Are Internet Friends Real Friends?

31 May, 2014
Meeting Sarah J. Maas with Katie, Debbie and Faye!
Meeting Sarah J. Maas with Katie, Debbie and Faye!

I have loved the Internet ever since I started using it from a young age. I was always a very technological child and used to spend my days around the age of seven playing on games like Club Penguin, which I think quite a few people my age will remember. I cringe at my past self.

Being so computer-friendly, I always used to feel slightly guilty when I heard the phrase ‘Never talk to anyone you don’t know on the Internet!’ because, of course, what am I doing right this minute? Hello, people of the Internet. All those people on my Club Penguin buddy list who I DIDN’T KNOW! *gasp*

Of course, you have to be cautious on the Internet and I know that. I won’t go too much into The Rules though today, I just wanted to offer some background.

I’ve been super lucky since starting my blog in April 2012 to meet some amazing people. I’ve been to book signings, met up with people at events and discovered that Internet people = real people too.

So,Β are Internet friends real friends too?

My immediate answer is, of course! There is, however, a longer answer.

I’m always more cautious with Internet friends. Some people have a tendency to only show one side of themselves. Everyone does this to an extent, but some more than others. This can have really bad side effects and has meant I’ve been bullied online before, and I hate that this goes on in our community and people are unaware of it.

On the plus side, the Internet people I’ve met face to face have all been SUPER DUPER lovely! It can be awkward at times when you have to try and figure out conversation and get used to the person ACTUALLY STANDING IN FRONT OF YOU AND BEING REAL, but every second is usually awesome. I have so much in common with the people I’ve met because we all love books which connects us to a very high level. It’s also awesome when you get to find out new traits and depths to a person that can’t be shown on the Internet.

So if I’ve met you in the past, I can guarantee I pretty much love you! Internet friendships are very real, but some can turn nasty just as they do in real life too.

(Also, in real life feels like such a false term. Internet people are very real too!)

17 Comments

  • Chrissi Reads

    31 May, 2014 at 8:45 am

    I’ve made some very good friends online, but I’ve also been bullied online too. I think you have to be very cautious, however lovely they may seem! πŸ™‚ The bookish friends I’ve met though are amazing.
    Chrissi Reads recently posted…Stacking The Shelves #73My Profile

  • Jayd @ books food and other things

    31 May, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Such a lovely post, Lucy!
    I haven’t had the chance to meet any of my blogging friends IRL yet, but it’s something i’m very much looking forward to! I love being able to talk about books with people and since a lot of my IRL friends don’t share the same amount of passion as I do for books, it just makes me so much more glad that I’ve had the oppurtunity to meet people through blogging. And hopefully soon, I’ll be talking to those people face to face!
    Jayd @ books food and other things recently posted…-BLOG HIATUS-My Profile

  • Rachel

    31 May, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Yes, I LOVE all my Internet friends and definitely say they’re real friends! My mum pointed out something to me that I thought was really interesting on the subject though. When I said I wouldn’t like all my real life friends to start reading my blog – I blog to escape real life after all! ;P – she replied with: “It’s probably because you strive to be the person you want to be most on your blog”. Which I think carries some truth in it. In blogging, I feel like I’m really myself – sometimes more so than I feel with certain friends! So I can’t help but love my internet friends because it’s as if they accept me truly for who I am, if you catch my drift?

    SOZ, THAT WAS DEEP!

    There shall be no time for awkward moments when we meet at YALC. I’ll basically have you telling me, every two seconds, what’s going on! I’ve no idea how to act and what to do at events like this. :3
    Rachel recently posted…Let me tell you a little something about me…My Profile

  • Vickie (Under The Mountain)

    31 May, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I don’t really have any real life friends (gosh that sounds sad), but I do have at least one internet friend I can count as a real friend!

  • Ruby

    31 May, 2014 at 11:22 am

    This debate is so difficult for me to answer because I haven’t met any of my blogging friends in person! Or, not yet, at least. πŸ˜‰ I do have a penpal from blogging though, and sending and receiving physical letters definitely makes them seem a lot more than an ‘internet friend’. In fact, every blogger I tweet or email loads definitely seems real to me. πŸ™‚ Plus only two bloggers (or three? I can’t remember!) know what I look like & so I can only imagine meeting bloggers in person would be even weirder if barely anybody knows what I look like aha. That said, it’s definitely my aim to meet a load of my blogging friends because I’m sure they’ll seem even more ‘real’ to me than they already do. πŸ™‚

    I was reading Rachel’s comment above and I totally want to add on; I don’t let my ‘real life’ friends read my blog either (only one out of my five closest friends knows about it!). I definitely think I strive to be the best person on my blog & so there’s always the added worry that, if I was to meet a blogging friend, they’d be let down by my general quietness and introverted nature aha. πŸ™‚
    Ruby recently posted…May 2014 Wrap UpMy Profile

  • Georgia Stencel

    31 May, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I love this post Lucy! I have made so many friends on Twitter it’s awesome…I just can’t wait to meet them at YALC this year! πŸ˜€
    Georgia Stencel recently posted…NEW: BookShelf Love #1My Profile

  • Finley Jayne

    31 May, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Ha, sometimes I think internet friends are better friends than the real life kind πŸ™‚ I agree, you have to be careful, but really, it’s the same for the real life people you meet too!

    Fun topic today!
    Finley Jayne recently posted…{Blogish Chat} To Meme or Not To Meme, That is the QuestionMy Profile

  • June

    31 May, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    I agree with you! I have met some AMAZING people while I was a blogger and a booktuber. Everyone is super duper supportive and fun to talk to (including you, Lucy! haha). Great post! πŸ˜€
    June recently posted…MAY BOOK HAUL | TOO MANY HAULSMy Profile

  • Jaz

    31 May, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    To be honest, I feel closer to my online friends than my real life friends. I’ve kept friendships longer online than real-life. My online friends have always been there to support me – many I’ve met irl and become the type of friend that, even if you don’t talk to them a lot you know they’ll always be there for you – whilst I’ve been bullied by real life ones.

    My gaming friends especially have been amazing – we’ve told each other many of our darkest secrets that we can’t bear to show the world.

    And since blogging I’ve met so many other people to understand my fangirly tendencies where real life friends think I’m weird.

    So yes, yes Internet friends are real friends c:
    Jaz recently posted…Review: Just One Year (Just One Day #2) by Gayle FormanMy Profile

  • Holly

    31 May, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I LOVE THIS!!!!

    I agree with you so much, I’ve been bullied online and so I’m always cautious as to who I become friends with. But I think that the people I’ve met online who I get on well with and talk to (like you!) are friends to me, and I’d consider you as friends in real life.
    I really want to do a post discussing this now…
    Holly x
    Holly recently posted…May Book HaulMy Profile

  • Ray

    31 May, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I really like this post πŸ™‚ I have made some of my best friends online, hell I even met my boyfriend via online dating. There just isn’t always the type of people you click with living nearby and not all the people you find online are creepers, it’s a matter of being on the right websites. I met my best friend on the Twilight Lexicon waaay back in 2008 and when we actually met IRL for the first time it was like we’d known each other all our lives.
    That said I do try and keep my online life away from my RL friends and work colleagues, I don’t really want people I went to high school with reading my blog :S I tend to interact more these days with my online friends and acquaintances than my RL friends (not that I have many left nowadays) so there’s that πŸ˜›
    Ray recently posted…May Reading Round-off – ALL THE RE-READS!My Profile

  • Georgia (The Bibliomaniac)

    1 June, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Loved this post- very true:D A lot of people on the internet aren’t very awesome, but most people I’ve met online are. And obviously, I met you online then met you IRL, and you’re super awesome, just as all the other bloggers I’ve met are! πŸ˜€
    I actually think I talk to people more online than I do IRL… This probably makes me sound so weird but I’ve only ever met up with school friends *outside* of school, like, once xD Whenever I’m out meeting friends, it’s at a blogging event, where all the people I talk to I’ve talked to online first.
    Yeah, I sound totally unsociable towards irl friends here… stopping now xD

    I love your new design, by the way! So preddy, and orangey!!!:3
    Gee x
    Georgia (The Bibliomaniac) recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: Anya’s Ghost by Vera BrosgolMy Profile

  • Maaike

    2 June, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Interesting post! I’ve never met anyone that I know from the internet in real life. But it seems like so much fun, but I’d also be very nervous!

  • Jess Hearts Books

    2 June, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    I met my now two real life best friends online so I definitely agree with this! I think the internet is a great way to meet like-minded people as long as you’re sensible and stay safe! Really interesting post Lucy πŸ™‚
    Jess Hearts Books recently posted…May Round Up and Book of the Month!My Profile

  • Rita @ Weaving Pages

    6 June, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    LUCYYYY! What a great topic! I’ve only met a few bloggers in real life before- I think people always get a bit of a shock because of my age, to be honest!! Yes, it can be awkward figuring out conversation, but it usually ends up all smiles and rainbows (I hope!)
    I like to think that I’m quite cautious on the internet. As long as someone isn’t always completely trusting (It’s good to have a bit of doubt at first) I think you can be safe and still have fun and meet amazing people! Thanks for the discussion!

    Rita xx
    Rita @ Weaving Pages recently posted…Bookish Events: Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees BrennanMy Profile

  • End of the week: Blog loving you!

    15 June, 2014 at 2:02 am

    […] Are Internet friends REAL friends? by Queen of Contemporary […]

  • Weekly Highlights; The Post-BEA, Very Busy Edition | A Daydreamer's Thoughts

    16 January, 2015 at 11:26 am

    […] I have always had friends on the internet. From the minute we finally got dial-up and I was allowed thirty minutes every evening to spend on it, I found people to talk to online. In a way, speaking to people online was safer. I could tell them anything and they wouldn’t judge me because they didn’t know me. Never did my thirteen year old self think I would ever MEET anyone from online but now I have and it is just… amazing. Lucy wrote a blog post about internet friends and discusses whether or not they can be seen as real friends. I definitely think they can be (I met my flatmate online!) but what do you think? Read the post here. […]

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