Let’s discuss the differences between Facebook friends, whom you have never met in person and likely never will, versus “In real life” type of friends (from this point forward IRL), that you see frequently. We all have both types of friends, so which is better? And why? One is almost always fucked up, the other, is amazing.
We will start with the IRL friends. These can range anywhere from people you’ve known all your life, to a co-worker that you really hit it off with and now hang with on the weekends. These are people you will stand up for without question (even when you know they’re in the wrong), you go to all the big events in their lives such as graduations, birthday parties, weddings, baby showers, children’s birthday parties, spend holidays and vacations with, etc. You have photo albums full of pictures of you with these friends, and all the good times you have had together. You have memories with these people, some good, some bad. You have bared your soul to these friends, and they know everything about you.
Next, let’s discuss your Facebook friends (but really, any social/blogging network can be interchanged here) These are people that you have never met, and probably never will. You “met” online from a common interest such as a game, a fan page, a mutual friend, or something similar. Comments are exchanged back and forth. Eventually you “move up in the world” in to the message box, where you then start messaging each other back and forth. You realize you have so much more in common than you ever thought! Soon you start to turn to these friends for advice to problems you don’t think your IRL friends will understand, or want an unbiased opinion on. You wonder where this amazing friend has been all your life! Over time you form a very strong friendship, and don’t stop for a minute to think how funny it is you have never met this person offline.
Now, let’s give a scenario, and put these two friend types to the test.
You come home from work early one day, and want to surprise your spouse with an afternoon of hot unbridled sex. You rush in the house, throw open the bedroom door, only to see that while your spouse IS enjoying an afternoon of hot unbridled sex, you were not invited, or even notified. Your spouse jumps up, forgetting he and his fuck buddy are naked, and starts with “It’s not what it looks like….let me explain….” Explain my ass, do I look like I was born yesterday? Once the dust settles from the war that ensues, who do you turn to? Do you turn to your IRL friends, who are mutual friends of you and your spouse who you just caught butt ass naked fucking the neighbor? Or do you turn to your Facebook friends?
Now I know IRL friends always promise they will not take sides in the case of divorce, but I’ve seen it happen, you’ve seen it happen. IRL friends always do choose sides. Chances are the spouse you just caught, had been having an affair for a while (or whatever the particulars were in your situation…this is just one scenario out of thousands I can randomly pull out of my ass), and had already begun to “build his case” with these IRL friends. In their eyes, they are going with your spouse in the divorce, not with you. Why? Because they believed the tale of bullshit he has been spinning in advance, you know, in case you did happen to catch his cheating ass. Were they ever really friends? At some point, yes they were. Are they now? Fuck no. Now they have turned into drama hungry asshats who only want to sit back sipping their wine and discussing where you went wrong, because of course it couldn’t be the fault of the lying cheating fucktard you just caught, now can it?
Your Facebook friends, however, have known for months that you suspected your spouse was cheating on you. They have been encouraging you to confront him, talk to him, ask him, and/or even try to figure out what is wrong and work it out. They will be the ones still there to help pick up the pieces and put you back together. They will be the ones offering to fly across the country just to be there for you, when the IRL friends have turned their back on you in favor of drama. Your Facebook friends will be the ones still around after the ink dries on the divorce documents, and they will be the ones laughing their ass off with you when your now ex-spouse’s fuck buddy who is now the nightmare wife from hell, cheats on him and does to him what he did to you. They will also be the ones who will still be around long after the dust settles, and you have forgotten all about “what’s his name”. The only thing Facebook friends can’t do is give you a hug when you really need it, but wait…where the fuck are all your IRL friends to give you this hug? Oh that’s right, they left with “what’s his name”.
I have had the good fortune of meeting quite a number of my “online” friends in person, have vacationed with them, have had them in my home, have been in their home, talk to them, text with them, and hang out with them on a regular basis. I now have new memories, new photos, and these amazing people in my life. And you know what? I do not miss the IRL friends even a little, because true friendship does not take sides, and does not leave you behind in favor of drama.
There ARE creepy stalker type people out on the internet, don’t get me wrong (and there are creepy stalker type people you know IRL too). But I have had the good fortune to meet some pretty damn amazing people in the 10+ years I have been blogging. You should always take caution in sharing personal details of your life with anyone you meet on the internet and even more caution meeting anyone offline. Safety first always.
That’s my story, I’m sticking to it.