Do you say "real life" or "real friends"?

By Leca
@lecanis (16664)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
November 22, 2007 10:34am CST
When you're comparing something online to the offline equivalent, do you say "real"? I see these statements a lot, people talking about "in real life" or "my rel friends" and it actually kind of drives me crazy. The people sitting in front of their computers typing to me are real people. Thus, if they are my friends, they are real friends. There is real emotion involved, real ideas, real thoughts, real connections. Everything I do online is a part of my "real life", just as everything I do offline is. So I was just wondering if other people use these "real" phrases? If so, why? Do you think of your online life and friends as being "not real"? Do you think it might hurt their feelings that you do so?
5 people like this
19 responses
@I_LUV_U (2519)
• India
22 Nov 07
Of course, I do not find anything wrong in calling the friends made offline as "real life" friends. The reason is, I've met them really, in person - so I call them as "real-life friends" What else should I call them, Is there any specific terminology for it? The reason why I do not call them as "offline friends" is, if my online friends get offline, they also become "offline friends", is'nt it? It becomes hard to distinguish then, no? As for the online friends, I met them online and I've known them through Internet and hence call them as "online friends" Or even "Internet friends". That is, there is a medium( in the form of Internet) between me and them, we are not directly connected. Analogically, this is like saying "I watched the Soccer match in real" and "I watched the soccer match on television" - can you sense the difference? If I blow out a flying kiss to you, can I say I *really* kissed you? No? Why no? Because, there's a medium in between us - no direct contact:( LOL! After all these blah blah, what really counts is, how much we value our friends internally, at heart, not the terminologies used to differentiate them. The language is just a medium between two individuals, and its usage is fair and acceptable in any way as long as we can communicate to each other understandably. As far as your last question is concerned, I've always pondered my online friends in par with the ones I've met offline / real-life / whatever name you wish to give them. In fact, some of them even more than those from real life. So, guys and gals, please understand my love for you all..lol I_LUV_U_ALL :p
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Nov 07
I can see what you're saying, but I guess I just don't expect others to understand what I'm saying to that extent. And since there are some people who do value online friends much less (or not at all) and will admit to that, I am very careful to get across to friends I meet online how much I care about them. Hence my thoughts about terminology. I've been saying online and offline for years, it just works for me. I wasn't saying everyone has to say it that way, or even that "real" was wrong, just that it upsets me because I've seen it used before to say that anything that is online somehow doesn't count. I don't distinguish the people I meet online after I meet them offline as well. If I did so, then I would still call most of my friends "online" even though I've known them offline for years now, and am I supposed to say "online husband"? *giggles* Actually, when talking about my friends to other people (like my coworkers) I often don't differentiate between the ones I speak to online and the ones that I speak to offline at all, until someone asks directly how I know someone. I have a few particular friends that I talk about a lot, because I think about them a lot, and I don't point out they are online friends until someone asks.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
Haha, that's okay D, I'm touchy about it too, if you hadn't noticed. :P That's a great example by the way!
• United States
24 Nov 07
You made me think of something D, I mean I have friends of many races, or even if Im talking about someone of a different race I dont say for instance, my black friend or that black girl, saying my online friend is sort of like that. Friends are friends! Bay xx
1 person likes this
• Canada
23 Nov 07
I agree with you 100% hun that weither they are friends you have met on MyLot or any other computer place they are still your friends. I never use the word real when talking about online vs offline. I either just say online, offline, or I don't and just say friend(s). Have a good weekend hun! Luv & Hugzz, PurpleTeddyBear.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
Thanks for sharing with me! :) You have a great weekend too! *hugs*
1 person likes this
@czhi520 (26)
• China
23 Nov 07
I do't know why you have such question."real"?I think our life is reality .though we often online with computer to write some words about his or her thought .they want to say some thing about thire difficult.I think we should live in our real life .Dot be afride of your difficult.you can do what you want to ,you must believe youself.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
Hmmm. I'm not afraid of my difficulties, my life has been a lot worse in the past than it is now. I'm not trying to escape my real life on the internet, I just feel that the internet is a part of my real life. I have a lot of real friends that I only speak to online, people that I care very deeply about even though we haven't met face-to-face. :)
2 people like this
• United States
23 Nov 07
although everything that is done online is part of that person's real life, i still tend to differentiate by saying in "real life" or "online" when talking about things or people. it doesn't mean that i don't think of them as being real, because i do. i've met many people online and considered them friends and then even met some of them offline after a while - including my boyfriend who i now live with. but it's just something i do and have always done, for years.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
*nods* I realize that sometimes we say things out of habit without thinking about possible connotations. I think a lot of people are this way with the "real life" thing.
2 people like this
@shedii (1488)
• India
22 Nov 07
I don't use the word "real life" or "real friends," but yes I have also observed on net many people doing so. I think such people are mostly are either those who don't consider people on internet as REAL PEOPLE or may be they want to make others feel that they are for real LOL! But whatever it sometimes feels really funny when somebody says like that. Recently I chatted with a guy and he used REAL word too many times and I didn't keep laughing at his sentences because they were so artificial kind of I felt. Anyway, nice observation and nice topic. Happy Mylotting!
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Nov 07
Haha, I would laugh if someone used that word too much too. Actually I was laughing at myself after reading my discussion, especially since I missed the "a" in it once. I should really preview. ;P It bugs me when people don't consider me a real person just because we're talking online. I'm so serious about everything!
1 person likes this
@raychill (6530)
• United States
23 Nov 07
I do. But not in the context that most people use these phrases. Like I have a friend from mylot that I talk to often online. She's a real life friend even though I don't see her in my daily life. I think, when people refer to online friends not as "real life" friends it is meant as the fact that they don't see them in their daily life. So in some ways it's not "real life" because online isn't always "real life" if that makes any sense. When I use "real life" though it's typically because I'm lame and I'll talk about things like "My Shia"... who is Shia LaBeouf, an actor and obviously NOT mine. So in real life, he's not "my shia". but I always refer to him as such cause it's more fun not to live in "real life" sometimes does any of that make any sense?
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
I can understand why the phrase came about, but it just makes me feel like a "lesser" friend when people use it in reference to me, not being in their "real life". I may not see my online friends, but I do often plan things just so I have time to talk to them, or wait for the appropriate times to call or chat with them... so it does seem like a part of my daily life. Does that make sense? Haha, that's a great example of a place to use "real life". I can think of some actors and actresses I have referred to as "mine" even though they obviously aren't. Sadly for me. lol
@raychill (6530)
• United States
23 Nov 07
Yeah well I was just saying why I think people do it. I don't really think of it badly, but I can see what you mean by it making you feel bad. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who refer to celebrities as Mine!
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
I guess I'm paranoid about whether people like me anyways, so I think about things like that. ;P Yes, I definitely refer to celebrities, or even characters, as MINE. *giggles*
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
23 Nov 07
Yes... I do use the words "real life" a lot... because the internet is actually "virtual life"... which is only a picture of real life. I don't talk about "real friends". You have to put a lot of work in... into making friends. And to me... friendship is something of a commitment to each other. It is very deep. If I had such a friendship on the internet... I would want to meet that person in real life. Friendship on the internet... is a bit like friendship amongst children in primary school. It does not mean much... unless you get serious about it. My guess would be that it is a lot easier for teenagers to make friends on the internet... than it is for adults. But maybe... I am just a difficult person to please. lol
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
Maybe you are just difficult to please. :P I consider friendship a serious commitment as well, but I have friends online who have been there for me when I had no one else to talk to, or when I was about to completely break down. My offline friends have pretty much abandoned me, which I suppose means they weren't really good friends at all, but I have a really hard time making friends, so I can't just easily make new ones. Perhaps that's why my online friends are so important to me, but there are several of them I would easily say I love, the ones I have been talking to for years (or close to a year in a couple cases). I would LOVE to meet them offline, but most of them live far enough away from me it isn't feasible right now. Eh, I'm not a teenager, but I've been using the internet as a social outlet since I was one, so perhaps that's why I see things the way I do.
• Australia
23 Nov 07
Well... like you said... you started as a teenager. I was 46 when I first came on the internet. That was 10 years ago. While there are quite a few women of my age on the forums... there are not that many men. So it is hard for me to find a friend online to who I can relate to.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
*nods* I think it makes a difference, though some people who came online when they were close to your age really take to it. In fact, I have friends who are in their forties and older (one of my best friends here is in her 60's). So I guess I don't feel I have to be the same age as someone to relate to them or be friends. I also don't necessarily relate better to women than men, so that makes a difference for me too.
• United States
23 Nov 07
Hi Lecanis, I dont think I use the term when referring to someone I am friends with online. I have quite a few online friends and I just mention them by name and continue on with what Im saying. I get an odd look from peole sometimes when they ask where I know them from. I guess most people feel that unless you have a physical relationship with them, and by that I mean being around them in person, that they arent really considered a "friend". I think anyone I make a strong connection with can be my friend, online or off. I may not see these people everyday or talk with them on the phone, but to me they are still my friends! Bay Lay Gray xx
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
Exactly, Bay! *hugs* I know a lot of people don't understand making friends in this way, but I care about my friends I met online just as much as any other friends. :)
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Nov 07
Hugs back Lecanis! Thanks. I guess I had before hand, but Ive been on the net for so long now its just like anything else. I have a friend in Canada that I have been talking with online for 7 yrs now. We talk just like anyone else Im close with, we know so much about one anothers lives just like I do with the friends that live across town from me. Bay xx
1 person likes this
@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
24 Nov 07
I was actually waiting to see a discussion like this. I am a culprit in using these phrases. I don't really know why I do. Lack of a better word? Or maybe because I am very different in person than online? Many people look at me as shy or introverted. Others say outspoken/outgoing. I am a gemini. LOL But I honestly have become so close to people online that many have become closer to me than people who see me in the flesh.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
24 Nov 07
Haha! It seems there are many culprits, but it's often just out of habit or for lack of a better word. :P I am different online than offline in that I am less shy. I have social phobias, and online I feel free of them mostly. So I can understand being a little different. I have people online who are much closer than people who see me in the flesh, which I guess is why I started this discussion.
• United States
24 Nov 07
A friend is a friend. It doesn't matter if you met them in person or not.If you are friends you are friends. To be friends all you need is to have something in common and have feelings for the other person.where is it written that you have to see the person for that to happen?Before there were computers there were pen pals. People would write their Friends and most of them never met in person. So why should friends on My Lot be any different.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
24 Nov 07
*nods* I had pen pals when I was younger actually. :) I don't think it's any different at all, and I agree that a friend is a friend, no matter how you find them.
1 person likes this
@edigital (2711)
• United States
23 Nov 07
I do not understand real or fake. But understand, when I write something of my friends topic I am real but the words I type is real but may not true
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
Hmmm. So you're saying you lie a lot? :p
• United States
23 Nov 07
I never say my real friends. My friends on here and on other message boards are my friends. THey aren't my virtual friends. But I do say in real life when I'm referring to something on TV. Actor X is married to actress X in real life, but on the show, she's married to actor Y. Something along those lines.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
I say "in real life" when referring to TV or that sort of thing as well. That makes perfect sense to me. :) Thanks!
• United States
23 Nov 07
I totally agree with you on this one. My online friends - some of them I've had for several years - are just as "real" as my offline friends.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
Exactly! I've had some for several years as well. :)
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
23 Nov 07
I think I got into the habit of saying, in my "real life" etc, cause I belong to the Lord Of The Rings fanatic plaza where one talks or speaks of themself in a role-playing character at the various forums--over there I'm a Wizard named Pyewacket (like, duh--LOL) but then on the off-topic forums one will often say in RL, meaning Real Life So no, it's not that I don't think of my friends on-line any less "real" just a weird habit from my thing over at LOTR Plaza
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
Ohhh I see, instead of saying OOC (Out Of Character), you guys say RL. That's interesting! Thanks for sharing! You always have something interesting to say! :P
@xParanoiax (6999)
• United States
23 Nov 07
Lol no. I have real friends who I only get to speak with online, or usually can only speak with online. So I refer to friends and friends period, my life online and off is referred to as exactly that; online or offline. They're both very real a very much apart of my life..just two facets of it.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Nov 07
Yes, that's exactly what I was saying! :) We have so much in common. :P
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
22 Nov 07
I never really thought of it that way...I do use those terms although now that I'm thinking about it I can't figure out a reason except that I'd seen other people using those terms. My friends here in mylot are more real than the friends I have here where I live. My life here in mylot is more real than my life off the computer because I don't have to pretend on here. I suppose that could be a reason for using the term...if I said I have no friends I might hurt the friends I do have here when all I really mean is that I don't have friends here where I live. Same with if I said my life is really miserable right now. My life here off the computer is but my life at mylot is really great.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Nov 07
*nods* I came to that conclusion several years ago... I used those terms because I saw other people using them. But the more I thought about them, the less true they were for me. I've met many of the most important people in my life online. I know how you feel about how your life off the computer is, mine's pretty rough right now too. I hope yours is better soon.
@humbleme (1004)
• India
23 Nov 07
Hello lecanis,hmmm I can understand what you mean lol,for meI give lot of importance in friendship related issues andI personally make distiction between reallife friends andonline friends.When we are online most of us hiding behind an username and not use our real name and real identity, for our own safety and security, also there are official and social positions related issues that most of us cant really use it and maybe that is why the giant online companies started the concept of username rather than the real name. Online friends are great to get share new ideas emotions,exchange of thoughts and pleasure but you can hardly find a online friend beside you when you need in your own real life in real situations where you need his/her physical presence to deal with that rel life problem in your favour as a friend or your backup and the cause is simple you really dont know the real person behind the username and he/she is actually a stranger, if you enter inside yahoo chatrooms most of the girl usernames we get to see are actually guys! and thats true these guys looks for lesbians or Couple cams and the couple thinks girls are enjoying with them so they kickout all the guys and let the girls inside their prv room lol also I know some girls as well as guys who are getting almost blackmailed by their online partners as they discussed their own very personal life related problems then revealed their original identity later on to get real help from them in person,if you consider my points and think about it I hope this issue will not drive you crazy anymore lol.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 08
Online life vs offline or "real" life, doesn't really aply to me. I don't really lable that one way or another usually. When people ask me what I like to do, I just include anything I like to do online as part of my ordinary life. I say something like, "I like to read, rollerskate, chat, hang out, surf the net, camp...etc. etc....". So I just group everything together, not clarify what's online or offline. I would never say real friend vs. online friends. I have, when clarification was necessary, said online friend or offline friend. Real friend vs online friend? I don't know what that means. It might sound strange, but some of my BEST friends are online friends.
@MsTickle (24991)
• Australia
26 Nov 07
I've never really actually thought about it but yes, I do use the "real life" bit. That's mainly because others understand that you mean your life away from the computer. I haven't used it in relation to friends and I guess this is because I've had so many friends online and they disappear within a heartbeat, even after saying we'll always be friends. One of my closest (well for me anyway) online friends turned on me and siided with someone else against me once. I admired and believed in this person even though a lot thought her shallow and not a true friend. I stood by her when things got rough and really believed we were friends. That hurt me quite a bit and left me feeling rather alone....those were real feelings I can tell you. I guess because of that, I take on-line friendship with a grain of salt.