Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

Is it Live? Or is it Internet?

58 Comments

Do you remember the old Memorex commercial? No? If you’re wondering why I’m asking, see the title of this post. Okay, on with my point.

What kind of person are you? Are you like me and wonder what happened to someone if they don’t show up online for, like, twelve hours? Or do you figure they’re just living their life in real life? Because seriously, it’s hard to differentiate between online life and real life sometimes. If someone stays offline for three days it’s not the same as if they don’t come out of their house for three days. But we still wonder, are they laying on the kitchen floor in the puddle of grease they slipped on because it’s been thirty-six hours since they last posted a picture of a cat on Facebook?

You hear stories of how the mailman calls 911 because the old lady in 226 hasn’t emptied her mailbox since last Tuesday, but you do the same thing for your online friends and you end up with the police knocking on YOUR door with a restraining order. Okay, there may be exceptions: like when they don’t show up online for months (yeah, I’m looking at you, Paul Curran). But the fact is, we don’t really (usually) know what goes on in the background of our online friend’s lives. Just like we shouldn’t judge people by the way they look, we shouldn’t necessarily worry or think others are ignoring us when they’re not around the internet at the same time every day.

I do consider my online friends as friends. It’s a totally different friendship we have with our physical neighbours though. Right?

How soon do you start to worry?

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

58 thoughts on “Is it Live? Or is it Internet?

  1. I recognize that they have places to be and a life to live, but I only get worried if a) they don’t respond within a day and maybe a half WHEN b) I’ve messaged them about six times asking where they are AND c) if they were upset the last time I talked to them

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  2. Yes, I do wonder when some of my blogging friends don’t post for some time. I send a message. More than that I cannot do anything because they are too far away . Good post:)

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  3. I think you connect. In real life but also online, especially here in the blogosphere. I got worried about a year ago after one of my regular followers stopped coming by and didn’t post anymore. I sent him an email and didn’t receive an answer. I sent another one to ask if he’s okay. I got worried because one of his last posts was about how sick he was. It all turned out well. He started a new job and didn’t find the time to check his blog and his email account he had opened for the blog.

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  4. Perfect timing for me, Linda! Yes, online friends are real friends, friends that I don’t want to be without ❀ I definitely lean toward the "assume the best" category when online friends go missing. And I really appreciate online friends, like you, who give me tons of space to wander off and then welcome me back warmly. You are such a gift ❀ Have a great weekend πŸ˜€

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  5. Great post Linda. I was just talking about this same subject with an online friend I was checking up on because I had seen them posting as often. I emailed to check in and see if she was okay. It’s force of habit for me spending most of my life online here with friends I’ve made, sometimes closer than the ones I hardly ever see in real world, lol. πŸ™‚

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  6. My WordPress bloggy buddy community spans the globe and I wait – to see …my Facebook circle only of folks known to me and, if in the locale, If I message, and don’t receive response, I get over it – but yes, when I have website customers who haven’t responded to ‘copy approval’ requests for weeks on end – – when I stop by my neighbor’s for a chat, and they still are MIA – yes, at some point, I think, “make a few calls, make sure no one is in need of aide, and then….wait….” – LOL – Trust me, I treat online world like real life (1st mistake – cuz I’ve had to do the replies to, “Where R U? R U OKAY?!?” missives when I’ve dropped the ball – and, then, there are those wonderful posts you see, when one who’s posts regarding fighting health issues, went ‘offline’ for 3 years – and you kept ’em in your “Following” cache – because, who knows how it will really turn out? And one day, you are blessed with a missive, “Thank You to all the Support and Well Wishes during my long battle – I am well and diving into writing again!” – Yes! Those kind of posts make the online journey worthwhile!! πŸ™‚

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  7. I worry pretty quickly with some. I’ve been known to text them at suppertime when I haven’t seen them anywhere (in my puter) all day. I’ll ask, “Where are you?” like somebody’s mother. I suppose it depends on how reliably they’re online to begin with. I reckon there are about a dozen people I’d try to contact elsewhere after two or three days of nothingness.

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  8. With the explosion of social media, beginning with MySpace, a new dynamic was added to our lives. Suddenly, we were able to become friends with people from all over the world, instead of just our tiny little piece of it. Then along comes Facebook where all of the people you actually know it real life are there. Sometimes it’s a good thing, but like with everything humans interact with, it can be bad. Bein’ human, we tend to grow close, or closer dependin’ on whether ya know a person in “real life”, with people we meet online and become friends with, so naturally we’re gonna worry about someone if their usual online routine is disrupted for a given period of time. In my humble opinion πŸ™‚

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    • Yep, it’s true. Though our online friendships don’t usually start out as much, they grow and become more real. πŸ™‚
      I honestly wish I still knew my MySpace password. I wonder what Tom’s doing these days… πŸ˜‰

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  9. Bwahaha! who? Me? ha! Your concern is heart warming Linda – and you are not alone. I think you are humanizing the internet when you see the person behind the posts – and that is a good thing. Thank you for caring and Thank You for being you!

    As an aside Linda, I have a guest post over at Barb Taub’s. If you have time to drop by, I would be honored. Thank you. https://barbtaub.com/2016/06/23/if-it-has-tires-or-testosterone-guest-post-by-paul-curran-throwbackthursday/

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    • You’re welcome, Paul. πŸ™‚ Really, you don’t have to keep thanking me. ‘Twas a mere side-trip. πŸ˜‰
      You’re really prolific these days, aren’t you? I can’t keep up! I’ll keep trying though. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I usually end up knowing more about the people I consider close Internet friends, but I sometimes am left to wonder what happened to some who have drifted away. It is a curious social relationship. No answers, but interesting to think about.

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  11. I worry after a few weeks of seeing no WP posts. Facebook not so much as people tend to post on such a regular basis. I have privately emailed bloggers when they disappear and I think something may be wrong

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  12. It is definitely different with online friends especially if they just disappear. It’s hard to deal with the unknown. How long I wait to check up on someone depends on how regularly they post but if someone is missing I would send a “how are you” message.

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  13. For WordPress friends, I get concerned after I don’t see you for three weeks. I mean you did not post, did not comment anywhere or like any post. I would come check on you. For Facebook friends, I check on them after two weeks.

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  14. I worry if people disappear without warning . Yes Paul Curran , thanks to Linda we found you well and happy but without internet. Thank you for that Linda. I consider quite a few people as friends and I worry if they are away. I am the same with neighbours. xxx

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  15. I try not to get too attached…. But it’s hard as you do firm more of a relationship with certain I terne individuals. If they are regulars, and I don’t see anything online, I’ll check to make sure I haven’t unfollowed them or been unfriendly first, then I’ll send a little ‘hope you’re ok’ message!

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  16. Great post, Linda! Yes, I do remember that commercial, and the guy sitting in the chair as he gets blasted by sound. πŸ™‚

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  17. I think after a week or two is a good time to worry, especially if that person is very active online. That’s usually when I start snooping around WordPress and social media to make sure someone is okay.

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  18. I usually worry after a week, because I do go offline for a week if I am on vacation. So I give others the same time πŸ˜‰

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  19. Ha! This is a great post. I have a lot of respect for people’s privacy, but a few times on the internet people have accused me of stalking them. I found it especially funny because the last guy was a man, allegedly a big martial arts athlete and heavily armed. I’m not sure what he thought I was going to do to him, pop up in the rose bushes like a ninja?

    It seems to be a paranoia somewhat confined to the internet. Understandable I suppose, because we are dealing with the unknown, a lot of strangers, and technology has made us less trusting, not more.

    There are a couple of people on the internet I am rather fond of, so I do sometimes check around, see if I can find word of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s really hard not to. But as you say, sometimes it’s hard to get your true meaning and/or intentions across when writing. What we see as a casual and offhand, “I love you and if you ever go offline I’ll kill you,” could seem suspicious to some. πŸ˜‰ Not that that’s what you did, but hey, it could happen, right? πŸ˜›

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  20. An extra wrinkle gets added with Internet friends, because it could also be an interruption in access to technology. If you have other means of communicating with the missing person, you might want to give them a try. Or you could hire ninja to track them down and force them to talk to you.

    Could go either way.

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  21. I’m the same way. If I don’t see an online friend posting as usually give it a day but then begin to worry. I’m the same way with neighbors, just a caring way about us.

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