I wasn’t quite sure where to start for this first official Misc Monday, but then I remembered that a friend of mine commented on the introductory one that I should talk about virtual friends and how they’re real friends. And it’s true: I’m sure that all (or at least most) of you have friends you met online who you still consider real friends. You may have never met these people IRL, and so do they still count? I think so. I am in contact more with online friends I have never met in person than just about everyone I went to school with. I won’t even pretend to claim that online friends aren’t real friends.
But then that got me thinking – how do we meet new online friends these days? Twitter, perhaps. Blogs, definitely. Most of the people I know don’t meet new people on Facebook, since they have their privacy settings locked down relatively tightly there. But Instagram? Snapchat? Other new social media options that the kids are using to get away from the formerly-cool sites which their parents now use?
I remember some of the older ones. MySpace is an obvious choice. But did any of you use Plurk? (I know at least one of you did, since that’s where I met the person who suggested this topic.) And how many of you went to school in the era of IRC chatrooms? I met a boyfriend there back in the day. (Yes, we met in person. No, it didn’t end well. And that’s all I’m going to say about it.)
It really makes you think. I had school-sponsored pen-pals in elementary school. Do they still do that anymore? Or if they do, are they online instead of pen and paper? And if that has changed, is it a good thing, or bad? (My answer: change is often a good thing, so it’s probably good. Unless the change is that they no longer do it – it was an amazing experience to communicate with someone in a completely different situation than me, and kids these days need to experience that at least as much as I did.)
Anyway. That’s my initial take on the subject. I may think of more to say on the matter later. What are your thoughts?