Sometimes I wish…


This post is linked to the ‘Blog Tag – You’re It!’ bloghop. It’s an honour to be invited to take part. 

Sometimes I wish it were easier to make people aware of the importance of online friendship. We’ve become so used to talking about connecting to the Internet, that we never talk about what it means when we connect on the Internet. Those friendships can be more significant than many would realise at first, and the loss of these can be life altering.

I would imagine there are very few people who do not have some form of contact with people online, so it’s probably understood that once those friends are no longer around, ordinary conversational topics can become more important, or even more difficult to discuss.

We form bonds online because of shared interests, and it can be that those online friends are the only people we can discuss that subject with. (There are many Beatles fans in the world, but I particularly enjoyed the quirks of conversation with Chris…I never knew what was coming next, whether she would ask for my help, or whether we’d just end up chatting about George for a long time.)

But, to return to the topic…if people were more aware of online friendships, and their importance, there would be more respect for those of us who have suffered the loss of online friends. It’s difficult enough to find a personal path through grief for an online friend, without feeling as though you don’t have the right because you didn’t really know them.

Some online friendships can be closer than close personal friendships. We may share far more with those we aren’t lucky enough to see every day than we do with family or close friends. Having online friends gives people somewhere to ‘go’ with the things that they may not wish to discuss with family members. So, sometimes I wish there was more awareness of the importance of online friendship.

Posting tomorrow in the Blog Tag- You’re It! bloghop is Corinne Rodrigues of ‘Everyday Gyaan‘. She writes deeply insightful posts on spirituality in everyday life that contain true pearls of wisdom (or ‘gyaan’ ) for everybody. 

Click here to read Corinne's 'Sometimes I wish' post

Blog Tag- You’re It!

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About Casey Bottono

I am in love with language. I write poetry and fiction in a wide variety of genres. Most recently, I have been shortlisted as a finalist in the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities' Pen2Paper contest.
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43 Responses to Sometimes I wish…

  1. sometimes i do wish other people would understand, too, casey. it is only when i tried to establish online friends was i able to understand the true essence of building friendships online. most especially the one i did with blogplicity. the impact this group had in my life is so huge, i feel so blessed to have known everyone in the group. i’m glad you’re part of the group, too, casey. and i’m glad to have known someone who is passionate about online friendships. ❤ 🙂

  2. Till a few years back I was of the opinion that internet is a totally unsafe place where genuinity is something unheard of.But since the time I have joined this group I have met some wonderful people and made some real good friends which I could not even have in my real life. The warmth and comfort I experience amongst all of you is difficult to describe in words and yes it surely helps me a lot mentally.

    Beautiful and touching post…loved it!! ❤

    • Casey B says:

      Thanks, Privy.

      I have to admit, I shared some of your fears when I first began to use the Internet, but I was pleased to find that they were mostly unfounded. Online friendships are truly a blessing, in every sense.

      Take care,

      Casey

  3. Hi, Casey! ~

    Friendship means different things to different people. I’m not sure what it means to you. I have tried to get to know you but it seems you are not really interested in reciprocating, which is fine. Thank you for participating in the Blogplicity Blog Tag event to the extent that you feel moved to do so. I hope you find what you’re looking for…

    Best Wishes.

    • Casey B says:

      Hi, Linda.

      Thank you very much for your comment. It’s interesting that you should ask what friendship means to me. It’s embodied by not running if the going gets tough…heck, I wanted to often enough, but knowing the love and friendship I felt towards them, I didn’t dare. (Yes, and part of me didn’t want to be the last to know if anything happened.)

      Take care,

      Casey

  4. rimly says:

    Nice post Casey! I lost an online friend sometime back but my grief was shared by so many of my online blogger friends that it was amazing. But I guess you are right people should become more aware of the importance of having friends who you do not meet except in cyber space and yet connect so well.

    http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.in/2012/09/is-this-love.html

  5. I have met the most interesting people online, Casey and been able to connect with so many like-minded people too. It’s difficult to explain the connection we feel to those who haven’t really experienced it. Thanks for joining the Blog Tag, Casey and adding so much value to it.
    Thanks too for the introduction. My post is stilling in the ‘cooking’ stage 😉

  6. PNA says:

    Dear Casey 🙂 You spoke my heart 🙂 Think it is high time lay folk (when I mean those who roll 🙄 🙄 🙄 their eyes at us permanently online :P) realize that internet is an integral part of our existence, we sell, we buy and we share, we search – we network – as a natural path, we become close to people we interact like during any other interaction. I have many an online friend, close ones, best ones, hi-bye ones, and still making – I enjoy… even my love was virtual – the fellow and me fell in love with the words on the chat page 😛 😛

    I always wish – there is no bias towards an online friend because they are online – if we are lucky we get the best set, off or on 😉

    Virtually yours
    Pins

    • Casey B says:

      Hey, Pins.

      I agree with your every word. 🙂 That’s amazing that you met your partner online- if that’s what you mean? 🙂 Things like that can’t help but legitimise it to others…not that it needs to be legitimised, if you know what I mean. It’s a real enough thing, the rest of the world just needs to catch up! :p

      Take care, my friend- I look forward to reading more of your posts.

      Casey

  7. Amy says:

    I enjoy the interaction with others on line and like with any relationship that grows into a friendship is of value. I agree that some people just don’t get it. Take care.

  8. melissa says:

    It’s true that we make meaningful friendships here in the net.

    My family doesn’t approve of it much because I get ‘involved’ most of the time with my friends’ private affairs…but I learned to ‘distance’ myself and strengthen my boundaries.

    I know most of my friendships here are blessed. I wrote one time on my wall that people who bring me closer to the Light ~ to God, to love, to peace ~ are true friends.

    I have also learned to cut strings. It isn’t easy to let some friends go. But if doing so will allow me to grow, then pruning will help.

    It is, as you wished, wonderful if people would learn to appreciate online friendships through awareness.

    Lots of love to you :*

  9. Hey Casey! I love the post. I know that you have had an array of experiences on the internet and I appreciate you sharing. I believe that everyone has different reasons for blogging or socializing on the internet. Sometimes, we may find that we have to be gone for a period of time and that can leave us feeling as though we have lost touch with everyone. Until something like this comes along and the connection is instantly alive once again 🙂

  10. Casey,
    Whether on the internet or in real life…we will have people who will stay with us regardless and some who only make contact for what they get out of it regardless of how we feel. I often don’t know how to “introduce” my internet friends to one another especially when they might have much in common but I don’t want to describe them as “on line friends” so I usually say, ” I know a bit about this person because I communicate with them regularly in a group on line” but often I do think, in the long run you really need some FACE rather than FACEBOOK time to get to know someone. I have “found” some wonderful people on line with similar interests but sometimes think, if we could just have a “teleport” moment every so often and meet in person and communicate with voices not just print, how really neat that could be.

  11. Some of my best and closest relationships have started online!

  12. Suzy says:

    Great post. I am pleasantly surprised that I have met some amazing people through my blogs. Friendship has taken on a whole new meaning for me and the love and support I’ve got from people I have never met has put some of my other friendships to shame.

  13. Pingback: Sometimes I Wish - Everyday Gyaan

  14. Beautiful post, Casey! Yes, I have made such dear friends on-line that the thought of losing any of them fills me with sadness.
    Blessings to you!

  15. I completely agree!!! We are often closer to our online friends, because we share more with them. I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Casey B says:

      Thank you for your comment, Lisa. Thank you for your condolences as well. I grieve Chris’ absence, and all that she ‘misses’ (not really, but you know what I mean 😉 ) in the wider world, with her family, and with me. However, I know that much of what has happened since her transition could not have happened without her transition. Through her affection for me, she taught me a lot, through her leaving, she taught me even more. May she be at peace eternally with the Almighty.

      Take care, my friend.

      Casey

  16. This was a great post..I wish that too! Online relationships can become very important and integral in our lives but for those that don’t have them they can easily dismiss the pain and distress we go through when we lose those we care about of whom we formed intimate bonds with online.

    • Casey B says:

      Thanks, Jessica.

      It’s all too easy for people to dismiss our legitimate feelings when we experience the loss of an online friendship. I really hope that in the future online friendships as a whole will be legitimised and recognised, but I think it will take a long time.

      Take care, my friend.

      Casey

  17. tumultuousjourney says:

    all I can say about this is that if it weren’t for Blogplicity and people I have “met” through this group; I would be lost. I gain strength, am empowered really, by The folks that I have connected with. I have learned trust and been able to take my brain apart completely in the presence of these folks. I rarely if ever worrry of judgement as I would with family. We don’t always agree, come from many different cultures and countries. One thing in common we have is love and honesty. Great post I agree, on-line relationships should be taken seriously, but as with so much in life if you haven’t experienced it you don’t understand. After losing 2 online friends, I can genuinely say, loss is loss regardless of the circumstance, online or not. Thanks for joining the blog tag.

    • Casey B says:

      Thanks for your comment, TJ.

      I really appreciate it, and agree with the level of openness you describe. I never felt more able to ‘take my brain apart’ than when I emailed Kim…which was what made that so difficult when it ended, I think.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Take care,

      Casey

  18. Casey – very good post. Friendship is a delicate dance at best under any circumstance, and technology has opened opportunities unimaginable even a short time ago. To me, friendship is purely qualitative…not quantitative. Through the internet I have grown to know people I may never see in my lifetime, but respect and support as friends because they deserve it and are responsive in inspiring ways. I include you in that group. Loss is difficult under any circumstance, but the online thingy has only added a layer to something we will all experience in our lives. It is not easy, but it is real and hopefully we heal and grow from it.

    Be well,
    Ron

    • Casey B says:

      Thank you, Ron.

      It’s a pleasure to have met you through the group, and I agree with every word you’ve written here. I love your description of friendship as a ‘delicate dance’. I aspire to be able to live up to your description, and heal and grow from this experience.

      Take care, my friend.

      Casey

  19. Kim says:

    Hi Casey: I don’t think I have met you before. I used to come here a lot, but due to illness and being overly busy with a new support group and ministry my hubby and I formed, I haven’t had time to visit or to keep up with my blog. This is a good motivator to start posting again! My next post will be a difficult one as it needs to address the suicide of one of our support group members. I am the leader, and although this woman had only been to the group a few times, we had gotten to know her husband and it has profoundly affected many.

    It was a great idea to write about online relationships, and I know mine are very important to me. I believe that online relationships carry a safety factor that face-to-face relationships take much longer to build. One of my online relationships culminated in my second marriage, and my husband became my best friend before I ever met him in person! I had doubts about whether I would marry again, and he changed my mind. I have also reconnected with cousins online and far away that I haven’t seen since I was a child. I am so excited that I will get to meet them again in December. There are people that joke about online relationships, and I think in the past, they carried a type of stigma, but I don’t believe that to be the case anymore. I have gotten to know some very valuable friends online that I may never meet in person, but I hope one day I do! Thank you for a very thought provoking post.

    Kim

    • Casey B says:

      Hi, Kim.

      Thanks for writing- nice to meet one of the regulars through the comments. 🙂 I agree- there definitely is a safety factor with our online relationships. For better or worse, we’re far more open with our online friends, perhaps.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Take care,

      Casey

  20. Bongo says:

    The closest relationships I have ever had were those that were built online..I have even had the pleasure to grow those relationships by meeting them in person and creating forever bonds…online relationships can be the best and most rewarding of all.. you can be yourself….Awesome post..As always..XOXOXOXOXO

  21. Casey, friendships online in the blogosphere are reciprocal. We establish the ‘tribe’ you hear so much – too much – about these days. But to me it’s more about relationships than fans. I’d rather have 10 faithful friends than a thousand followers who never return once they’ve clicked the follow button. Friends are there for you, always, unless some life circumstance prevents it.

    • Casey B says:

      Thanks for your insightful comment, Debra. I wholly agree with your thinking. These online relationships of ours clearly mean the world to us, so I wish they were more widely recognised.

      Take care,

      Casey

  22. cherubim97 says:

    Oh, I absolutely agree with you. I do wish ordinary (I don’t mean that in a bad way) people would embrace the internet a little further. One of my best friends lives miles away in Algeria, and if it wasn’t for online network, we may have never met each other. So, online relationships are important, after all, I agree.

    Very good post!

    • Casey B says:

      Thanks for your comment, Dave. 🙂 It’s amazing that people can forge such strong connections without ever having met, I agree. It seems only logical to me that our social circles would widen with the evolution of the Internet, and yet people still seem afraid of it. Granted, there are some things that are justified, but the fear shouldn’t get in the way.

      Take care,

      Casey

  23. As a writer, I live mostly inside of my head. I joke that i’ve 2.5 friends, which isn’t far from the truth. I am slow to connect with others, but once I do, it’s solid. I’ve connected with a few creative women virtually, a few have commented above. It’s not as if we share life secrets, but I feel a bond in the words they write and because of this I make it a point to comment on their blogs. It’s a strange way to make friends, virtually, because a lot can be lost without the face to face, but often words are stronger than a smile and a wink.

    • Casey B says:

      ‘Words are stronger than a smile and a wink’ – exactly! Sometimes words are all that’s needed. I know what you mean about something being lost without face to face contact, because that too creates a longing that can be difficult to overcome when such a situation as cyberloss arises. Thank you for your insightful comment.

      Take care,

      Casey

  24. InJensMind says:

    “Sometimes I wish it were easier to make people aware of the importance of online friendship.” “Those friendships can be more significant than many would realise at first, and the loss of these can be life altering.”

    Those two sentences mean so much to me. I, unlike many, was late getting online. It was November 2007 when my husband got me my first laptop. It was my very first computer ever, my first time online ever. I started out with classmates.com, Myspace, Bragster, Thisis50.com, and eventually to Facebook and Twitter, and every single newer site since then.

    When I connected to anyone I considered them a friend. You see I know the difference between friends and acquaintances but, I am a firm believer in everyone comes into your life for a reason. Therefore, when I connected with anyone online on a deeper connection they were indeed my friend. Unfortunately, many don’t consider someone they meet online to be a friend.

    It’s truly sad because I’ve made better friendships online then I have offline in my life. Many of my offline friendships have ended because I changed and they didn’t. It became unbearable to them that I was a happy person and not a miserable wack “only a mom” person like I was before. All my new online “friends” accepted me for all that I was. Or maybe when my outlook changed so did the types of friends I attracted. Either way, I’m with you…more people need to realize online friendships are just as strong if not stronger a bond/connection (“more significant”) as offline ones. As such people should be treat all of their friends nicer and with more respect and understanding… hell, people should treat ALL people that way.

    I hope you had a nice weekend and I am so sorry that it took me so long to comment. xoxo

    • Casey B says:

      Good things come to those who wait. This comment was really worth waiting for, so thanks for that, Jen. ‘When my outlook changed, the type of friends I attracted changed.’ My circumstances are different, but I feel the same way. ‘People should treat all their friends that way’ – yes, indeed. Somewhere along the line, I think we’ve lost the idea of what it actually means to respect others.

      Thanks for your insights – so very worth waiting for.

      Take care,

      Casey

  25. Casey, this was a spot-on post and very current. Recently I did a post which was titled, “How personal can the virtual become” and it attracted insightful comments. You are right when you say that online relationships are sometimes deeper and close than the offline ones. I have very good online friends and I treasure and value their presence in my life. There is a greater degree of acceptance and acknowledgement among online friends and considering the amount of time I spend online, it is only sensible that the online relationships are the ones I nurture on an every-day basis. Even when I am not online, my online friends send messages, call and keep me in the loop. I can’t be more glad for a community like this.

    Loved this wish and this wish has many chances of becoming a true wish.

    Joy always,
    Susan

  26. Sili says:

    I think that people still see online as disconnected. I’ve made some deep connections with people that I have met online through blogging and through other friends. My life is richer because of them and I wouldn’t change anything for it. Good wishing! 😉

    • Casey B says:

      Thanks for your comment, Sili.

      I agree about the depth of connections. Sometimes we share so much more of ourselves with these people that we don’t have the luxury of seeing every day. In turn, they make their mark on our hearts and souls.

      Take care,

      Casey

  27. Hello, Casey …
    Your blog reminds me of the days of my youth when I had two penfriends, one in South Dakota and the other in Oslo. Both were incredibly important to me … I didn’t fit in at my English school because I had arrived during the second senior year, with a strong Welsh accent, in the days before Britain became a melting-pot of varied nationalities.
    Now, in my sixties, and virtually housebound, I have access to a whole world of people who care not about looks, age nor accents. Some of these people have become extremely close friends. Just because we cannot meet in the flesh doesn’t mean that I am not able to become extremely fond of them, nor they of me. (Now, THAT sentence contained rather a lot of negatives, LOL … but I’m sure you follow my intention)
    I enjoyed your essay and heartily endorse your sentiments.
    With respect, Pat.

    • Casey B says:

      Hi, Pat.

      Thank you for your kind comment. I thought I had replied earlier, but it seems it didn’t take. I understand exactly what you mean. It’s a different kind of fondness, a different kind of friendship, and a different kind of loss…but that’s what makes our experience unique. Your comment makes me smile, because I love the idea of long distance friendships even before the Internet. (I have had penpals in the past, and it’s a great experience.)

      Take care,

      Casey

  28. Pingback: Following up on ‘Sometimes I wish’ | Navigating Cyberloss: a place to share your grief

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