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Have you made any online friendships which you’ve met in real life

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  • csno01
    csno01 Member Posts: 277 Pioneering
    I used to be a member of a fan forum eighteen years ago and regularly contributed fan art and stories there.

    I talked to a lot of people on that site almost every day. Whether it was in a chat room or on the main boards. Although I never made any lasting friendships there.

    I still don’t know if people were jealous, insecure, or thought that I was fake. (Or if they were fake.) I tried to keep in touch with a couple of people on social media. They never took me off their friend list and they never reciprocated which was odd. 

    Looking back, I can see that it was a really toxic environment. It was a very close knit community too and there were a few cliques.

    I met one guy from the forum. Quentin Tarantino was in town for a book signing and we decided to meet up afterwards. I got the impression that he just wanted to be rude/arrogant to make himself feel better. He was different in real life.

    Three years ago, another person from the same forum reached out to me on social media.

    There was no ‘how are you’ or ‘it’s been a while.’ I hadn’t heard from the guy in roughly eight years. 

    Instead, I said that I remembered him but it had been a while.

    His response? He asked me to prove that I was who he thought I was.

    I replied and he seemed pretty relieved that he’d found the right person. (He wasn’t sure about my real name or my username.) Although, it was strange that he never tried to catch up/make conversation first. 

    He pretty much echoed my sentiments about getting to know each other again. Then, he invited me into a private group of people who used to visit the old forum. We mostly talked there. At that point, I noticed that he’d been asking other members about me before he reached out. 

    So… I set a healthy boundary, got on with my life, and waited for him to make a real effort. It wasn’t my place to make the first move.

    After three weeks, I realised that he was having an operation according to his status updates.

    Overall, he didn’t want to commit to a real friendship and pretty much self sabotaged the process. He acted childish and constantly fished for sympathy and compliments from friends and family. There was no real effort to build a lasting friendship.

    A year later, I visited his social media to see if he'd changed.

    He hadn’t. 

    On the anniversary of the operation, he openly admitted in a public post that he needed a tool to help him through that process.

    Looking back, I was that tool. We’d supported each other in the past. At least, I’d genuinely supported him. He probably thought that I could be his personal cheerleader again. He wasn’t serious about friendship.

    Thankfully, I never met that guy in real life. He seemed to have it all: wife, kids, own home etc. Although he still didn’t seem happy which is sad.
    @autunm_feeling
    Wow what a story.. Thank you for sharing. 
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,507 Disability Gamechanger
    @Autumn_Feeling I think you just summed up massive swathes of social media, definitely not a unique problem there

    I’m very picky about what online communities I choose to contribute to these days as well
  • Libby_Alumni
    Libby_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,254 Pioneering
    edited January 19
    I've made a lot of online friendships (mainly on Instagram, as I follow a lot of people with the same interests as me), but haven't met any of them as of yet, due to location issues. But if I lived nearer to them, I definitely would have met them for a coffee etc :)
    Online Community Information Coordinator
    Scope

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  • Autumn_Feeling
    Autumn_Feeling Member Posts: 59 Courageous
    66Mustang said:
    @Autumn_Feeling I think you just summed up massive swathes of social media, definitely not a unique problem there

    I’m very picky about what online communities I choose to contribute to these days as well
    Same here. I’m cautious about using certain platforms or forums. There are good people out there but the toxic vocal minority spoil it for everyone.

    I stopped using Instagram because it felt like a competition for likes and follows. Mostly, people who weren’t following my page liked my stuff and the people who were largely ignored it.

    The reverse happens to me a lot. I’ve met people in real life at gigs and events over a four or five year period and they never kept in touch online. It was a one sided relationship which was frustrating.

    I don’t know why people act like that. We should raise each other up.
  • csno01
    csno01 Member Posts: 277 Pioneering
    66Mustang said:
    @Autumn_Feeling I think you just summed up massive swathes of social media, definitely not a unique problem there

    I’m very picky about what online communities I choose to contribute to these days as well
    Same here. I’m cautious about using certain platforms or forums. There are good people out there but the toxic vocal minority spoil it for everyone.

    I stopped using Instagram because it felt like a competition for likes and follows. Mostly, people who weren’t following my page liked my stuff and the people who were largely ignored it.

    The reverse happens to me a lot. I’ve met people in real life at gigs and events over a four or five year period and they never kept in touch online. It was a one sided relationship which was frustrating.

    I don’t know why people act like that. We should raise each other up.
    I am a member of a Meetup Social Group and have found that the people I have met in person, cant be bothered to keep in touch online. I prefer this approach as opposed to giving them my number on or after a first meet. 

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