I was recently thinking about all of the friends that I have had over the years. Some have had the title of best friend, buddy, sistagirl, or even BFF. There were some that I met in school, others at work, and some I’ve never met in person but we developed a bond in cyberspace. Some of those cyber relationships were stronger than any blood bond that I have with some of my family members.
So I was wondering. Has the idea of friendship changed over the years? Does it matter that they aren’t in your physical space? Does the fact that they are an online buddy make the relationship any less valuable?
The quote mentioned above says a lot about how I have viewed myself as a friend to others. However, 97.5% of the time I never fully open those doors and share my most personal issues with those I consider friend. On second thought, there are instances where I do and others where I hold back. For instance, in my online relationships (not intimate but sista-friends) I tend to share more intimate details about my life than I do with those who are my friends in “real life”. I guess you can say I compartmentalize my friendships. There are those I share with online and those that I act as psuedo therapist in real life. They are all my friends and very valuable but I guess they are just classified differently. I wonder if I’m the only one.
This doesn’t mean that those who share their most intimate details with me are risking me sharing their secrets with the world. That would make me a crappy confidant. Trust me there have been some secrets shared over the years on both ends and to this day they have enver been repeated. As a friend, I try to serve the need that is present -which is often to help them find the humor in the situation or to let them know that I’ll roll up on a ninja with them if need be. LOL. See- I’m a good friend 🙂
For those who know me in the virtual world- they tend to see the raw unedited version and hear my deepest thoughts – on the screen. LOL. They also allow me to choose when I want to be a friend. At any moment I can hit that little red X in the top right hand corner and leave the friendship. I think it is that freedom to choose how I want the friendship to grow- or not, that grants me more freedom to just be ME without fear of judgment or the freedom to walk away if I am being judged. 😐
Some may say that we as a people are less intimate as a result of this 19 in screen where we type words or fancy smancy emoticons. I say it has allowed me to become more intimate – when I want to.
I love my real world friends and even some of my online friends that I have had an opportunity bond with. There’s no way I could say one group is more valuable than the other because just like the quote stated: A good friend is cheaper than therapy. And God knows, there are some days when I needed either a drink or a shrink but my friends met the need.
What say ye?