Have you made any online friendships which you’ve met in real life — Scope | Disability forum

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

csno01
csno01 Member Posts: 277 Pioneering
Hey guys,
Here is an interesting one: have you ever met any of your online friends in Real life? I found this post on my BBC local radio Facebook group just just thought I would ask out of interest.

I have formed online friendships on other platforms in the past, such as Yahoo Chat, but have never met them. 

I guess online networking and friendship building is part of  the new normal now. 

CSno01
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Comments

  • Teddybear12
    Teddybear12 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,891 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @csno01 I have met one person and I have to say it was a big disappointment. You get an idea in your head what the person is going to be like and then when they are not disappointment. We had nothing to say to each other, on line we chatted away. Perhaps expectation was to high.
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 2,014 Pioneering
    Hey all, 

    I am afraid to be that boring person but I want to remind you all to keep yourselves safe if you are meeting people offline that you met online. As @Teddybear12 said, sometimes people are not the same offline as they are online. However, I understand this could happen because people often meet people online now! (especially with COVID-19) and sometimes it allows us to talk to people we otherwise would not have had the opportunity to  <3
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her.
  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 2,954 Disability Gamechanger
    I built a friendship with someone through a gaming community in my teens. We did meet, but it wasn’t arranged as a one on one meet. We both discovered we were attending the same open day for a university and would be there at the same time, so much safer this way and it went from there. 
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 2,014 Pioneering
    Hi @MarkM88

    Absolutely, there are safer ways - such as meeting in groups of people and in public places!  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her.
  • csno01
    csno01 Member Posts: 277 Pioneering
    Hi @csno01 I have met one person and I have to say it was a big disappointment. You get an idea in your head what the person is going to be like and then when they are not disappointment. We had nothing to say to each other, on line we chatted away. Perhaps expectation was to high.
    Hi @Teddybear12, I am sorry to hear of your experience. You are right in what you say, it can go either way.MarkM88 said:
    I built a friendship with someone through a gaming community in my teens. We did meet, but it wasn’t arranged as a one on one meet. We both discovered we were attending the same open day for a university and would be there at the same time, so much safer this way and it went from there. 
    Hi @MarkM88, How interesting. What course did you study?


  • Teddybear12
    Teddybear12 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,891 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2021
    Hi mine was a course I was doing and myself and the other person conversed via email to discuss the subject we were studying. We agreed to meet to share some books in a coffee shop during the day. It was not a date. We were online friends. It was  safe as far as it can ever be.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,125 Disability Gamechanger
    I have met a few online friends in person some as just friends others off dating sites 

    Totally agree make sure you are safe I would only meet if I had been on a video call first so they could show they were the person in their profile 

    Always meet in public place , make sure somebody knows where you are 

    If you can arrange to meet in a group I used to get my friend to take me to the meeting place and they stayed in the venue so they were there to make sure I was OK 
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,515 Disability Gamechanger
    I have never met anyone from online in real life, partly because I’d probably end up being the disappointing person that @Teddybear12 mentioned :D I am happy to type away online but in real life I struggle to know what to say and am really awkward.
  • Teddybear12
    Teddybear12 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,891 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @66Mustang I am sorry if you think you would be the disappointing person I mentioned in my thread. Perhaps what I should have said is that the other person and I had less in common than I thought we would. I am a tiny person only 5' tall and weigh 7.7 stone. He was huge and I found that quite intimidating and he was loud might have been nerves.  With a lot of effort we still managed to chat for over an hour and exchange books. I always try to work on the basis :-  It is not how you say something that people remember, it is not even what you say, it is how you make them feel that they remember. Take care. 
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,515 Disability Gamechanger
    @Teddybear12 oh, I understand, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the tip as well, I would have to agree with what you say. A few people have said I’m a good conversationalist even though I don’t think I am. I mostly listen, I don’t say much, maybe people say I’m good because they like feeling listened to? Like you say not what I say but how they come away feeling.
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    I must have met 25+ people from forums and Facebook groups between 2010-2016.  :)

    All within a small radius as I never could travel far.  I do tell people in advance that I have 'health issues' (don't go into detail) and am different in real life.  A few have been really accomodating as well.  Sad as it sounds, some of the best days I had in the last decade were spent with internet friends where I barely said a word at all and felt really unwell all day...

    Sadly all drifted apart now as my conditions worsened and their lives got busier etc.  Wish I could meet new people very locally now but that would have to start through the internet one way or another.
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 6,669

    Scope community team

    I haven't done this personally, but my partner's best friend is somebody she met online, and they live in Europe. They've met a couple of times, and have been friends for many years now.
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  • csno01
    csno01 Member Posts: 277 Pioneering
    janer1967 said:
    I have met a few online friends in person some as just friends others off dating sites 

    Totally agree make sure you are safe I would only meet if I had been on a video call first so they could show they were the person in their profile 

    Always meet in public place , make sure somebody knows where you are 

    If you can arrange to meet in a group I used to get my friend to take me to the meeting place and they stayed in the venue so they were there to make sure I was OK 
    A video call prior to 1st meeting person sounds like a good move. 
  • csno01
    csno01 Member Posts: 277 Pioneering
    I must have met 25+ people from forums and Facebook groups between 2010-2016.  :)

    All within a small radius as I never could travel far.  I do tell people in advance that I have 'health issues' (don't go into detail) and am different in real life.  A few have been really accomodating as well.  Sad as it sounds, some of the best days I had in the last decade were spent with internet friends where I barely said a word at all and felt really unwell all day...

    Sadly all drifted apart now as my conditions worsened and their lives got busier etc.  Wish I could meet new people very locally now but that would have to start through the internet one way or another.
    That is good to hear that you managed to at least meet people locally @OverlyAnxious. I can relate that conversing is sometimes difficult.


    csno01
  • csno01
    csno01 Member Posts: 277 Pioneering
    I haven't done this personally, but my partner's best friend is somebody she met online, and they live in Europe. They've met a couple of times, and have been friends for many years now.
    That is good @Ross_Scope

    Can’t remember if I mentioned this but I to made a couple of strong friendships with people I met on Yahoo chat back in the early 2000. They were good times. 
  • bekindalways
    bekindalways Member Posts: 357 Pioneering
    I would never meet anyone from the Internet. I've also not made any friends either, acquaintances over the years, yes but never a friend. Maybe I'm just the female version of an old codger... lol I also preferred to meet people the old way. Tbh it would scare the bejesus out of me to meet up with someone I didn't really know. I think you're all a great deal braver than me. 😄
  • CoffeeFirst
    CoffeeFirst Member Posts: 127 Courageous
    No, never happened to me but I have to agree as I think it is all part of the new norm. 

    I’d certainly not rule it out, as going for a ‘coffee first’ is always welcome (no pun intended) 😀
  • Dragonslayer
    Dragonslayer Member Posts: 2,052 Pioneering
    I have met a couple of people I met first on-line. They were all exactly like I thought they would be.
    The last women I met on-line was an American. I ended up marrying her less than a year later. We have been married now for 22yrs. Our anniversary is on the 14th February. Yes Valentines day. 😍
      
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,164 Disability Gamechanger
    I have been lucky over the years and have made a number of "virtual friends" many of who I have kept in contact by e mail and still do.

    It does remind me of something that happened to me when I was 14 (many years ago now) for some reason I can't remember how it happened I ended up with my details in an Australian penpals advert, the postman was delivering letters by the bundle every day for weeks.
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • Autumn_Feeling
    Autumn_Feeling Member Posts: 59 Courageous
    edited January 16
    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.

Brightness