See You On The Flip Side

I’ve had a good summer so far. With my daughter home from college and my son figuring out where he wants to go to school, there’s been a lot of “news” in my house. I try not to get too personal on Twitter, but if you follow me there, you have a good idea of how well my son’s lacrosse team has done, when we’ve made college visits, and how often my daughter has made peach pie. I don’t post as frequently on Facebook , but most of my Facebook “friends” are “real” friends, so I tend to share more specific details about the same things.

But I have a good friend who is not on Twitter or Facebook, and she doesn’t really have any idea what I’ve been up to. We try to get together, but we both lead busy lives, with full-time jobs and family demands that quickly fill up our weekends.

The problem is, I’m so tired of talking and writing about our big summer decisions that I don’t really want to fill her in. Can our friendship survive if I don’t share the details? Will we still be close if I just tell her when my son decides where he wants to go to school, and don’t recap the highlights of all of our college visits? If I tell her that it was nice having my daughter home for the summer, without describing how she combined three different recipes to create her signature peach pie (she’s made it three times already and it’s all from scratch!) will she still be one of my “best” friends?

I have cyberfriends that I can meet in person and “click” instantly with because we already “know” so much about each other.  Our conversation is easy because we already know personal details, hobbies and interests, although we might have to step back and fill in information that seems important “in real life” but less so in the Twitterverse-Blogosphere.

Is there a flip-side to that cyber-intimacy coin? Is there a risk of drifting apart from “real” friends who aren’t as immersed in social media as I am?

Do you feel a stronger connection to “real” friends whom you also connect with in social media?

Do you have cyberfriends whom you feel as close or closer to than some of your “real” friends?

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14 Responses to See You On The Flip Side

  1. MizFit says:

    hmm.
    for me there has been a drift—or WAS until I noticed and rectified.

    less from friends who are not online at all and MORE from IRL friends with whom I connect on twitter etc and almost took for granted that was connection ENOUGH.

    it isnt.

    for me anyway.

    • Coco says:

      Very good point, Miz! I find that FB strengthens my relations with friends because we know what is going on with each other and get ideas to make plans to get together.

  2. Know what? My first year of college my friend B went to college in a city 2 hours away. We didn't have time to phone each other, but we kept up with each other through Email, and for whatever reason, we both spilled our hearts out to each other over Email. She's still my friend today, but I notice we're not as spill your guts in person as we are on Email. There's something about the light of a monitor, it sucks all your inner feelings out.
    Don't let your friend drift away, cherish your friends!

  3. SuperBabe76 says:

    Well… I do have friends who don't really care about reading my blog (too "impersonal" for them, nevermind all the details that I share!) and who don't really login on FB often. Life is busy and we make an effort to talk on the phone every couple of months, but you are right, a lot of the details are lost, especially since we live 10+ hours away from each other. With family, however, I do feel that FB and the blog really makes us feel like we're part of our daily lives.

    I certainly don't have time to call each one of my siblings and my parents (and my in-laws!) to tell them the same things over and over, so the more general details they get from the blog, the more "detailed" details (ha!) they get from FB (at least my siblings do)… and for more "personal" things that I don't necessarily post on either, we use the phone… but with friends… especially the ones who live away, a lot of the specific details are lost… but the deep and meaningful conversations remain, even if they don't know about your daughter's pie, so you have to cherish that :)

  4. SuperBabe76 says:

    Also, I have heard that all this social media makes it hard to connect to other people "from scratch"… but I haven't found that to be the case, at least not for me. I still find it rewarding to connect with people at events and then work on, possibly, becoming closer acquainted…

    • Coco says:

      I'm not good at making cold connections to begin with, but I think putting myself out there on social media has help be overcome my inner introvert — plus I have more to talk about!

  5. David H. says:

    I do what I can to not share nearly as much on Facebook as I used to keep the real-life relationships real. On Twitter, I primarily stick to talking about running. While it's a huge part of my life, the time with my son and wife are much more important than running ever will be. And at the end of the day, that's what I talk to my "real life" friends about more than anything else, but I value the "real" and "virtual" relationships just about equally. Does that make sense?

  6. Vicki says:

    I don't think she needs to know every detail to remain a good friend! When you can meet, I am sure it is just the same as before, isn't it?
    Coco I had to unfollow you on Twitter! There were way too many posts! I hardly ever use it, don't really get it I guess.. I could not figure out how not to see what you were saying to everyone and it was tooooo much! On the other hand, I very much enjoy reading your blog and your posts on FB.

  7. Thank you for putting this out there! I have noticed that with some IRL friends, social networking has driven a wedge and with some it has intensified our relationship (in a good way). I find myself meeting up with a friend and assuming that she knows everything that I'm doing and feeling because of FB and/or my blog (not so much Twitter) and it turns out she's oblivious. One thing I find myself doing is hoping, when I meet someone IRL, that they are also on FB so we can stay connected there! Whoa…not sure what I really think about that!

  8. Great post – great timing! I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I used to dance and once/twice a month I would travel/connect with people. That was my social life. That changed, and I've been connecting on line. But I'm realizing that I need to purposefully invest in my real life friends. Who are they? Since I'm not dancing, do I have any friends? Well, I have a few… My job is to make the call and set up a walking or lunch date. Thank you for posting!

  9. Emily says:

    Great post! I resisted Twitter and Facebook for so long, but I finally caved to the pressure about 2 years ago. Now, I have no idea what I would without them! FB has helped me reconnect with old friends from my childhood while staying connected with family and friends who are spread out across the country. Twitter has allowed me to find an outlet for all of my training. Very few of my "real" friends are into running or triathlon, and I've been able to find some great support and advice from my "virtual" friends. I think my "real" friends appreciate that b/c they get sick of the nonstop training talk! :^)

    • Coco says:

      I also have connected with elementary school friends on Facebook. It was very special when my Dad died and they shared some of their memories of him from when we were kids.

  10. Beki says:

    What a great post! I have met 2 twitter friends in person & I know consider them to be very good friends. We have so much in common & we are in frequent contact. My non social media friends don't understand twitter & most of them aren't into healthy living. It for sure creates a gap.

    Both ladies I've met from twitter, it was not awkward. It was like we had known each other forever. It was awesome.

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