You’ve Got to Have (Internet) Friends

Ten years ago, if a friend had mentioned she met a guy on the internet I would have automatically assumed he was a serial killer ready to make her skin into a dress. At the time the internet was just a wonderful place where I could AIM chat my friends who went away to college and annoy my poor roommate by clacking away on the keyboard all night talking to them. Making new friends through this new found wonder was absolutely out of the question as I was pretty sure the only people who did that were lonely cat ladies, the aforementioned serial killers, or would be serial killers who needed to practice.

As the internet expanded rapidly, it became obvious that more people were using it as a means to meet each other. When the online dating services first sprang up, my friend was all over it. She had a date pretty much every night with a nice gentleman. I was still in “make sure he doesn’t kill you” mode, but had added “is the internet going to become sentient soon and kill us all?” to the roster of paranoia.

I don’t like change.

Eventually I gave in as my friends were joining in the madness. Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, blogging…etc. Then Facebook went from being a place where I could throw a sheep at you and it was hilariously absurd, to a place where we could actually document our lives. My friends graduated, got jobs, got married, had kids. All I had to do was open up my newsfeed and their lives were unfolding in front of me. I didn’t have to call or email, I could just peruse the pics of their vineyard wedding and read their articles about why they’re choosing a natural water birth or whatever. I remember the first time I saw someone put up a sonogram as their profile picture and all I could think was, “I can see your womb. I kind of don’t want to see your womb every time I want to make a comment on your page. Your womb is keeping me from saying fuck a lot.” Myspace died a quick death with the rise of our need to craft the perfect life on Facebook. Also the layout is much less complicated and I didn’t have to learn how to code just to change something on my profile. It wasn’t until I started blogging that the idea of meeting people on the internet became something I didn’t turn my nose up at.

Then I discovered the allure of Twitter and I really started to see the benefits of the ever expanding universe of the internet.

Some people hate Twitter and claim, “they don’t even know how it works”. Whatever. It’s one of my favorite things on the internet besides this link to a review of dinosaur erotica. I don’t have to look at your dinner, or your kids, or your cupcakes, or that mud run you did. Facebook is the family reunion to Twitter’s come one, come all keg party where we all jump in the pool fully clothed, get drunk, and try to tell the funniest joke. The best part is that it’s not just your friends on there, it’s writers, comedians, actors, etc who are all putting up thought provoking articles or making absurd jokes. You can follow them. You can respond to them. Sometimes they respond back. If they think you’re cool, they might even follow you and you’ve made a new friend.

With the advent of the smartphone it became easier to have all of these platforms right there in your hand. Lunches with your real life friends became a game of when is it ok to look at my phone to see if anyone liked the article I put up? Or just hoping she got up to use the bathroom soon so you could check Twitter really quick. I went from thinking every one on the internet was going to kill me in my sleep to oh, I’ll just give him a Facebook/Google and see what comes up. I don’t refer to this as “stalking” so much as I call it a “reconnaissance mission”. It sounds better and no one is outside in your bushes with binoculars, they’re just trying to find out if you have a girlfriend.

As my friends moved away to build their own lives, I became more dependent on the internet to stay in touch. I never feel that these connections diminish my real life ones as I make sure to be present in both as much as I can. There’s also a point where you have to say ok making jokes on Twitter with whomever is fun, but it’s my nieces’ birthday and that’s more important. Yes, so and so wrote a great post today, but my friend is upset and I need to take her out and do something fun. As with anything in life, it’s about balance.

So as time has passed, some of my internet friends have become real life friends, and some of my real life friends have transitioned to internet friends. This is not to say that we still don’t need to look out for the ax murderer posing as someone else, it just means we’re getting better at knowing how to spot them. I’d like to thank Lizzie for this post that made me really think about how the internet has effected and enhanced my connections around the world. Also, thank you to Aussa for her post pointing out that: He looks great on Facebook. He might even be funny on Twitter. That doesn’t mean he’s not an elitist douchenozzle, with lady fingers, in real life.

For those who are fans of mine and Aussa’s faces, our new vlog will be dropping this Sunday :) Teaser below:

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49 Responses to You’ve Got to Have (Internet) Friends

  1. JackieP says:

    I’ve been on the internet for a long, long time. Let’s just say I’m a lot older than you. ;-) I’ve seen it change, almost daily it seems. I’ve met some of my best friends on the internet and one husband. It’s an ok place. Really, it is, sure I’ve also met my fair share of douchbags, but that’s in real life too. I’m glad you changed your mind about friends being on here. Life is just enhanced with you here too. (as far as husbands are concerned, one I met in real life, he turned out to be a narc, the second I met online, he’s been better than the first, but the jury is still out) haha!

  2. Twitter has been there for me when I have felt alone, desperate, bored, curious, flirty, bold, silly, stupid, drunk and vulnerable! I love my internet friends! :)

    • Angelle says:

      It’s a great place for all of those things! You never know if someone thousands of miles away has the same ideas and passions you do and it’s crazy how quickly you can become friends.

  3. nancytex2013 says:

    No doubt, social media can be a scourge, and I totally vacillate on my position on Facebook. Probably several times on any given day. I read somewhere that FB can be particularly damaging for people with depression or anxiety issues because – in essence – you’re comparing your ho-hum every day to somebody else’s greatest-day-ever, because you’re looking at their vacation photos, their concert review, etc., etc. I don’t know about that, but I do know that hearing what somebody ate for breakfast, or thinks of the weather is not adding to my life any.
    Then again, I do kind of like that I can stay in touch with friends and family I never get to see, because of distance, etc.; it’s a great vehicle for that.
    Sigh. Not sure where I stand on any of it. But it is nice to know your latest vlog will be dropping soon! :-)

  4. kitwest61 says:

    Fetch the axe Eugene ;)

    • kitwest61 says:

      Er…that a quote from a Pink Floyd song…not an actual request…just to clarify and move away from any chance of misunderstanding…this being the interestnet and all

      • Angelle says:

        Ha!! My favorite is, “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?” I say that on a daily basis. I’m sure my friends love it.

  5. Steph says:

    When I started blogging, I had no idea that I was going to make tons of awesome new friends. No idea. I read a post awhile back that was like, “I have *real* friends, I don’t need you fuckers” and it made me really sad because I feel like my blogging buddies *are* real friends. I don’t know if that makes me super lame, and I don’t really care. I’m just happy that I get to interact with people I never would have even known existed if it weren’t for the internet. I laugh at them, with them, feel empathy for them, worry about them, get angry with them, admire them…isn’t that *real* friendship? I do hope I’ll have the opportunity someday to meet some of my internet friends (DAMMIT, MAN, I wish I could go to BlogHer!) but for now I’m just glad I found this world. ;) Aaaand, of course I can’t wait for the vlog!

    • Angelle says:

      I actually don’t like it when people say those things, I have a large group of friends in life who I love, but I also have friends here who mean a lot to me as well. Maybe your friends don’t write a blog, so they can’t give you as much insight as someone online who does. It’s possible to have both or one or the other.

      People just tear someone down to make themselves feel better and it’s unfortunate, cause I’m sure they’re the same people oversharing their lives on Facebook to their “real” friends.

  6. Julie says:

    I love Twitter!! It is the party of social media. I’m getting more annoyed with Facebook. It is crazy to think from writing a blog, I feel connected enough to call them a friend. And they all live so far away! :(

    • Angelle says:

      You share a passion and it’s actually pretty awesome to connect with someone miles away who you would never have met otherwise. It appeals to my sense of adventure :)

  7. It makes a lot of sense when you say that internet friends have become real life friends and real life friends have become internet friends. When you have friends from college or whatever but haven’t seen them in ages, they are really only able to see them on the internet. I have made some good friends from blogging too, and I know exactly what you mean about Twitter. It is funny to see everyone trying to tell the best jokes and I love that about Twitter.

    • Angelle says:

      Twitter is my favorite. The only thing I would say is that social media really should be for lighter issues. If I’m having a bad day I’m not going to moan about it somewhere I’m going to text or DM a friend. That is where my life friends come in handy as they tend to be the ones I lean on in those tough times. However, some people consider their internet to be that close and by all means lean on them. It’s interesting how the dynamics have grown and changed over the years.

  8. markbialczak says:

    The blogahood has become my favorite form of social media, Angelle, and when I started writing my darn thing I had no idea about the followers-become-friends element of it. Surprise! Now I’m cursing at my Reader because I can never make it down to the last place I finished. Too many friends to read and then commentverse with.

  9. prettytrippy says:

    Word to vineyard weddings and sonograms. Make it stop.
    This is such a nice turn to the mental bashing I give Facebook and social media in general everyday. Not to say I don’t use it and enjoy it, but sometimes it overwhelms me. It’s nice to be reminded every once in a while that there are plenty of positives to putting your life on the internet. Making new friends is the best :)
    Can’t wait for the next vlog! LOVE your specs!
    Gillian

    • Angelle says:

      I love my glasses too! They help me see 👓
      I went back to Facebook because I missed some of my friends posts and there are some that I genuinely think their kids are adorable so I like to keep up. Otherwise I feel like I’m missing out.

  10. Sarah says:

    I go back and forth with Twitter. Right now we’re in a little fight because I tweeted John Stamos and he didn’t answer me! WTF Uncle Jesse?

    • Angelle says:

      He just tweeted Ingrid Michaelson and I thought of you.
      I was like, “ARE YOU KITTEN ME RIGHT MEOW, STAMOS?”

      • Sarah says:

        Seriously?! What the heck does she have that I don’t?? I’m ging to re-watch all the episodes and direct my favoritism to Uncle Joey. Or maybe one of the other Rippers. Either way, Uncle Jesse is dead to me.

  11. Deanna Herrmann says:

    I agree with all of this! And my favorite part—–”So as time has passed, some of my internet friends have become real life friends, and some of my real life friends have transitioned to internet friends.” So, true. I have a definite love/hate relationship with facebook and I’m learning to love Twitter. I think blogging builds many of these relationships because we share so much vulnerability with each other…..sometimes more than we do with IRL friends.

    • Angelle says:

      It really can connect you with people who have the same passions and interests and makes the world a little bit smaller in that way. It has it benefits :)

  12. bethteliho says:

    Good morning sexy librarian with glasses. Looking forward to the next installment of the Aussa and Angelle show. :)
    Love this post! I am so green with all the SM stuff, and even though I’ve only been on FB for about a year, and twitter and blogging for less than that, I’m completely gobsmacked by the social aspect of it. I never thought “talking” to an internet friend could mean so much, or that I could feel such genuine affection for someone I’ve never met in person; however, I do have a deep understanding that I’ve known these people for such a short blip of my life, and they don’t really know the “in person” me. My IRL friends have been with me for a-g-e-s, through the good and the bad. I know them inside and out, and they me. It’s like a marriage. I am married to my tight circle of IRL friends in a different way than I am my internet friends. It’s a strange dynamic (one I’m still learning), but also intensely fascinating.
    I agree about facebook. I hate seeing updates that say, “I’m feeling blue” or “I want a puppy”, I always want to yell, WHO THE FUCK CARES. That sort of “reaching” for attention is annoying to me. I do enjoy the supportive group aspect that FB offers, though. I feel less “at sea” in a group.
    Twitter is a drunken party that I can’t leave even though I’ve already barfed in the bushes. Must stay. Too much fun happening. LoL.
    I’m pretty sure I used quotation marks more than anyone else in your comment section. Do I win a “prize” for that or anything? Just asking…..

    • Angelle says:

      You win a baby narwhal. It’s in the mail.

      I completely agree with you. My real life friends are pretty much family at this point, but I’ve also met some really awesome and engaging people through other work I’ve done that have become real life friends whom I love dearly. My friends Vanessa and Lisa are two ladies I met writing for and volunteering with another site and they are amazing. So there are exceptions.

  13. lrconsiderer says:

    I totally understand the bit about Twitter being the funhouse of social media. I love it for its instant-ness and sponteneity and just the HUGE amount of fun you can have there, with so many people, all at once.
    But for me, Facebook is where it happens – groups, chats…those are the things which grab me and keep me going. I crave that input and those friendships which have been forged through this funny little place between our worlds, and I have developed some true, genuine and wonderful friends (even though it’s a little skewed because of not being ‘there’ but in this ‘other’ place) who I would not be without. Not for the world.

    • Angelle says:

      I think we all pick the platform that suits us best. I don’t know anyone who can juggle all of them at once. Twitter is my preference of course, yours is Facebook, and I’m sure someone who loves filters and photography loves them some Instagram.

      • lrconsiderer says:

        Well, sure. There’s that :) I think that’s where my preference ends. Pintrest I struggle with. Snapchat’s a no-go. And I’ve no patience for Tumblr or Flikr or any of them.

      • Angelle says:

        I don’t have a crush on a tv show or Justin Bieber so tumblr really isn’t my thing.

      • lrconsiderer says:

        Oh. THAT’S what it’s for? Good grief!

  14. MeglyMc says:

    Ugh…so true, and ladyfingers are a serious deal breaker. Especially when they’re not attached, and he just keeps them in a box under his bed. :)

  15. girlseule says:

    I have met quite a few good friends through the internet and I love I can be a bit stalkerish in a nice way to my friends that live far away.

  16. samara says:

    I demand to know how you found a review of dinosaur erotica.
    I found the review distracting from the actual excerpts of the book, which was HOT. Did you read some of it? Wow. *fanning myself*. Is it hot in here, or is it the biggest penis in fiction ever?
    And can I PLEASE use that link? For something? I don’t even know. I may have to write about dinosaur erotica, or read it, or something.
    I suddenly really want to go to the Museum of Natural History.

    • Angelle says:

      I actually think that review is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. As for being hot….no. Hate to disagree with ya there, but we all know I prefer Cirque du Soleil.

      • samara says:

        But gurrrlllll – you didn’t tell me HOW you found a review of dinosaur erotica. Because whatever cyber journey led you there, I’d like to know.
        I’m hoping to find other Troglodyte erotica. Please share. Also, you were hilarious in your vlog last night. I should comment on that post about it, right? I’m multitasking.

  17. Katie says:

    I’m not sure what it says about me that I’ve become as disappointing a blog friend as I sometimes am as a friend in life. I don’t check up on people as often as I should, and sometimes their clever tweets go unappreciated. It’s hard to make time for everyone and yourself, especially when you like to sleep.

  18. Shhh…don’t tell anyone, but I kind of prefer my internet friends. I love to sit behind my computer and have 8 chat pages open at the same time. My cyber buddies are much more than “internet friends.” I have grown to love them and even crave the interaction.
    And I never posted a pic of my womb because I would never hinder your ability to say “fuck.”
    You nailed the difference between Facebook and Twitter. I love them both in different ways. Facebook seems to be more of a real interaction for me, yet Twitter offers me constant entertainment, and I love the *connection* I get from some of the people who I would normally never speak to….like my boyfriend, Adrian Grenier. Maybe you’ve heard of him. He loves me. That is all.

    • Angelle says:

      Wombs make me feel like someone’s going to yell at me. I have heard of your boyfriend. He sounds dreamy.

      • Haha. I don’t think that’s what the womb sets out to do. From what I’ve been told, they’re all warm and inviting and sound like the bottom of the ocean, but you know…tomato, tomato.
        Oh…he is dreamy. And perfect. I have a problem.

  19. maurnas says:

    The funny thing is that most of my real life friends are my friends because it is convenient, not because I actually have anything in common with them or because they are good friends. But my internet friends; I am friends with them because they get me, they move me, they make me laugh, they make me cry, they mean more to me than most of my real life friends. And they know me better.

  20. Pingback: Weekend ~ 4/25/14 ~Harmonies for Dessert, Nashville Style | DCTdesigns Creative Canvas

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