Friends on the internet.
I think we need a new word besides friends to Talk about our contacts on the internet. You can have so many so called friends on Some social networking sites That your brain couldn’t possibly maintain a stable social relationship with all of them. I think of all the classmates in workmates I’ve had. We’ve all been generally friendly to each other. We laugh in share stories while working together. But how many of them ever came over to play at my house? Or called me for something unrelated to work or class?
A few of them actually make it to my personal circle of friends, But for the most part it’s a pseudo-friendly relationship that is only held up by the fact that we are in the same class or at the same job.
It’s the same with my “friends” on the internet. Sure, I really like them! We’re happy to talk to each other and even to share some details of our lives, but how many actually have my phone number or address? Sad fact of the matter is that we will probably never meet most of these people. We like to pretend it has to do with the great distances usually involved, But even if I was passing by one of their houses on a trip, how many would invite me to stop by and have dinner? It’s another pseudo-friendly relationship propped up by the internet.
I don’t mean to disregard the real relationships we have with these people on the internet when I say pseudo, but you know exactly what I mean when you think of your “real friends” in your mind. I would love for most or all of my internet friends to graduate into my circle of real friends. But in the meantime I just think we need a new word for this classification. It’s misleading to hear someone talk about how many thousand friends they have on MyFace or SpaceBook or whatever.
I propose netmate.