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Friendship update

The first community I took part in was on mIRC and consisted in chatting every night with the same people. Originally, the chat-room had been created in relation with a band, but after a few months, people connected on it without talking about the band at all. We were a few regular users, we finally started to know each other and the chat-room was just a meeting point...
Some people from this first small community created a webzine about music and put a message board on it. We have been very surprised how quick the site became popular (now it receives 5000 visits a day) and the message board grew up very fast. Today it has 2900 registered users, with around 200 of them posting every day. I am registered on it since the day it opened and I am sometimes ashamed to say that almost all my friends are on it.
That does not mean that I first met them online, but a lot of my friends are more or less related to the music field and they all end on this place. Today, I think I know them better and I see them in real life more often than friends that were in highschool with me...

I think that internet websites as Myspace or Facebook, and a few message boards, are not the best place to make new friends, but they are very good to keep in touch with them.
As a good example, since I study in the USA, two friends from France visited me, and both of them are from the message board. They were not at school with me, we never lived in the same town... but we met randomly in a music festival and then stayed in contact thanks to websites like I said before. Being here, I can't use telephone to call France and I have been to lazy to send e-mails just to give some news, so the only people who have news get it through Myspace or message boards...

Then, I completely agree with Boyd when he says "people display social connections to reveal information about who they are". On myspace, I generally have an idea (maybe wrong, but it still works like that) of who the person is just checking his or her friends... The first thing that I did when I created my account was to request friendship to all my favourite bands and persons in general.
The article made me smile with the whole paragraph about the TOP 8. I never thought of that before but it is true that it must have created some dramas for many teenagers!

Comments

I also think that things like Facebook and Myspace are more of places where people can keep in touch rather than form relationships. I think that the reason for that is because the messages are generally short and probably experience breaks where people don't talk for a while. Because of that, it's hard to get to know the other person (or people) in-depth. It's more of a "hi"/"bye" situation. I know that I've personally didn't really develop strong friendships over Facebook, I've used to keep in touch with the people that I had already formed relationships with in person.

I agree. I don't think that the Internet or SNS's are good ways to meet new friends. However, I have to qualify that thought in that I have not tried to meet new friends on the Internet either. I do think the Internet is a unique communications medium to share ideas with friends, colleagues, or in our case, classmates.

I really like your comment about online communities being a good place to "keep in touch." Rather than bash online communities for those who may abuse them (overusing and spending too much of their time on them), I think they are a great place to stay up to date on people you wish you could see more often, but cannot. It helps a young person stay in line with their group of peers and may even help an individual stay on track. For example, someone could see their friend from high school participating in a volunteering event, and decide to join as well. So, in this way, the interaction and learning that occurs is very beneficial.

I agree with your comment about 'keeping in touch'.

If only I would have known about these online communities sooner- I bet planning my 10 - year reunion would have been a heck of a lot easier!!

I also agree with your comment on how these communities aren't the best way of making friends.
I like the physical proximity aspect of meeting someone new. I think it helps to really get to know someone when you can read their body language, look them in the eye, and exchange real smiles.
Well- I guess that sounds creepy, but I would never trade in my childhood friends for online ones.

Good Post.

I tend to disagree, I think it is completely acceptable to make friends online. It is just too bad that sites like Myspace get so much negative attention due to the fact that people can and do get stalked.

Well I don't pretend that it is impossible, or unacceptable to make friends online. I think almost all of us have at least an exemple of when it worked...
However, the best use I found for myself with sites like facebook / myspace is as I said to "keep in touch". They don't require you to write long letters, to give a lot of news, and allow you just to say "hi" sometimes...

I realize I pretty much repeted myself, but I just wanted to say that we finally don't completely disagree.
Pierre