Online Friendships: Treasures of Technology

Online Friendships: Treasures of Technology
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  Friendship is the positive and

unalterable choice of a person

whom we have singled out for

qualities that we most admire.

~Abel Bonnard

You've asked for help on one of your email lists, looking for some friendly advice. She not only offered an opinion but a solution for a problem you were having. The next week you end up in the same chat and she is a friendly "face" since you are nervous about the whole chat process. You suddenly realize you have met a woman who has the same sense of humor, the same values and same interests as you do! Your emails fly back and forth and before you know it, a bond has formed with someone miles away in distance but close to you on your computer.

The Internet can be overwhelming at times. Technology has always been looked upon with caution. What will it bring to our future? What does it mean to our privacy? Amidst this debate are women from around the world who have connected emotionally with each other. Cyndi Webb, of Moms Network Exchange, said;

"I have found that the women I have made friendships with to be some of the most honest, generous and down to earth people that I've met. They have not only brought new laughter and warmth into my life, but have stretched me in the ways that I think and do business. They have been a source of strength and support in ways that I never imagined."

When I was growing up my mother had two friends that we would visit with often. They would chat in the kitchen while we played in the yard. With so many women having home businesses today we are often on our computer working throughout the day, and contact with other women in our community may be more limited. Online friendships can provide that "coffee break" to interact with women who are of like mind and understand our struggles and our victories.

Catie Gosselin, of, compares her online and offline friendships.

"They feel as real to me, but they serve a different purpose. My offline friendships usually center around motherhood and my personal interests, while online friendships have the added dimensions of parenting, personal interests and business. I feel like my online friendships are with other women who really understand what the demands of my life are, because they are in the same boat."

What is real friendship?

Someone who is not online on a regular basis, or at all, has a hard time understanding a friendship formed on the Internet. You may have heard comments like "Oh, are they your virtual friend?". Is email any different than writing a letter to a close friend? Yes. With email you don't have to wait for the post office to deliver your message. Interaction is often immediate if you are using chatrooms or instant messaging. Lisa Bryan, a freelance writer, finds encouragement and humor from her online friends;

"My online buddies are just as real to me as my "in person" friends. I have more frequent contact with my web friends, and we're more in touch with each other's ups and downs. There's tons of support, humor, and fun."

Our online friendships can be as real, and just as supportive as offline friendships. The Internet allows us to get past the distance barriers. We can now communicate with people all over the world. Shannon Warnick, who has written Pathways to the Past, A Quick Start Guide to Researching Your Roots, has this to say:

"My online friends tend to be more real than my offline friends, because I usually communicate with them at least once every few days. My online friends are a very special group, mostly women, who are very supportive and nonjudgmental. They tend to offer a wider range of perspective than my offline friends."

Real friendship is about support, sharing, laughter, and loyalty. In a quotation from William Terhune he expresses his feelings on friendship:

"Constantly look for a new friend, a truly first-class person, one who has the courage to criticize, to demand your best self, a person who has different interests and different beliefs from yours, a friend for whom you can render a constructive service. Devote energy toward making such friends. Retain them, never let them go, and continue making new friends until you die."

Our online friends are truly treasures of technology that we should not let slip away. In a world where loyalty and understanding are often hard to come by, we should hold on to all of our friendships, and be thankful for our online and offline relationships.

About the author:

Brenda Hyde is editor of Seeds of Knowledge, and a freelance writer. She has been on the internet now for over two years, and has made friends with women all over the world.

More from our friends...

Our friends at Ideamarketers and

have features on friendship here:

The Art of Keeping in Touch

Be That Friend


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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