Very recently, selphish posed a question: Do your online friendships matter to you as much (or more) than real life relationships?
As of right now, 80+% has voted Yes. I voted no.
Heee~ I'm one of the 16% that said no. I guess, I should say something then~
Note: the way I "rank" my friendships is based on how much I trust the person, and how much I'm willing to rely on them... somehow, I get the feeling that it's not the same for you, so you'll probably want to keep that in mind while reading my comment.
[the below will be somewhat discombobulated due to rather intensive brainworkings in the past hour or so]
I have a pretty deep distrust (or paranoia) with people online, since there's never anything concrete that you can base them on, not having met them before. Meeting people by proxy (ie, this person does exist, because my good friend, whom I trust, has met that person.) tends to be acceptable proof of existence of that person as they appear online. But since you we're talking about online only, we'll go with the first case~ not having met said friend before.
Um. That said, while there are some odd people online, most people can be generally accepted as good, kind, human beings who are not out there to trick you into trusting them. Still, I personally, can't put my online relationships ahead of my IRL ones... because if I had IRL problems, most likely, my IRL friends would know more about said problems, and they'd be the ones I'd turn to for help. I wouldn't expect someone online to be able to do such a thing (mostly because I can't imagine myself doing such a thing for someone else that I've never met) [note: problems/thing = financial difficulties, family deaths, etc / lending money to help, or coming to a funeral]. However, if someone online was to lend a hand when I needed it, my perception of them will change, and I'd probably put their friendship equal, or more, than my IRL friends - because they've shown that they're a real person/good human being.
it seems as though some people think my online friendship should mean less than a relationship forged in real life
some people are idiots. ;D what you want to do with your friendships, and how much you want them to mean to you, is up to you. You're a grown up, and I'm sure you have an ok, if not more than decent ability to understand people, and make choices based on information.
Also, I'd still call these online relationships friendships~ they are still friends, and while I may not go very very far our of my way to lend a hand, I will still step in and help (send files, find information, keep an eye our for stuff) a friend. The line I draw is at money~ if I need to spend money to help, I won't do it.. Mostly because money, at the moment, is a precious commodity. Well, time is too, but usually, help doesn't require too much time... But if one day, I was to become wealthier, you may find me buying people birthday presents and such. Until then... yeah.
Oh, and yeah, interests seem to be a topic of discussion, somewhat. I don't know... I don't have a burning urge to find people with similar interests. I mean, first off, it's not something I would like to base a friendship on, because interests change, and it's occasionally/usually hard to develop something past that interest. (for me, anyways. Then again, I have social problems, as a geek.) Secondly, interests don't always lend that much to talk about (take musicals, for example... how the hell do you talk to someone about the Scarlet Pimpernel.). I'd much rather make friends based on the personalities behind the interests, and pick the people that I'd enjoy being around, regardless of what we are doing. That, I think, would make it a much more valuable and worthwhile friendship.
And now that you've read that... is it unreasonable/silly/stupid for me to believe that friends IRL might help me, if I ever need it? Or would you say that's what families are for, and they're the ones I should turn to?