online friending vs in real life friends

Posted on July 8, 2011. Filed under: General 'rambling" |

An online community for knitters, crocheters, spinners, dyers, etc.  ( in simplest terms, Facebook for the knitting and crochet community as well as other fiber “junkies” of all descriptions, had an interesting thread about “friending” people online vs your IRL (in real life) friends, how different are they?

I have a couple Facebook friends, we also share membership in some Yahoo Groups communities, I used to also be a member of their “real” monthly group meeting.  I made the major error of posting to our common Yahoo Group (what I thought) was a simple and reasonable request on behalf of a local friend who was interested in attending the next monthly meeting.  Next thing I know, the (well, that oft mentioned biological waste material) “hits the fan”.

On one “side” of this issue I was told, “well, you should have consulted the group leaders prior to posting that request” (OK, mea culpa, I can agree with that, in hindsight, it would have avoided the entire debacle.

On another “side” of this issue, I got a private email from the member who most strenuously disagreed with my request, giving me details of how horrid their life had been, etc., the sheer tone of the email made me delete it instantly, lest I accidentally disclose anything that would compromise their privacy to anyone else, plus, to be quite frank, it alarmed me); I neither required, nor wanted that level of personal disclosure from someone I barely knew.   Plus, they never comment on my posts or respond to my emails.

On yet another “side” of this issue, another member, who I am pretty sure by now is also mad at me, hasn’t ever bothered to respond to any of my replies to their post in other Yahoo groups we share, or ANYTHING.

On yet ANOTHER side of this issue, the friend on whose behalf I made the request is majorly annoyed with this group, and confronted them at a local event (quite by accident, neither knew the other was in attendance to the same event), and essentially, they opted to confront the group members openly about the hostility they “generated” towards me initiating the request.  THEY claim the group member they confronted accused ME of being a troublemaker.  It is hard to know who is telling “more of” the truth here, as both have fairly confrontational personalities to begin with.  I kind of feel I wish I’d never joined the group AND never met the friend I tried to bring to the group.  (someone have a box big enough for me to crawl into please???)

Now on a similar tangent, I have at least one family member, who in all other respects I am close to, but have decided based on what’s been NOT said and NOT done (and some things that HAVE been said and HAVE been done) that they are angry with me and have been for several years.  They would rather suffer the various medical and mental anguish one suffers when “swallowing” anger rather than confronting me and “getting it out of their system”.

I would just assume they say what they need to say, even if it hurts my feelings, so that they can be healthy again and me not be left “wondering” what the *&^% is going on with them exactly.   That is what love is, isn’t it?  Being willing even to be hurt if it will help make someone you care about feel better.  Their spouse is not helping things, they have a way of “expressing themselves” that doesn’t come across well, let me keep it at that.

In short, I value HONESTY above anything else in a friendship, a family relationship, work relationship, or “other” relationship.  If I can’t receive that, it ain’t much of a friendship, a family relationship, or anything else kind of relationship.  Even if that honesty hurts sometimes.  I know all the people involved above will probably recognize themselves and send me angry emails, I don’t care.

My union is having us vote to either strike or not strike, my boss has a skin cancer issue he is dealing with, I’ve been an epileptic for two years (doctors have no clue why), and the floor I work on is in turmoil due to contract negotiations, so if anyone is pissed at ME, go ahead, make my day…  do you feel lucky, punk?

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