Benefits of Successful Social Networking

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					Benefits of Successful Social Networking
Friendships are one of life’s great joys. Over the course of my life I’ve
gained and lost friends for a variety of reasons, but mainly by simply
losing contact after moving away. This is now much harder since we can
use the Internet to remain in contact. I have friends on four continents
right now with whom I speak regularly, due to the magic of the Internet.
Normal procedures, like email and mailing lists, are fine for people whom
you already know. Meeting new people is somewhat more complex. For those
circumstances, we have social networking sites. I have friends I only see
in person at conventions, and the social networking sites are excellent
for that. I can get bulletins on convention attendance and other things
in their lives, and do the same in return. I’ve been introduced to
friends of friends on these sites, and found mutual interests.
Right now, I’m providing a friendly ear to a woman I’ve known for a year
and a half and meet every six months as she deals with an ulcer and a
broken ankle. This has led me to contact some of her co-workers. In the
old days, I’d be pretty much helpless for information until she posted a
letter via snail mail, while now I can get updates as quickly as she can
bring herself to sit down and type.
Several times, people attempting to find old friends or even relatives
who have names similar to mine have contacted me. While this hasn’t
worked out so far, the next time might actually be an old friend
successfully tracking me down.
In the other direction, I can seek out old friends or people I might know
of through work or others. There are several people I’ve also added to my
various friends’ lists this way and some have led to real friendships.
Occasionally, I’ve even found that I’ve had friends in common this way.
I’ve even had the experience of meeting somebody for the first time after
knowing them only through the Internet. Being a cautious sort, I’ve
always made sure that these were as safe as I could arrange, for both of
us involved. But I’ve not had a bad experience this way.
It does happen that real or potential friends may have issues that can be
divisive between them. This can be dealt with by well meaning adults with
mutual respect and perhaps agreement to avoid specific subjects. Friends
who respect each other can deal with disagreements, even over the
It is important to address honesty. It is one thing to leave off
information that you think might be a potential danger, such as your
mailing address. It is another to insert fake information such as
pretending to be someone else. I doubt the attempts to keep lies that
pile up as you make things up to hide your real identity is going to be
fun. Certainly it will be a lot of work to keep this up for long, and the
payoff seems ephemeral at best. When compared to the joys of real
friendship, this seems weak at best.
Looking for a great Social Networking Site? Check out the author's
website at