What's the point of having online friends?

#1 Edited by misterLIGHTYfan (11 posts) -

What's the point? I ask because I've been monitoring my brother's "Internet activities" on my laptop, that he shares with me, and I could tell he only talks to people from different parts of the world, and I'm asking myself, "Why is he talking to them?" One day, I felt like disconnecting my Internet router, that I payed monthly for, for the night and my brother, that has autism (sorry if that was unnecessary), got so pissed off at me because he can't talk to these online friends of his that he won't ever meet in his lifetime. It gotten so bad that he even threw our laptop in the ground, that still works, and he start screaming at walls and other freaky sh*t. I mean, come on, the chances of him meeting any of them is slim to none. Half of his friends don't even know the real him except he made up stories about his life to their friends about how he went to the army (though all he does is sit on his ass and stay on the computer all day), and these are people that lives 12 hours ahead of him (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc) which is probably why he stays up late all the freaking time. >.<

The question is (again): what's the point of having online friends when you could get friends in person? It just seems silly to me. I know half of you are going to call me a hypocrite because I'm asking this question on an online community (GameSpot), but I don't talk to anybody here - other than asking questions on here - while my brother talks to random strangers all over the world on freaking Facebook.

#2 Posted by JML897 (33111 posts) -

If your brother has autism then it's probably hard for him to be comfortable around people in real life and talking to his online friends makes him feel less lonely.

#3 Edited by Smashbrossive50 (2876 posts) -

As much as I can see this matter,it's a sort of surrogate,if you can't handle real life yet,start with this "online friend".. I had a few,but only one has a Skype,yet it's good if you have it as well.to gather friends like these,one must ask if he/she has skype,that's it

EDIT: o wait,does your brother use social media such as face"palm"book,twitter,etc..?

#4 Posted by Iszdope (9401 posts) -

Well, for one, they don't "borrow" your stuff.

This one time, my mate Robbo "borrowed" my favourite beanie, and proceeded to lose it at the snow.

I was devastated.

#5 Posted by Pffrbt (6367 posts) -

I don't see the problem with having friends on the internet. You don't need to meet someone in person to enjoy talking to them or playing games with them.

#6 Posted by finalstar2007 (24860 posts) -

I dont get the point of you shutting your brother like that i mean he enjoys talking to his online friends ( they are still real people ya know ) and you take that enjoyment away form him? just because he's making online friends dosent mean he wont be making real life friends but sometimes starting online helps a person to form friendship in real life.

#7 Posted by hippiesanta (9732 posts) -

Can Flap online

#8 Edited by Master_Live (13614 posts) -

It just seems silly to me.

To you. Not to him, so who cares what you think.

#9 Edited by Master_Live (13614 posts) -

And stop being a dick and connect that internet router for your autistic brother and let him be.

#10 Posted by darkspineslayer (19351 posts) -

So you not getting it means he can't enjoy it?

Some of the coolest people I've met have been online friends.

#11 Edited by alim298 (1012 posts) -

Your brother seems to have some serious issues. That said online friends are no different than everyday friends. So he's not going to meet any of them so what? I have friends who used to be my neighbors but now are living in foreign countries they're still good friends.

Edit: Sorry just saw you mentioned your brother is autistic. This kind of makes it all your fault now. You should be more tolerant and patient.

#12 Posted by Cerise9 (7 posts) -

You should be more tolerant and understanding of your brother.

The fact he is autistic just makes that even more necessary.

You need to practice EMPATHY a whole lot more than what you do now.Look the word up, study it, ponder it, practice it.

Why turn the router off if you knew it would upset him, and if you didnt know it would upset him you should have turned it back on immediately he became upset.

You dont need to turn it off, you can simply turn off your devices that you use, and still leave him connected.

What you did was astoundingly bad, but i will assume by your actions you are ypoung, so hopefully you have learnt something from all this.

A friend is a friend, it matters little if you ever see them or touch them.

Just having someone to chat to is enough, someone to have fun with or share concerns with, or tell them how juvenile their sibling has been when they turned off their ability for you to communicate with their friends :P

You should apologise to your brother and tell him you now understand why it upset him.

You know a blind person never gets to see there friends, yet it would be a horribly lonely place if you never had any type of friend.

#13 Posted by WestSideAzn (2218 posts) -

@cerise9 said:

You should be more tolerant and understanding of your brother.

The fact he is autistic just makes that even more necessary.

You need to practice EMPATHY a whole lot more than what you do now.Look the word up, study it, ponder it, practice it.

Why turn the router off if you knew it would upset him, and if you didnt know it would upset him you should have turned it back on immediately he became upset.

You dont need to turn it off, you can simply turn off your devices that you use, and still leave him connected.

What you did was astoundingly bad, but i will assume by your actions you are ypoung, so hopefully you have learnt something from all this.

A friend is a friend, it matters little if you ever see them or touch them.

Just having someone to chat to is enough, someone to have fun with or share concerns with, or tell them how juvenile their sibling has been when they turned off their ability for you to communicate with their friends :P

You should apologise to your brother and tell him you now understand why it upset him.

You know a blind person never gets to see there friends, yet it would be a horribly lonely place if you never had any type of friend.

This ^.

Nothing wrong with having an internet presence and talking to people.

#14 Edited by Korvus (2365 posts) -

My wife was my online friend for a while; she's a musician and I was really interested in her music so I reached out to her and we started talking. We lived in different countries so we had no chance to meet in person right away but eventually things started getting serious, we started meeting during the vacations and now we're together.

She also has tons of friends from all around the world who she visits on occasion when she performs a concert near them and they all started with a message saying "hey, I love your music!"...so it's not all that impossible for an "internet friend" to be a "face to face friend" (I don't like using the expression "real friend" because we all have/had friends we see often and there's nothing real about them...being a real friend has nothing to do with how close they sit when you're talking to them)

As for your brother, if he's not bothered by it, why should you be? It's not up to you to arrange for his social life.

#15 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (15753 posts) -

My online friends are the same people I'm friends with in real life. I don't really make friends with anyone I've never met in the real world. Every time I get a friend request (in FB) from someone I never met, I delete it.

#16 Edited by -Toshy- (1349 posts) -

For me, it just boils down to the method of socialization that I prefer. I like talking to people on forums and skype, but not so much face-to-face. It just so happens that other people who prefer this method of socialization don't live close to me.

For example: I have a group of friends who I talk to almost daily in a group call on skype. Most of them are in the US so there is the possibility of meeting them someday, but some of the others live in Finland, Germany, Singapore, and South Korea. Even though there is a huge distance gap between us, there is still the same emotional connection that I have with my "irl" friends.

Also, it's pretty neat learning about how our cultures vary in regards to everyday things.

Edit: I probably also fall on the autism spectrum (haven't cared enough to get a diagnosis), so take that as you will.

#17 Posted by johnd13 (7803 posts) -

Believe it or not, online friends are still friends. They can be as important as real-life ones especially to someone who is finding difficulties meeting and socializing with new people face-to-face. If their presence makes your brother happy and less lonely then why take it away from him? I can see why he got mad you... I hate it when other people intervene in my life like that just because they can't understand and accept the things I do.

#18 Posted by Dogswithguns (10666 posts) -

Better than having real life friends that most likely gonna mess up your life..

#19 Posted by HailtotheQueen (156 posts) -

What's the point? I ask because I've been monitoring my brother's "Internet activities" on my laptop, that he shares with me, and I could tell he only talks to people from different parts of the world, and I'm asking myself, "Why is he talking to them?" One day, I felt like disconnecting my Internet router, that I payed monthly for, for the night and my brother, that has autism (sorry if that was unnecessary), got so pissed off at me because he can't talk to these online friends of his that he won't ever meet in his lifetime. It gotten so bad that he even threw our laptop in the ground, that still works, and he start screaming at walls and other freaky sh*t. I mean, come on, the chances of him meeting any of them is slim to none. Half of his friends don't even know the real him except he made up stories about his life to their friends about how he went to the army (though all he does is sit on his ass and stay on the computer all day), and these are people that lives 12 hours ahead of him (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc) which is probably why he stays up late all the freaking time. >.<

The question is (again): what's the point of having online friends when you could get friends in person? It just seems silly to me. I know half of you are going to call me a hypocrite because I'm asking this question on an online community (GameSpot), but I don't talk to anybody here - other than asking questions on here - while my brother talks to random strangers all over the world on freaking Facebook.

I think you are being too hard on him. Like someone else said, friends are friends. Some people can't handle real life social interaction for whatever reason so you can't really expect them to go out and socialize with people. I also wouldn't necessarily say that a person will never meet any of their online friends. I have met a lot of online friends from gaming communities when I have gone to big LAN/Conventions and things like that. I have also met almost all of the people in my all-female clan and several from a couple other clans. One of them I have visited several times and we have had a chance to get to know each other really well. She is dragging me to SDCC with her in July.

I'm not sure a person should rely solely on making friends online but if he has a serious issue with social interactions then that may be his only real option at the moment. I suppose its better to have online friends then no friends at all.

#21 Posted by geniobastardo (917 posts) -

You're either thinking too much or you just don't have the patience enough to be considerate to him. Everyone's different, if he enjoys making friends online ( that maybe because he can't make friends in real-life because of his disease) then let him be. You're just over-thinking it. Let the things flow in their current and everything will turn out to be fine. Just chill.

#22 Posted by AmazonTreeBoa (16464 posts) -

Friends are overrated.

#23 Edited by Sword-Demon (6871 posts) -

You sound like a dick. Monitoring your brother's internet activity and shutting off the internet, preventing him from talking to his friends, just because you felt like it?

If his online friends are people he likes and cares about, who gives a fuck where they live or if he'll ever meet them in person?

#24 Edited by LexLas (4163 posts) -

The point is that he actually has somewhere to begin a normal cycle of sharing his thoughts and feelings, and talking among others. It is what is comfortable for him at the moment. It helps him mentally, and its good for him. Believe me there are lots of other like him out there. My brother in law is one of them. He actually has a place to go, it is a real world after all, even if they half way around the world. I totally understand what your saying, real friends would be a plus. In time, hopefully.

#25 Posted by RadecSupreme (4604 posts) -

10 posts only and such a stupid OP. You must be undoubtedly a troll.

#26 Posted by 4myAmuzumament (1743 posts) -

to keep from being totally alone on the internet

#27 Posted by elkoldo (896 posts) -

@Korvus85 said:

My wife was my online friend for a while; she's a musician and I was really interested in her music so I reached out to her and we started talking. We lived in different countries so we had no chance to meet in person right away but eventually things started getting serious, we started meeting during the vacations and now we're together.

She also has tons of friends from all around the world who she visits on occasion when she performs a concert near them and they all started with a message saying "hey, I love your music!"...so it's not all that impossible for an "internet friend" to be a "face to face friend" (I don't like using the expression "real friend" because we all have/had friends we see often and there's nothing real about them...being a real friend has nothing to do with how close they sit when you're talking to them)

As for your brother, if he's not bothered by it, why should you be? It's not up to you to arrange for his social life.

Jesus...according to statistics,where I live, less than one percent of marriages are based on internet friendships.And of course that percentage is made up of the people of the same country , of even possibly the same city.I mean, you're unique in your kind.Merely out of curiosity, how long did it take to meet her in person , and how did it happen ?

As for the topic , I hardly ever believe there's such thing as internet friendship.I mean, I can hardly find people who really care for me in real life , let alone in the internet.However for those who are socially isolated ,internet friend can be ,at most ,someone who listens and talks to them.Something that they -the socially isolated- can't find in real world.

#28 Posted by Korvus (2365 posts) -
@elkoldo said:

Jesus...according to statistics,where I live, less than one percent of marriages are based on internet friendships.And of course that percentage is made up of the people of the same country , of even possibly the same city.I mean, you're unique in your kind.Merely out of curiosity, how long did it take to meet her in person , and how did it happen ?

Well, like I said, I really enjoyed her music, we started talking about it and we started getting interested in each other. We started talking in December, she was drowning in tours and concerts, I was back in school for a career change after 10 years as a programmer, so neither had the time to go abroad to meet so when her August vacations came along she was searching for a nice place to visit and since we were already into each each other she came to me, we spent 3 weeks together and it was just perfect.

Afterwards we had to wait 2 years (it really sucked!) for me to finish my studies so I could move here with her...we saw each other for a few days every 6 months or so, it was bloody torture...now I've been living here for a bit over a year and I have to say the wait was worth every minute =)

#29 Posted by Gaming-Planet (13704 posts) -

Because you could do things online as well with online friends. Yes, you can be lonely on the internet as well.

#30 Posted by LJS9502_basic (149475 posts) -

Actually one of the cool things about the internet is being able to talk to people from around the world. Can't see how you believe that to be a negative.