lot about the nature of friendships. Maybe centuries ago you could have a good friend, but I don't think it's possible anymore.
22 Name: Anonymous : 2019-12-31 21:14
Thanks for contributing man. If nothing else, this was just a good read, so thanks for the post, even if it really doesn't have an overarching point to it.
23 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-02 06:33
I'm in my early 30s and I have no friends at all. Online or IRL.
24 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-02 06:38
Man I'd probably blow my brains out if that were me. Despite being a shut-in I still require some people to call friends.
25 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-02 07:40
I have good IRC friends. I use Jabber more and more too.
26 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-02 07:56
You should think a bit before saying something like this to a person in that situation.
27 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-02 20:13
Oh fuck, you're right. sorry, I really didn't think twice about it
28 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-03 02:09
It's quite alright. I've come to accept it. It's a lonely life but depression couldn't get much worse than what I've already experienced in my life. I've already had a loaded gun to my skull before. I questioned everything and realized I didn't want to die. So there's no need to worry.
29 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-03 02:47
Most people do. I'm fine with it, though I still feel unhealthy on a basic level because humans are hard wired to be social. But if I spend time with people I can't wait to go back home.
30 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-03 03:45
That's how I felt before I ended up like the "ghost" I've truly become now. I never enjoyed being around typical local people. I never shared anything in common with them. I never could feel like I was capable with relating to anything they'd talk to me about or vice versa. It was just misery more than anything else.
31 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-03 04:24
Do you guys just hang around imageboards/textboards? I love these places but they can sometimes be depressing on their own. I guess it's a way to speak without any social ramifications and on your own time, but for me they're supplemental and purely for entertainment.
32 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-03 09:40
I've met up with a dozen of dorks I befriended online over the new year and it was a blast. We played board games, watched a show, couple of movies etc.
We initially met up on a game development IRC channel, so it was pseudonymous at first, but eventually people started organizing meetups. It was kinda scary going to one, stepping out of anonymity, but I never regretted it.
33 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-03 12:05
I admit I spend way too much time on imageboards/textboards. Literally probably on average around 6-8 hours a day.

Must be nice to live in a close enough proximity to others who are like-minded.
34 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-03 12:17
I only browse a few small boards and a few blogs via RSS. I don't watch the news, haven't opened a social media site in ages.
It's like the opposite of FOMO, I just want to unplug from everything. There is no real divide between reality and the net anyway, the only real divide has always been vertical. In society, on the net, everywhere.
35 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-03 17:33
Holy fuck, lucky fucking dog. I envy you, but I'm glad you have that kind of opportunity.

Yeah I totally getcha
36 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-04 05:32
My issue is that I absolutely cannot stand "meme culture" for the life of me. I grew up on incredibly strict message boards that were as intimidating as they were enjoyable, and now that it's all just Discord and Twitter users everywhere it's impossible to have any decent or useful conversation. I want wit, know-how, and intrigue, damn it!
37 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-04 05:33
I forgot - maybe it's pedantic of me, but any time I see someone intentionally leave off the period at the end of their sentences or use the phrase "y'all", I know that they aren't worth talking to.
38 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-04 05:46
Yeah. All-encompassing platforms have really ruined originality and unique internet culture. Everyone no matter where I go is buzzing off the same memes as everyone else. Meme culture was a mistake.

"y'all" gets on my nerves, but lack of period never bothered me. Generally, the way I do things is that if it's a one-off message, I'll typically just not bother with a period, and include it where it's needed. Although it's usually cleaner to just include them always.
39 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-04 11:04
I use different vocabulary, capitalization or punctuation to spoof my typing sometimes, and I'm probably not the only one. You're always better off reading the actual content of the posts.
What's with y'all? Is it some kind of meme?
40 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-04 17:21
Ha ha, I hate meme culture because I'm so old that I remember life before the internet. I loved being online up until social media started becoming a thing. That, and now that every low-IQ mouth-breather has easy access to the internet, it's just generally run to shit. I also don't even understand what half of the memes I see mean, either, and a good portion of the ones I do get are stupid...and I suppose that my advancing age and the fact that I've always been an outcast and weirdo with few or no friends adds a great deal to my disillusionment. Hell, at this point, I should just become a monk or a hermit in the woods, and call it a life.
41 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-04 19:29
What's with y'all? Is it some kind of meme?
Not that I'm aware, it's just something that's bothered me because so many people say it where I live. It sounds stupid and it's one of the bad southern US stereotypes that's actually true.

Become a WiFi hermit
42 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-04 20:10
There is no real divide between reality and the net anyway, the only real divide has always been vertical. In society, on the net, everywhere.
What do you mean by vertical exactly? This seems like an interesting thought.
43 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-05 02:49
What do you mean by vertical exactly?
Who's higher on the ladder.
44 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-09 01:14
I joined an online community over 7 years ago and became really close friends with a bunch of the members. A few years back I met up with some of them offline, and we had a great time together. Easily one of the best trips I've ever had. However over the past year or so the community has drifted apart. You could tell that people were losing interest, or had their own issues to deal with, and stopped being as active. Some of the people I thought I was close with completely cut off communication and I haven't been able to get in touch since. Since then, I only keep in touch with two or three of the people I met from that community, and even that feels like it won't last much longer. That being said, I wouldn't take back the time I spent with my online friends. I didn't have any relationships like that offline, and I genuinely felt a sense of camaraderie with them after the years I spent talking to them almost every day. I was happy being able to express myself sincerely, and feeling like I was among people who could relate so closely with my own experiences.

The tail end of the whole affair has hurt though. I do think it's natural for people to drift apart and for relationships to end eventually, but in my offline experiences there's usually some reason for it. People moving away, an irreconcilable disagreement, not enough time, things like that. With my internet friends it has been hard to rationalize it. I've gone from blaming myself for not trying hard enough to maintain the relationships, to feeling like I was the only one taking these friendships so seriously. It's something I'm still trying to process and come to terms with.
45 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-09 17:03
It's always like this, sadly. Every long distance relationship eventually drifts apart, and life gets in the way. A lot of people eventually give in and get absorbed by normiehood.

At this point I approach relationships by compromising and accepting things I find unacceptable just to be able to have a conversation, only to regret getting any personal later.
46 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-10 19:38
I am interested in trying out IRC to meet and connect with others. Possibly making a few online friends in the process. Will that be difficult as being new or are they accepting to those trying to learn?
47 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-10 20:42
Don't expect it to be much better than Discord, it's just a chat. Don't panic if you can see your IP when you /whois yourself, all the major servers cloak your address (check for mode +x when you connect) but you can still see it.
Hexchat is much better than web clients.
48 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-11 10:33
Okay, thank you. I downloaded Hexchat and reading some tutorials so I can get a understanding before just jumping in.
49 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-11 12:08
Get a theme too! After you start Hexchat the first time (so it builds the folders etc.) you can download a theme from here
You can open this file with "Hexchat Theme Manager" that you have somewhere, if it doesn't open automatically. Click apply and it will set the theme.

If you are on Windows and you use your real name as a user ID, go on Settings > Preferences > Advances, and change you real name to something else, as well as the defaults in the network list.

You're going to be asked to register a nickname when you enter a server, just follow the instructions, it's usually about sending a command to NickServ. If your connection drops you might find your nickname still in use by your "ghost", you can kill that nick with /msg nickserv ghost or just /ghost followed by [nickname] [password]. You can also automate this by switching your login method (Network list > Edit) to "custom", and putting a sequence of /ghost, /nick and /identify in that panel. You can shorthand username and password in that panel with %u and %p respectively, it will fetch what you entered in the server configuration.
50 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-13 13:34
Alright, thank you for the link and the insight. I'm going to get a theme and start trying things out. Hopefully some other people who may had been curious did the same and learned something from your posts as well. I ended up watching a few videos and read some other webpages on things such as some of the commands you mentioned here.
51 Name: taters : 2020-01-15 18:17
year is somewhere between 2005-2007
age approximately 13-15 at the time
xbox live
playing Dead or Alive 4
stumble upon a public lobby with friendly chatter/banter etc or something similar. positive enough vibes to stick around
everyone around a similar skill level, nobody straight up stomping. everyone having a good time
we add each other up
everyone being teenagers, we had all the time in the world to play together all day every day (after school/weekends)
we all become close friends, definitely more than just faceless players. everyone sincere and real. We all know about each other's real lives, personalities, etc.
most real friendships i've ever experienced
our friend group travels together across multiple games as we all coordinate the new releases that look good
must have been at least 10 different games during the time
group grows and shrinks and grows again as time passes - people not liking the games we're focused on, arguments between friends, new people we meet in new games - just as a physical club might
always wished to meet up or even live with some of the longer lasting "members"
year, 2011.
everyone feels like things about to close out, we're pretty much down to 5 people or so. everyone going to college/work so no time to play all at the same time like the good old days
as we're getting ready to say our goodbyes, I mention that I'd still be willing to live with anyone of the remaining guys (i'm of age at this point)
the friend that introduced me to everyone, my first and best friend, agrees
i couldn't be happier
he moves in with me in my shitty apartment and it's as if nothing had changed
his real life personality was exactly as it was online
still living with him to this day
We've known each other for more than half of our lives at this point and we've consider each other brothers for quite a while now.

I had a similar experience with the Team Fortress 2 Arena community back when it was active in 2009-2012 or so. I was definitely a centerpoint for everyone gathering together every day to play Arena because servers would fill up when I joined and would generally die after I left (after a few hours). Servers would be dead silent until I opened my mic and suddenly everyone would be cheering and shouting and otherwise enjoying themselves. Must have been at least 100 people that would all play often enough to remember at the time. Still keep in close contact with 4 of them. I've offered for them to move in with me before but no one's willing, I think it's the small generation difference (and maybe real life stuff). I'm about 7 years older than the oldest one, 10 years over the youngest. Still, I'd bail any of them out in a heartbeat.

Needless to say, yes I believe internet friends can be considered real friends, and not in the "turn into real friends" way (even though I got to experience that). I feel/felt honest connections with all of the guys I played with and if they needed some extra money for some real life shit and they promised to pay me back, I'd send over a few hundred. I love them all in the brotherly way and the ones that are still around play a huge role in my daily life even if I don't talk to every single one every single day.

If I could experience even a fraction of this in the real world, I'd love to but I don't think it's feasible. Between there being a limited pool of people that I have access to and have "niche" hobbies (in the way that I don't play AAA garbage), I just can't connect to anyone in reality.
52 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-15 19:04
This is a person you know nothing about. Everything they said about themselves could've been made up on the spot.
This is why you spend time with that person before truly considering them a friend. You play games with and against them, you talk about the game and then when things slow down or your both heading off, chat about some real life shit for a couple minutes before actually going offline. When it comes to two people looking to make friends with each other, it's not very hard to differentiate between someone who's lying or not. In this case, people looking to make friends give as many details about themselves related to the story as they can (minus any real life identifying info), and people keeping you at arms length or intentionally leaving big details out are clearly not the type of person to become tru-friends with. Yeah they might lie over something but if you were to keep talking to that person and they keep building off of a lie, eventually the beans will spill.
53 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-16 22:59
I have a couple stories like this, but they ended. Now I find it extremely hard to talk to anybody, online or offline. I try again every now and then, but if I talk to someone like normal I find myself completely faking it, and as soon as things get remotely closer I ghost because I realize I hate being around them.
I don't know what happened to me. It's as if I became allergic. I used to have so much enthusiasm, I was more open-minded, funny, charismatic, eager to live imperfect things, but it always backfired on me in one way or the other. I had my moments and quirks before, but they were just quirks. Now I just can't stand human beings and it's terrible. It all feels too rational and no matter how much effort I put into it, I end up disliking everyone as soon as they open their mouth.
54 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-18 13:49
I had an internet friend that I opened up too much with and he used all of my personal trust in him against me. We talked for an entire year and even had plans on possibly hanging out in person.
55 Name: Anonymous : 2020-01-20 17:18
I'm curious about your story
56 Name: Anonymous : 2020-03-13 17:07
I had something similar to that anon happen. Maybe I'll share the full story later, but a word of advice is to always keep a buffer of wariness about sharing everything. If you've never met someone offline, don't be completely transparent (not to say you can't be transparent to an extent), but online friendships can fall apart for the most stupid reasons, more than offline I think, so just be careful.
57 Name: Anonymous : 2020-03-13 17:46
It's the same IRL. If you share something that can be used against you, it will. Girlfriends unload everything immediately after breaking up.
58 Name: Anonymous : 2020-03-13 18:06
Yeah, dating is worse, never gonna get into that shit. Not even a woman hating thing, I just wouldn't want to deal with that possibility.
59 Name: Anonymous : 2020-05-11 01:50
It's funny. Despite all the thought I've given, the thread still lays around the floor. I haven't wound together a conclusion for half a year.

The same problems keep revisiting me in different forms.

I'm just learning to come to terms with how we'll all be alone.
60 Name: Anonymous : 2020-05-30 15:36
hope you eventually do manage to solve the problem, besides just being alone
61 Name: Anonymous : 2020-06-12 20:30
My experience with discord is very limited as I prefer one-on-one conversations and the rest is up to whatever I browse such as this website.

I once was invited to the server by someone who also happened to invite 2 more people I'm not familiar with. After some time, me and the other two started getting along just fine and short after that the owner of the server killed it because they could no longer fit in I think. One of the other two invited me to a server that they had created which basically was a replica of the other one but guaranteeing that it won't be killed because they can no longer fit and it was fine. In parallel, the person who originally invited me had went offline for a considerable amount of time.

The other person came back to life and tried to get in connection with the rest of us again, this happened around the same time we started talking less and less over time because we had talked about virtually everything (at least on my end). I noticed after a while that they had created another server with the other person and have been talking there. One of the reasons I could think of is that they no longer view me as interesting while the other one gives them a new opportunity? I don't even know why I was excluded.

I'm feeling very disappointed in them and I feel like I've wasted a lot of time on this. Unsure how else to feel about this, these are people I considered internet friends...
62 Name: Anonymous : 2020-06-13 21:31
I've had the same online friends for the last 9 years. We met through the manga community, dabbled in fan translation and editing and have been friends ever since. There are only 5 of us, but we've added each other on other social media accounts and now we chat via mobile apps or IRC pretty much every day. I'd love to meet them IRL someday, but covid has made that impossible for some time.
63 Name: Anonymous : 2020-06-14 11:32
To me internet friends and irl friends are in separate categories. They're two different things. I can get to know someone online and really enjoy talking to them, but in the end they're just online friends and will never mean more to me then the real friends I've made throughout my life. I keep a level of distance between me and online friends, and if I needed to talk to someone about life issues or whatever, it would never be someone I met online.

However, I realize a lot of people who frequent these kinds of sites are NEETs or just don't have many irl friends. I can't speak for everyone's situation, but I feel like online friends could be a good outlet in those cases.

At the end of the day would I personally consider them "real friends"? No, but I understand why some people would, and I see that to them they might actually be their "real friends".
64 Name: Paperplane : 2020-06-14 18:37
Very interesting because I tend to talk way more freely about very personal problems to internet friends while I take a very long time to warm up to irl friends about this. I think online friends are valuable because they can be a form of escapism and they have a very different perspective on you than your irl friends which can be nice. the anonymity probably helps with that. You can tell them anything and it doesn't matter since they don't really know who you are.
65 Name: Anonymous : 2020-06-14 22:30
I've made most of my friends on the internet. I tend to mentally categorize them as well.

The first group is the lifelong (or at least long) bonds I've somehow managed to make. Met these people on the internet, then we met IRL many times and made so much memories I consider them my real friends.

The second group is the people I've shared some context (a group, channel etc.) with and who I've known for at least a year on a pseudonymous basis. Sometimes I've even met these people 1-2 times IRL, but I have no doubt that if the group were to dissolve, my bonds would've been cut.

The third group are people I've interacted with on a pseudonymous basis, but haven't met them IRL. One side deletes their account, be it me or them and the bond is no more.

I vent more to people I barely know who I know won't stay my friends forever (for various reasons) and on anonymous imageboards.
I don't usually want to bother my best friends, even though they claim they're there to hear me out (and I even believe that's true).
The most important thing about venting anonymously is that your vents don't get tied to you and you also get to hear some solutions given from different standpoints.
66 Name: Paperplane : 2020-06-15 07:37
The most important thing about venting anonymously is that your vents don't get tied to you and you also get to hear some solutions given from different standpoints.
67 Name: Anonymous : 2020-06-18 14:29
Venting anonymously has its perks, but doing it for years has messed with my head. I cannot express any kind of "rant" to anybody IRL anymore, I just fake it until I can post a rant about it safely online. It feels incredibly unhealthy.
68 Name: Anonymous : 2020-06-19 00:30
Get off my vent or I'll have you bent!
69 Name: Anonymous : 2020-06-20 00:14


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