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I am old soul who covers the grey really well. I love to be active and creative. I am blogging to help keep the memories alive and to keep those special moments around.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friends come and go but what about web friends?

My daughter and I have had many conversations about what a friend is to her. She knows the difference between an acquaintance and a friend. She is in middle school. You remember the dreaded years of cliques and back-stabbing. She is face to face with all sorts of people who claim a friendship with her. Some of them are true and as you remember, some of them aren't so true. I believe she knows what it is to be a genuine friend but now I feel we have to have a different conversation about friends - web friends.

She is not on Facebook yet but I am. Believe me, it is for playing Scrabulous only, well mostly. I now have 28 "friends" on this social web site. I have found some of them like some childhood friends by searching for their names. One childhood friend lives on the west coast so we never see each other face to face but I have him now as friend on Facebook. Other people have found me by searching for alumni from high school. The big question is are they real, true friends on the web?

Now if Facebook was middle school, I think there would be a lot more categories. I would have an acquaintance category, a pal category, a confidant category and a "he is not my friend but he thinks he is" category. I wonder has Facebook changed the true definition of friend? Or are web-friends different than real life friends? When my daughter is on the web and eventually has hundreds of friends there will she understand this version of a friend? Should there be a new word for web friendship? Should it be a Webby? Or a Webman? Or a Wriend?

Don't get me wrong, I am happy to even have 28 friends on Facebook. I look at other people who have friends numbering in the hundreds and I am jealous! (even though I am only on there to play Scrabulous!) It is like I am back in middle school. I can't help but wonder why I am not in the popular crowd? I look for all the people I know past and present and try to connect with them. I try to make them my friend. This connection however does not make a true friendship. I do not know how many of these friends will have my back when say I am losing horribly at a Scrabulous game!

I know I have to have a conversation with my daughter. I know one day she will be on Facebook and not to just to play Scrabulous like me. We have discussed possible dangers on the web before but now I want to discuss what a true connection a.k.a. friendship is on the web. I want them to see these sites on the web are just like the dreadway hallways in middle school. It is not so bad really but I want them to remain true to their definition of friendship. I want them to know like I know that "wriends" come and go but their pictures will stay on your Facebook page forever.

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