Wednesday, June 06, 2007 - The replacement for MOG and the nature of friends

I've just added a link in the sidebar to my radio station. So now you can get an idea of the type of music I like. If you follow the link to my profile you can also see what music I've been playing in the last week on iTunes and if I can get the plugin working there will also be information about the stuff I pay on my iPod (there isn't that much difference). If you like and consider signing up for the service (it's free but there are benefits for paying the nominal subscription) you are more than welcome to add yourself to my friends list.

This leads me onto another topic - online friends. I find it rather odd to refer to people with whom my only contact is, livejournal, orkut, this blog etc as friends. In some cases the people are not really friends. This is not to devalue the place that these people have in our online lives, as usually when we have any kind of contact though comments or email it is because we have common values or experiences. Alternatively it could be that we are going through something that generates an emotional response in another person to the point that they want to reach out to let you know that you are not alone, or as a confirmation that they are not alone. These "friendships" can be fleeting, maybe only lasting a few days, but at times of distress and turmoil can be more important that the responses of the people who are friends in the traditional sense. This, I think, is because of the spontaneity of the response, which will always seem to be more genuine than the measured and, dare I say, expected comments from those who we share our lives with on a day to day basis. Given the flighty nature of these online friendships, I find my reactions to a de-friending as strangely un-nerving. Why does it bother me that someone I don't know has decided that our path of commonality has come to an end? The reality is that this has little or no bearing on my life, it's just a few pixels on a screen, but even so there is a sadness that someone who was listed as a "friend" has removed that tenuous connection. Perhaps in the light of the myspace generation society will reassess the nature of friendship but in the interim I suppose all we can do is observe the patterns of relationships with interest.

Finally, as the dirty whore ex-mistress or her friends seem to have stopped sending me threatening emails and the like I'm re-opening comments, though they will be moderated till I see how things are.

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