On Online Friendships & The Blogging Community {Discussion}

On Online Friendships

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HI everybody! As you may know I recently read Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (check out my review if you want more info). It’s an amazing story about Eliza, a web comic creator who prefers her life spent online to the real world and whose friendships are purely online. She often gets criticism about this and has to defend her online friends as ‘real friendships’ constantly.

It got me thinking a lot about the concept of friendship and the differences and similarities between online friendships and ‘real-life’ friendships. Especially in relationship to something close to my life and heart, the book blogging community. Because, even though not everybody may think of this the same way, I do consider you my friends. If I comment regularly on your blog, you comment on mine or we chat now and then through social media – I consider us friends.

loveyouawesomenerds

I wholeheartedly believe that online friendships are real friendships. To imply that they are not real is even a bit of an insult. Sure, you may only talk to each other on the internet, but that doesn’t make the friendship any less real or important. If anything, what brings you together is more likely a shared interest, passion or mindset as opposed to just the convenience of proximity or same age.

Personally, I feel like I’ve gained quite a few friends since I started book blogging and discovered the wonderful book blogging community. Do these friendships replace friendships I have made in ‘real-life’? (I don’t like calling them real-life friendships because it implies that online friendships are not real-life. So maybe I should continue calling them offline friendships instead.) No, they don’t! Offline friendships are of course still so important. Sometimes you just need a actual face-to-face chat over coffee (or tea in my case) with an offline friend. Have an offline friend to go to concerts with. Have someone know you so well they see when you are upset about something and unexpectedly show up at your door with ice cream. These kinds of things are tricky when you only know somebody online.

But on the other hand, those online friendships are also so important in other ways. Here are a few reasons why online friends rock:

Shared interests and passions

There is nothing I love more than being understood by someone who totally gets and even shares my interests and passions. As much as I may love offline friends, they don’t always understand or even care about my love for certain things. And that’s of course okay, but on the other hand it may seem silly, but those interests are a big part of me so you can’t underestimate the power of finding someone who you can share that with. I have met amazing people through blogging, whether we talk about books, music, tv or whatever. Thank you for fangirling with me, it means the world.

did we just become best friends

24/7 Support

The beauty of making friends online is that it’s possible they live in different time zones, so you can pretty much have someone to talk to at every moment of the day. Can’t sleep? Surely there is someone online. What I love most about this is the fact that I can for example wake up to thoughtful comments or come home after an exhausting day to comments that cheer me right up. And I hope I can only do the same for all of you.

I made you laugh

No pressure

Something that I noticed is that there is absolutely no guilt-tripping online (well, except maybe the guilt we talk ourselves into) when we don’t interact for a bit. Everybody is so super understanding when you say “I’m sorry I haven’t been able to comment for a bit. Life got in the way”. Never have I ever had a fellow blogger get upset with me for not commenting for a few weeks. On the other hand, the love is just as big when I do come back. And the same goes the other way around. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t commented to me in a while, seeing your comments after a few weeks still makes me just as happy.

happy

Different perspectives and insights

Since online friends can be come from all over the world and be different ages, nationalities or cultures, it is an amazing way of being exposed to different opinions and perspectives and I have personally learned so much from all of you. Things I wouldn’t have thought of before, issues that may not have crossed my mind, all of your posts and comments and ways of thinking have inspired me and broadened my mind on a daily basis.

what are friends for

Share whatever you want

I love how I can share my thoughts exactly the way I want online. If I don’t want to get personal, no problem! I can talk books or music or kdrama with you and feel perfect. But I love how when I have something more personal to share, some issues that perhaps I feel like I can’t share with offline friends, I can do so online. The support I have received from you all has given me the courage to continue offline and I can’t thank you enough.

broadcast on the internet

So what it comes down to for me is this:

Whether offline or online, friendship is friendship. The two kinds of friendships complement each other wonderfully and are both valid and important.

So at the risk of sounding sappy, thank you all for being my online friends <3

What are your thoughts on online friendships?

36 thoughts on “On Online Friendships & The Blogging Community {Discussion}

  1. Laura W says:

    I think of online friendships the same way! And as strange as it sounds, I almost talk to my blogging friends more than my offline friends just because my life is so busy and by the time I get around to talking to people, it’s one in the morning (and for some reason, it’s considered rude to show up at someone’s door when they’re sleeping to rant about Star Wars and Sarah J. Maas. So strange!) so, like you said, the best option is to just go online and have a chat with some of my blogging friends. I also love that there’s so much love in the blogging community, like you said! You can scroll through so many other communities and there always seem to be more bad apples than in the blogging community. I don’t know if book and lifestyle nerds are just more forgiving than other people but it’s lovely and I’m so glad I got involved in the community 🙂 I’m a new subscriber (I love your blog design, by the way!) and I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts and chatting with you, Lindsey!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks
    Laura W recently posted…50/50 Friday (70): Best/Worst Book Read in JanuaryMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks so much Laura! And I totally get what you’re saying as I also feel like I end up talking more to online friends than offline friends. Sometimes it’s like “Wait, you don’t know about my love for my latest favorite book series yet? I only talk about it ALL THE TIME!” before I realize that maybe I haven’t talked to them about it yet, but I have with online friends. And haha, yeah they totally think it’s weird to rant about Sarah J. Maas at night, I do not understand why 😉 It’s true, the book blogging community is just so amazing and supportive, I love it 🙂

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      That’s so cool that you had such great experiences with online friendships! I haven’t met any of my offline friends in person yet, but if I do I’d imagine it’d feel like we’ve known eachother offline for so long too 🙂

  2. Angela says:

    I love this post! I love that I have become a part of this community that loves books as much as I do. I think these online friendships are just as important as real-life friendships; they’re just a bit different! I feel like I’ve gotten to know a group of bloggers pretty well, and we all support each other and look forward to that interaction. And I agree, sometimes it’s easier to talk about things online than offline.

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thank, Angela, I’m so happy to hear you relate! And yes, online friendships are indeed equally important as offline friendships, they are just a different kind of friendship. This bookish community has been so kind and supportive and I couldn’t imagine life without it anymore 🙂

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Yes, that’s so totally true! I’m very socially awkward (even socially anxious) too and while offline friends mean well, they just don’t seem to understand that about me as well as online friends do. And that support means the world 🙂

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Yes, exactly! I don’t even think I could reach any of my offline friends in the middle of the night (since they set their phone on silent or turn it off), but Twitter’s always awake and there for me 🙂

  3. Rebeccah @ The Pixie Chronicles says:

    Yay, what a wonderful post! I think that, slowly but surely, as social media becomes a bigger part of every day life, the stigma surrounding online friendships is starting to fade away. I know in high school and college I had some online friends that were a HUGE part of my life, and honestly, knowing them has had some really positive, everlasting effects on me. Online friendships are definitely not something to discount or invalidate 🙂
    Rebeccah @ The Pixie Chronicles recently posted…What happened to New Adult books?My Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Yes, that’s such a great point, Rebeccah! The stigma surrounding online friendships definitely seems to be fading away, as it becomes totally normal for younger generations at least… I love how you had such great experiences with online friends, and that’s what matters most 🙂

  4. Lara @ Words WIth Lara says:

    This is such a cool post! I love all the friendships I’ve made online and recently I met up with three other bloggers in New Zealand which was such an amazing experience to sort of transition from everything we’ve talked about online to being able to meet up and talk in real life like we’ve been friends forever (which we kind of have anyway). I love all my online friends (sometimes more than some of my irl friends) and I don’t actually know what I’d do without you guys because it’s actually such a big part of my life now!
    Lara @ Words WIth Lara recently posted…Wild Beauty, by Anna-Marie McLemore || Just Wildly BeautifulMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Oh, that’s so cool that you got to meet up with some of your online friends! I can totally see how it would be possible to just talk like you’ve known each other for so long, because it’s true that you really are friends, even if you only talked online before 🙂 The online community is really so supportive <3

  5. Stephanie @ Bookfever says:

    This post summed it all up perfectly, Lindsey! Especially the no pressure part. I haven’t been well since October so I haven’t been able to do a lot with my friends in real life and I do feel some pressure from them to do stuff even though I’m not up for it right now. So it’s not to be able to talk to people in the blogging and bookish community online. 🙂
    Stephanie @ Bookfever recently posted…Cover Reveal: Escort by Skye WarrenMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks, Stephanie! Sorry to hear you haven’t been well for a while, but I’m glad to know that the bookish community has been helpful! Sometimes I also feel that online friends just intuitively understand what I’m going through better than offline friends, and in tough times they are just the biggest support to me 🙂

  6. Greg says:

    I agree with this, and well said Lindsey. Especially how you articulated that a lot of book blogger/ online friendships are based on shared interests, not just proximity or whatever. Such a good point. It’s nice too to be able to make friends around the world, who have the same passions or interests. I mean I live in the US, how else would I ever connect with likeminded fans in Australia, say, or Europe or wherever? It’s so cool! And yes seeing comments from far- flung friends is always a treat!

    And this post makes me want to read Eliza and here Monsters even more, so bonus. 🙂
    Greg recently posted…Red Rackham’s TreasureMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks so much, Greg! And yes, it’s definitely nice to make friends all around the world who share the same interests. Not to say that offline friends can’t share the same interests, but I found it’s definitely not always the case. And I so hope you’ll enjoy Eliza and her Monsters when you get to it!

  7. Brittany says:

    Of course online friendships are real friendships. Plus, many online friends end up meeting. Everything these days is somehow partially “online”.. Many relationships started using online dating or Tinder or whatever. Honestly, mainly some people from the older generation is still close-minded enough to think online friendships are weird and people you meet online aren’t real friends. Awesome post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂

    Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Yes, exactly, that’s such a great point! Online friendships or relationships are so common these days, and it’s usually indeed the older generations who are still close-minded and judgmental about it all.

  8. Amy says:

    Ahhh this is such an amazing post! I love that you wrote it, and I totally agree with all your points. Also, it’s not like online friendships just talk about books or whatever their shared interest is – we talk about life, too, so to imply it isn’t a real friendship is really short sighted.
    Excellent post Lindsey!

  9. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books says:

    This is such a great post, I love it so much <3 Online friendships are really incredible friendships and just as real as the ones we have offline, sometimes even more. I am happy that the stigma surrouding these friendships is slowly fading away, it deserves to. Book blogging is so amazing and it allowed me to meet so many incredible people and make real friends I trust, not only with bookish recommendations, but with life recommendations and other thoughts and rants as well. They're just the best overall 🙂
    Great post! xx
    Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books recently posted…On rating books, how, why and the complicated feelings of it allMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks so much Marie! And yes, I completely agree, book blogging friends are not only helpful with the book recommendations, but are there for us for other life questions and crises 🙂 I sometimes feel like my first instinct is to talk to online friends, and only after that to offline friends, so they are definitely incredible and very real!

  10. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra says:

    Oh yes, I definitely think of online friendships as real friendships. I met three of my best friends that way over 10 years ago and now we meet up all the time, travel together, and they’re the first ones I run to when I have any news that I want to share or when I’m going through a rough time. I can’t imagine what my life would be without them.

  11. Rebecca says:

    Love it! I’m a born introvert and so my online relationships are very important to me because I am able to engage when I have the energy – and it doesn’t take as much energy from me as normal face-to-face interactions do. I love this post. Fangirling!

  12. Di @ Book Reviews by Di says:

    I think that online friendships are definitely ‘real’. It’s not the physical presence of someone that counts – it’s the interactions and understanding etc. and sometimes you just can’t get all of that from the people who surround you. Maybe it’s a small town, maybe it’s the business of life not letting you meet new people, but online friendships definitely count.

    And… THANK-YOU for being an awesome online friend!
    Di @ Book Reviews by Di recently posted…Review: Roar – Cora CarmackMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Yes, exactly! Like you said, it’s not so much the physical presence, but the interactions and understanding that is also so important and unfortunately not always possible with offline friends, because of so many possible reasons. Online friendships are so vital to me and so many others, and it’s just hurtful to have them not considered as real. And thank you Di, you’ve been an amazing online friend to me too and I am so happy I ‘met’ you online 🙂

  13. Rissi @ Finding Wonderland says:

    Such a fun and insightful post, Lindsey. You’ve said so many things I’d like to say. There’s lots of truth in this post. These book blogging friendships are also important even if they are with people we cannot see in our daily life. There are so many amazing people in this community. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing.
    Rissi @ Finding Wonderland recently posted…Hallmark Channel Preview | Four New Romances Premiere in the 2018 #SpringFever CampaignMy Profile

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