Building Friendships Online or Offline.. Does it Matter Which?

Building Friendships Online or Offline.. Does it Matter Which? - massholemommy.com

Being a mom and making friends is hard. I moved Toronto 5 years ago this August and I have 1 actual friend in this City.

Why? Well to put it as nicely as I can, I don’t like many people. I don’t like fake people or fair-weather friends, and often that’s what I have found here and tried hard to stay away from.

It’s so important as a mom to build and have lasting friendships, so what do I do?

I have the best of friends online and back home. Not only is this good for my sanity but it is also less invasive and less drama. The people I have met in person here have turned out to be just that, drama. I don’t need drama, I have children who provide enough of that during the day for me I don’t need it from grown women. I do have one very good and loyal friend, she’s there when we both need each other or to just chat about nothing. Sadly, she lives across town but she’s there.

I will make good friendships where I can. If that’s online, then so be it. I’ve made very good and year long friendships that are still going strong.

Like minded people, other mom’s and other bloggers. People who know what I am going through, dealing with and can relate to each other on many levels.

I know some people need that offline interaction and want more than just online friendships but it’s not bad wanting both or even like me just one, I don’t think. If I could meet people like the ones I’ve found online offline I know it would be different, but sadly my time right now is limited and I don’t get out much. Maybe when my kids are older I will be able to strike up some friendships off the Interweb but for now, I am extremely happy with who I am and who I’ve become very close with.. Even if we can’t go out for coffee or gab on the phone everyday! At least they are there when I need them, not fake and are true friendships. I haven’t had that in years since I moved offline, and I am so thankful to have them at all.

Is it more important to make friendships off line than on? What do you think?

About Jeanine Macintosh

Jeanine is a 29 year old, stay at home mom to 6 kids living in Toronto, Canada. She loves everything about Babies and Kids! When she’s not blogging, she can be found testing products for review, babywearing, playing with her littles or her zoo of furbabies and baking from scratch! You can find out more about Jeanine by visiting her at SixTimeMommy.com.

About Taylor Nikaci

136 comments

  1. Janine Huldie

    I have both and truly just blessed to indeed have friends on and offline, too.

  2. Michele

    I have several friends offline–all but one live very far away! I have met people on line who I consider friends–true friends as well–even though we will probably never meet in person. As you say-they are there when you need them and I am there for when they need me.

  3. Alli

    My BFF lives in another state, so we’re texting & phoning often. My 3 grown daughters are my closest friends and we shop & hang out. I also have several online friends that I’ve never met. I think it’s healthy to have both.

  4. Scott

    I think online tends to be easier because you don’t have to have your schedules mesh in order to communicate.

  5. Liz Mays

    That’s true. It’s like your both in the same workspace, so it’s easy to connect.

  6. Jessica Beal Harlow

    I have a very small circle of “real world” friends. There is so much drama and unrest involved in keeping “friends”. My real friends are the ones that I can go weeks, months, yes, even years without talking to. They get it. My world (and theirs) is busy and can’t be dictated by making a friendship the top priority every day.

  7. yumeating

    I had friend that I have had for 30 years. We don’t talk much but when we do its not like time has ever passes. But we do talk a bit through FB and such now.

  8. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    I don’t think it matters if your friendships are on or offline, so long as they’re real. And you can always tell a real friendship.

  9. Fi Ní Neachtáin

    I also don’t like fake people so have a handful of friends who I think the world of. I know a lot of people online through blogging and think they’re some of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever ‘met’.

  10. Mama to 5 BLessings

    I totally agree. I have gotten stabbed in the back so many times. I would rather a have a few close friends than many that are not really friends

  11. Liz Mays

    The balance used to tip for me offline, but with working online, that has changed. Most of my friends are online now but I get to see them at events and things, so it’s both.

  12. toughcookiemommy

    I also have a lot of friends online. It has been a pleasant surprise how authentic those friendships have become.

  13. Pam

    I also get to see a lot my online friends at events or on trips. It’s really neat finally meeting them in person- or seeing people again!

  14. Rosey

    I like my online and my in-person friends. They’re different kinds of friendships, but both equally nice.

  15. My Journey With Candida

    I consider you one of my good friends Rosey. Maybe one day we will meet in person’

  16. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    I agree. I’ve made so many online friends that I share with the same way that I share with my in-person friends.

  17. My Journey With Candida

    I think you need to have a good mix of both. You. Don’t always get to meet your online friends but can still be an important part of your life.

  18. Pam

    I agree. I have one friend who I probably consider one of my best friends for life that I first met online. It turns out we grew up not very far from each other, although we live 2000 miles apart now.

  19. Sandy

    I totally get this post. I find it hard to make friends. Acquaintances are one thing, but someone you can hang with and be yourself around, it’s tough! Nice post!

  20. Nancy

    It is SO dang hard to meet people IRL if you’re not in school or enrolled in extra ciricular activities. Upon moving from Canada to California I forced myself to be outgoing, and introduce myself to new people in my apartment complex. Now, one of my neighbours is basically like a best friend to me. And a few of the other ppl I’ve known… aren’t really! Funny how it works out. Jeanine, I WOULD BE YOUR FRIEND YOU KNOW. BUT YOU DIDNT WANT TO MEET ME LOLOLOLOL

  21. listen2mama

    I think any good friends one makes are good to keep and to continue working on the friendship, whether online or in person. But I do think we are all losing a bit of touch with reality, people don’t even call each other anymore, everything is through email and texting. Sometimes you need that human touch.

  22. Felicia

    It’s funny that you wrote this post because I now work from home and a lot of my business is working with people who I have never personally met. We talk on the phone almost every day and all of the team members push each other to become more and more successful, but the beauty of our business is that its completely e-commerce. So I don’t feel that you have to have that face-to-face contact to really get to know someone. Talk with them on the phone and through social media is a really great way to meet and get to know people in this generation!

  23. My Journey With Candida

    Sometimes, it is easier to be friends online than in person. I haven’t a lot of time, but always seem to find time for my online friends.

  24. Mama to 5 BLessings

    I just made a few new friends on a Disney media event I went to recently and we still stay touch. It is helpful to have blog friends because you look out for each other and help!

  25. Ruth Zankich

    I think there is a balance that one does. It is nice to have friends online that you can vent to.

  26. glutenfreeforjen

    I have both. But my situation is a bit different- we are a law enforcement family and not very many people want to hang out with us right about now lol. But we do have our other LEO’s and their family that we hang out with. It is helpful because we moved away from family to a community we know no one. I do have a ton of blogging friends though that I have made over the past few years.

  27. Sharon Erickson (@sharonme86)

    I have both. I really don’t think it matters whether it’s offline or on. Friends are friends. It’s good to have a good balance.

  28. Debra

    I communicate with most of my friends online. I do see them in person, but we talk online a lot more.

  29. Kristen

    I talk to friends online mostly. But I think it’s important to keep a good network of moms close too. I find that it’s easy to be friends with people without getting involved in drama.

  30. Alissa Apel

    I have both friends online and off. I like them both. I don’t think it matters. To be honest I don’t see the ones that live here very much. We all have lives of our own.

  31. msposh2013

    Really good friends are like diamonds if you ask me

  32. Laura (Another Cent Saved)

    What an important topic. I have a hard time distinguishing between real friends and the fake ones you speak of. It wasn’t until I survived a cancer scare. They removed it all that I realized so many are not what they seem and I have no time being grateful for my life now. It’s true if you have 5 real friends in a lifetime your lucky.

  33. desafio6

    I don’t think it matters, because I have made a lot of good friends and we only communicate online because of distance.

  34. asbestrecipes

    I hear you I moved from Mexico to the USA 15 years ago and I still miss my dear friends even though we connect online. I guess this is an opportunity to meet new people and stay in touch with those at home online.

  35. Mama to 5 BLessings

    I find it easier to make friends with other bloggers vs. people in person. I find that people in person are so cliquey.

  36. justamom8225

    Honestly I’ve made a lot of close friends online, though I also have a few friends that I still keep in touch with that I knew from high school. But lately I find it easier to find friends online.

  37. toughcookiemommy

    I don’t like fake people either which is why my inner circle is so small. The truth is that quality matters to me a lot more than quantity when it comes to friendships.

  38. thelesleyshow

    My neice is marrying a man she met in the Netherlands online. HA! My best friends lives in Ireland now (she was in the states). We met online many moons ago. I’m a friendly, positive, energentic person – I make friends everywhere I go!

  39. Bonnie @ wemake7

    I totally feel the same in most aspects of this. To be honest I don’t really have friends in the real world, maybe that sad, not sure but I talk to more people online then off.

  40. Carol Cassara (@ccassara)

    I think it’s hard to maintain offline the vast number of friendships we can have online. Both are fun.

  41. Stephanie Pass

    Being shy, it’s hard to make friends. It was hard when I was in school, but now it’s next to impossible when I work from home.

  42. Jennifer Williams

    All of my friends are online and I have only met one of them face to face. I do not think it matters how you met or what type of friendship you have as long as you have friends that are real friends.

  43. Jenny

    I have both as well, but mostly just acquaintances in person cause most of them annoy me and we don’t hang out often. I do have one good friend though in person and a bunch of siblings so I guess that’s good enough for me.

  44. Maria

    I don’t have online friends, but one of my best friends (in-person) has tons of online friends, and loves the experiences!

  45. Debbie Denny

    I have good friends I have met on and off line. Some online I may meet someday.

  46. Michele D

    I hoping to meet some new friends from online specially the ones that I work with closely. Being thousands of miles away from family it’s pretty hard.

  47. chanelle

    I agree. I have fewer friends now as an adult. Like you said, I have kids and a family, which leaves little time for bullsh*t and drama. I’m willing to make the initial effort, but can easily and more quickly tell if a new relationship will turn into a friendship or not.

  48. Milosz Zak

    Healthy relationships outside of the family are the bedrock of mental health.

  49. Jacqueline

    I have different friends for different purposes. I meet dog lovers at the dog park, but I also talk to a lot of people online in a craft group. I would consider my online friends to be important to me because we share information. My in-person friends are the ones I share more of my day-to-day personal life with.

  50. Chubskulit Rose

    I don’t have many friends from where I live as I don’t go out. I only know people from my children’s school and that’s about it. Online friends play a big part to relieve me from homesickness from my real friends and family back home who are thousands of miles away.

  51. ninasaysblog

    I am an extreme introvert, so my favorite friends are my online ones. LOL I do have real ones though

  52. Terri Ramsey Beavers

    I think it’s both, I have many friends off but they’re very far away from where I live, and I met friends online and they’re very kind. I had a great time to read your post thank you for sharing it.

  53. Theresa

    I have one friend in town that’s been my bestie for 17 years. I just don’t like the other women that I have met and all the drama they bring. Now, I have a ton of online friends and I know that if I met them in person, we would mesh really well. I think the online friends understand you much better because they deal with the same struggles and can relate better.

  54. Vidya Sudarsan (@IDP_Vidya)

    I’m meeting a lot of new friends via my blog.. and I actually like both – online and offline. People can pretend to be nice both ways, but you can easily find from their actions in both cases.

  55. [email protected]

    The world has become very anti-social with having friends online. And some of my friendships work online and some of them work offline.

  56. Britney Mills (@princesscowboys)

    I think a balance between the two is good. I definitely interact with more people through blogging than anything anymore!

  57. upliftingfam

    I agree with you. I personally don’t have a ton of offline friends. I love my online buddies that I have met over the last few years.

  58. Alison @ Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

    I only have a couple offline friends – I just work too much and too hard to be uber social so many of my friends are online. Some I’ve met, many I haven’t but they mean as much to me as my offline friends do so I don’t think there’s really one that’s better than the other, it just depends on your life circumstances.

  59. Terra Heck

    I think both are important. I have a few friends offline and quite a bit more online. I’m not a fan of fake or drama-ridden people either, regardless of how I know them.

  60. Katherine

    I have one friend who is offline. Everyone else I know is online and I like it that way. Gives me privacy.

  61. Rebecca Swenor

    I feel as long as you have one good friend offline it is okay. I feel the same way about the fake people and it is funny how you can tell the difference. The fake think people are fooling everyone when in fact most can recognize who is real and who is not. Thanks for sharing.

  62. Kiwi

    I love making friends online! I have met several bloggers online before I met them in person!

  63. DonnaChaffins (@DonnaChaffins)

    I moved to Knoxville 18 years ago and never made a friend until my son started Kindergarten 11 years later… I had 2 close friends but they live too far away to see very often. Now I have a few good friends and one bff. I love her dearly. I have a lot of online friends I’ve never even met, but feel very close to, as well. In fact, I owe being where I am today to… she is the best!

  64. redheadbabymama

    I like having both, but I’ll admit that I’m better friends with those I can see in person. Even local state blogging friends that I see I interact with more!

  65. Christine Luken

    I think there’s definitely room for both online and offline friends! There are some people I’m friends with online that I would have never met otherwise.

  66. Marina John

    I like to have both. I have some really awesome close friends offline, as well as groups of awesome friends online too! I value each and every one of them.

  67. milenabarrett

    I think a healthy of mix of both is good. You really need both!

  68. Sunny

    I love this article! One of my closest friends I met online through contributing to her blog. I have a few friends off line, but like you, I have no time for drama. So while it’s nice to have face to face time sometimes, my online friend is just as important to me!

  69. Catherine S

    I think having a good mix of both is good. I have a few really good friends from work and several online friends.

  70. Cherri Megasko

    I have worked from home for 22 years. In the last 15 of those years I have moved 11 times. Online friends are just about the only ones I have!

  71. Jennifer

    I have a ton of online friends that are ACTUAL friends. Like we send Christmas gifts to each other. Friends are friends whether they’re online or not.

  72. Gabriel Bregg

    I’ve made a number of long time friends gaming on line and actually cemented my relationship with my wife while deployed online. We knew each other before, but the timing wasn’t right and having instant messaging allowed it to blossom despite 6000 miles between us.

  73. Elizabeth @ Being MVP

    I think it doesn’t matter if it’s online or offline. I’ve made some awesome “online” friends over the past few years.

  74. katrinagehman

    I met some of my best friends online. they are kinder to me than some of my friends that live 2 blocks down the road.

  75. Erinn S

    Most of my friends are offline, but online is great too as you connect for advice and guidance on career or interests from a wider audience

  76. maria @ close to home

    I agree that you can build friendships online, especially business ones. Never believed it until last year.

  77. rane25

    I think both are necessary. The thing about online is that you don’t get a true feel of their personalities. People tend to hide behind their true personalities

  78. Natalie Z

    We move every 1-3 years. I have lots of friends that don’t live here but it gets hard to settle roots when you know you are leaving. I really don’t think it matters as long as you have a support system. Of course my best friends from college and high school we all try to plan some girls weekends to get some in person time together!

  79. Laura (Another Cent Saved)

    Friendships are important but as we grow we realize that their is those that last forever and those that are just acquaintance. Great points.

  80. jessica m

    Its super hard for moms to make friends, you have kids and then the friends with no kids dont understand. I dont have many friends at all – thats sad I know. I mainly live online

  81. yumeating

    You and I are so much alike when it comes to this topic. I moved to MI in 2007 leaving behind the friends I had my whole life. Well, some of them I had known since I was a kid, a lot of them I met later in life. They were my family. I know the wives of my husbands friends mean well, but I dont have anything in common with them and they are just gossipy. I have one really close girl friend and one guy friend. Neither of which I really see. Most of my friends are online and its been like that for a while. I had a lot of online friends when I was in OK too and many of them are still my friends now. Thank goodness for Facebook and Skype!

  82. Jenna Wood

    I have found connections with people through phone, web, writing (actual letters) and social media. I don’t feel any one connection is more or less valuable because of how it was made or maintained. I completely agree.

  83. becca112971

    I agree my closest friend is someone I met online and co nected with over our love of books. we have only seen each twice but talk about everything.

  84. Helene Cohen Bludman

    I consider myself lucky to have both. I think it helps with IRL friends if you’ve lived in the same community for a long time like I have.

  85. Pam

    Most of my good friends are online. Luckily, I have some in person friends I can count on when I need help.

  86. Angela

    I think if it works for you than it is perfect! If you find yourself lonely for IRL friends you will know and find them, some of my best relationships are online!

  87. kristimaloney

    This year I started working at my son’s school and just getting out of the house everyday and developing friendships with the other moms at the school has been great for me.

  88. April G

    I think it doesn’t matter where most of your friendships are. I do think you need one or two that are close and able to be there physically. You have to do what works for you?

  89. vanessa: BriteandBubbly

    I say the majority of my actual close friends are offline. I have made some friends online, but I feel like until I meet someone face to face I can’t really 100% says we’re besties.

  90. Penelope

    I’m grateful for my friends, both online and off. I don’t spend as much time with my offline friends, but it always feels good to reconnect with them. I don’t get the same feeling chatting online.

  91. Amber NElson

    I don’t think it really matters either. I don’t have a lot of friends either.

  92. Rorybore

    I think it’s a wonderful thing to be be so double blessed as to your real life friends (whether it’s one good true one, or a good group of them), and your online friendships. Honestly, what are you supposed to say to someone who reaches out to you? No, sorry – you’re not real; you’re in the computer? pshaw. Connecting with one another is the whole point – regardless of how or where we do that. Enjoy them!
    And I often find my online friends “get me” a lot better than my real life friends.

  93. erikaawakening962161059

    I’d like to cultivate more friendships again. It’s nice to have that support and support others.

  94. eliz frank

    I still prefer the old fashioned way of meeting people. My online interactions are brief and even though I’ve made a few really great online friends, and met them in person, I prefer to sit down and enjoy a conversation.

  95. shaunatorres

    Well, I moved to SA years ago and though I have made some friends, I think I have connected more with my online friends. Sometimes it is easier to connect online than to make time outside the kids and busy life.

  96. Lisa Bristol

    I moved around a lot growing up in a Military family. Some of my friends from growing up are only available online now. I think it is fine to have both . Someone does not have to be there in person to be a friend.

  97. Ora Lee Gurr

    I believe it is important to have both. I am choosy like you – it is easier to get along with online friends. I do have a couple of online friends who unfriended me because I had the nerve to disagree with them. I found out how many true local friends I had when my husband died very unexpectedly. Make it none. Long distance family and friends are still there, thank goodness, and my online pals.

  98. Marcie W.

    I am extremely picky and frighteningly judgmental when it comes to friendships, so for me online is usually best. That way I never fully get the chance to microscopically evaluate someone and decide I am better off without them. I suppose it is one of my many faults.

  99. irishred13

    I like both honestly. What’s cool is too make friends with others online and then meet them at conferences

  100. Mama to 5 BLessings

    Both are great. True friends are very hard to come by from my experiences.

  101. mmgmom

    I think it is important to have a mixture of both kinds of friends. I can honestly say that I felt like my online friends were there for me more when my dad died than my face to face friends.

  102. Aubrey

    I think it’s better to make friends in person. I think you can make a friend online, but the best parts of friendship happen in person. Can you have any “remember that time we..” with a friend online?

  103. Ann Bacciaglia

    I have many friends i have met online threw blogging. I think you can have just as good of a friendship online as you can in person.

  104. Kelly Hutchinson

    I have both and feel they are equally important. I would not be able to sustain som eof my friendships if they were not online due to the distance factor.

  105. SixFeetUnderBlog

    I have both kinds of friend. Sometimes it’s easier to have online friends that can relate to what you go through as a blogger.

  106. Anne | HealthySouthernMama.com

    Yes! We are exactly the same in what we “don’t like” in friends/people! Plus … it just takes time to build friendships so when you move it’s even worse. Yep, BTDT a number of times. Also when you are a WFHM you connect with people online so it’s easier to make friends that way if you are home most of your day!

  107. Christi

    I have friends both online and IRL. I have a group of about 35 women that I’ve been friends with for 8 years and have only met a few of them face-to-face… but we’re all still very close!

  108. Christina

    It is SO hard to make offline friends as an adult, especially if you work from home!

  109. sippycupmom

    These days, I really don’t think it matters. Some of my best friends are online only and we have met a few times.

  110. Stillblondeafterall (@stillblondeaaty)

    I do have great friends that I have met online. They are where I am. When I have met these people in real life, they are almost identical to the person that I have got to know online.

  111. Allie D.

    I think that it all depends on the person. I have friends both online and offline. I met my best friend when my husband and I moved across country through our church. I still have online friends I keep in touch with mainly because these women were my online support group for military girlfriends and wives. There’s a camaraderie there with sharing similar experiences. I do think that drama is always there whether friends are online or offline.

  112. lisamc7

    I think it’s important to have both. They both have their own benefits.

  113. Stacey- Travel Blogger

    I think naturally bloggers tend to have many friends online. It just works out that way since we are online so often.

  114. Dawn

    I think it’s great to have friends both on and offline. It’s always nice to be able to call a variety of people friends!

  115. Autumn @Mamachallenge

    I think it does not matter if a person has made a friend online or off, as long as it is a real friendship. I meet a lot of people online that I would never have the opportunity to meet offline, and have become good friends with a few of them.

  116. meagan

    I think it’s just fine to have both types of friends. I think I find myself closer to people I can connect to online and in person.

  117. Frugal Mom Eh! (@ElizabethL)

    I think it is important to have online and offline friends. I have an amazing good of online friends that I am very close to and I hope to meet them all in real life one day.

  118. way2goodlife

    I found it more difficult making new friends as I grow older (wiser?) AND I AM NOT REALLY KNW IF IT’S A GOOD THING

  119. Dawn McAlexander

    I have to admit that I don’t have many real friends offline either. I really don’t have the time to go out and make friends. That’s why I cherish my friends online. Since I am working online all the time, I can chat with them much easier, and usually with less drama!

  120. Cinny

    I think I have a good balance of both which makes it nice too

  121. Our Mini Family (@ourminifamily)

    I have made some of my best friends online, and we remain friends online about 99% of the time! I have met a few online friends in person, and it’s the same as meeting friends I made in person!

  122. Victoria

    I think having a mixture is good. However, I feel closer to my online friends than my in person friends.

  123. Ourfamilyworld (@OurFamilyWorld)

    I think a balance is good to have. Having both online and offline friends makes you enjoy both friendships

  124. Caitlin

    I think it’s great that you know your boundaries like that! I have a hard time nurturing the relationships – but try hard to cultivate where I am. And love the ones I’ve made:)

  125. LifeAsAConvert

    The majority of my friends are now online. I have met some great people and have had great friendships online. It is definitely less drama!

  126. Christie

    How nice to see Jeanine here!! I think both relationships can be good and healthy as long as the connection is real

  127. Krystal's Kitsch

    I made a moms group in my town when I moved here to see how it goes. It has been a success so far!

  128. CourtneyLynne

    Omg I feel like I wrote this! In Florida I have a million friends I miss, but For the longest time I didn’t hang out with anyone where I’m living now in NY because honestly everyone around here is all about the bar life and ummm…. I’m married and a mom & I like my mommy bubble safe life lol…Strange thing is after I started blogging & posting in the different fb blogging groups, I met afew bloggers that lived close by, one actually lives 2 streets away & those are my local friends now & we hang out afew times a month.

  129. censie

    what a great post. I feel like friendships are changing so much. A lot of my close friends are other bloggers who I have never met in person

  130. Agata @ BarkTime (@AgataPokutycka)

    I don’t think it matters as long as you are happy and can get support if/when needed

  131. amushro

    I think it’s great to have both! I’m lucky that my blog has brought me many online friends and it’s awesome to “meet” them in person

  132. Alison

    I have both as well. It’s nice though when I get to meet the online ones and hang out with them in person!

  133. Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas

    I have friends both online and off, and I feel like they both fill very different places in my life. I value both for so many reasons!

  134. Amanda Love

    I’m going to say that I’m just like you. I moved here to CO 4 years ago and I have just 1 friend. All my friends are back in NY and I have quite a few friends I made in the blogging world. I value them all.

  135. Shannon Gurnee

    This is such a great post! I’m so glad that Robin featured you. I follow your personal blog too. You rock girlie!!

  136. Babita

    I have a good amount of online as well as offline friends. I get drama and support with both of these groups.

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