I’ve had my fair share of friends I’ve met over the internet… most have come and gone, but some are closer to me than friends I may see everyday. And really, I’ve only had one standout bad experience… and still today it lingers.
With the Manti Te’o scandal, the college football player from Notre Dame that had some kind of internet relationship with a girl who may or may not have had cancer & also at some point was to have died, but later was discovered she was alive (sounds too much like a Jerry Springer episode to me!!)…. I really don’t know the full story well, but when this story hit, it really made me think about things.
Until the summer of 2011, most of my internet friendships were nothing more than friending someone on Facebook (or prior to that, MySpace) to gain neighbors or friends for some sort of online game I was playing, like FarmVille or the variety. I never really talked to them or got to know them at all, they just sent me stuff for my farm, or a extra life some other game I may have been addicted to at the time, but other than that, they were just a face on my wall… I actually still have a select few who I’ve decided to keep around, even though I really don’t know them well, but they post interesting things & feel they add to my life in one way or another.
But my love for reality has broadened my horizons & have found some more lasting friendships who I have more in common with, like the forum at (what I call) The Yak. There are others, who shall not be named, but similar in format to what we see at The Yak.
I have found some of the most unlikely friendships. For most of these friends I’ve found I know without a shadow of doubt they are true friends, and know they add value to me and my life. Some I would even consider best friends, and know me more better than I know myself. It so much easier to be myself with them, partly because I think being behind a computer screen and not face-to-face makes it easier to be more brave and/or vulnerable, to show the sides you might hide from people you have direct contact with… seeing someones face and/or reaction when you disappoint or not live up to expectations is sometimes the worst to overcome.
And this is where my reason for writing this comes in. One friendship in particular has had me so confused with myself and it still lingers. Why?? This is someone who I stuck up for when no one else did, believed in and never gave up… yet whenever I let myself think about the situation or this person is involved in, I feel so bitter… and I still can’t put my finger on the exact reason why I can’t just let go. This person no longer matters to me, or maybe I’m just trying to convince myself that I don’t care… I think it’s obvious I do care, but why or why should I?? Uhhhgggg… I hate it! Whenever I try to deal with it and why I feel this way, I usually end up in tears… and no answers.
I tried to tell myself that I need to back away from meeting friends online, or at least not letting myself get attached… and it was once pointed out to me that I have unrealistic expectations when it comes to my (online) friendships, and I do believe this is true. The person that told me this is someone I talk to everyday without fail, yet I’ve never met in person… but feel like I’ve known my whole life. I think the friends I’ve made online have spoiled me, so maybe I can just blame them for my unrealistic expectations! HA!!
Truth is, I really want to let go… but haven’t figured out the magic potion to release me from whatever it is that’s holding on?? I value each and every friendship I have, because I spent some of my early childhood without friends (which I might touch on sometime in the future), and I NEVER want to feel that alone again. So part of letting go of this person goes against the grain of what I believe, yet dealing with the bitterness I feel isn’t doing me much good either, sigh…. In closing, I’m still as confused as I ever was but writing always helps clear my mind!!!! Bottomline, I love the friends I’ve made online, so I don’t think this will stop me from making more, but it will make me more leary on how much I put into someone I really don’t know. The ones I’ve made definitely outweigh this one bad experience.