Recently this has been an ongoing thought in my head:
Do online relationships have the same depth as relationships off line? Can they obtain the same meaningful purpose as your friends you see in day-to-day life?
I have had some interesting conversations recently with people on Seesmic and Friendfeed about the friendship dynamics between online and off line relationships. I have only been debating this because of the increased time I have been spending on social media platforms over the past few weeks.
The problem that exists, for me, is the overwhelming urge to know more. The desire to get deeper into a persons psyche and actually understand where they are coming from and where they have been. I have had fun debating and sharing in conversations over the communications platforms and yet I am left with this undeniable longing for something more.
The sharing of information and idea generation has always been a staple in the increased support of social media. I started using social media as a way to gain more insight into technology, entrepreneurship, and the overall aspect of viral marketing. What I have found is (while all the information is great) there is a point where a person stops and wants something more from a relationship or an acquaintance.
I have had extreme success in meeting people in my area off line whom I had the first interaction online. The relationship factor grows exponentially when you are sharing both online and off line forms of communication. I am relating more to the people I have met online who do not live in my vicinity.
I know research and data is a prerequisite to have in blog posts pertaining to an opinion. In order to support an idea it is always better to have others opinions to strengthen your own. Unfortunately, I am running off the cuff here and spouting words over a virtual page.
When is the right time to want more from an online relationship? Is there a need for it? I love the information super highway sometimes more than the road outside of my house and that is what bothers me the most.
How do you strengthen online relationships to the point where you can say they are a friend? Where does a follow or a subscription turn into a relationship?
Are we meant to delve deeper? We should be.