Monday, 18 April 2011

Missing In Cyberspace

As the technological world grows more vast we rely on the relationships we build up with people we've never even met before. Although we've never met them before we feel close to them.  I've built up some fabulous relationships on BabyCentre, Twitter and through blogging. Through these digital social networks I've met what I consider to be friends even though I've only ever 'spoken' to people with type and only ever seen photos of them.

Photo credit: jscreationzs
We make friends with people all over the world and build up fabulous online relationships, sharing little corners of our lives with them. Laughing at jokes, crying through sad times, congratulating eachother on achievements and special occasions.

I've blogged about how online relationships really matter to me before in one of my first ever posts. As a stay at home mum, sometimes these connections are so important - they really kick in when you have a poorly little one or the weather is bad and you can't venture out into the 'real world'.

Over the past couple of weeks I've become increasingly concerned about a blogging friend of mine.  She's not posted on her blog or on Twitter for 4-5 weeks. There was no notification that she was going away - it just stopped. This is someone who I considered a friend even though she lives far away from me and I've never met her. I've messaged her on Twitter and nothing and still her blog remains untouched.

It's got me worried that something serious has happened. I hope it hasn't, I hope she's just taking some time out from the digital social network.

I think this is the real downside to online relationships.

I read a couple of years ago about this happening. People will lose touch or go AWOL from cyberspace then eventually it becomes apparent that the person is seriously ill or even worse, has passed away. After all, we don't truly know these people. The only contact we have with them is through the Internet so when something like that happens, they just go missing.  Like they've dropped off the face of...well, cyberspace.

It's moments like this when I dislike the 'virtual world'. I hate not knowing if something bad has happened to someone or if they need help in some way. It's totally out of my control as I sit at my laptop not knowing if someone, somewhere in cyberspace is going through a bad time.

I hope she's okay.



Great post, I was only thinking along similar lines about a 'cyberspace friend' last week. Take comfort from the phrase 'no news is good news'. I find that usually to be the case.
I was also thinking about how well travelled I'd be if I visited all my cyberspace friends-imagine!

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Have you sent her a DM - I think you get email notifications if you get a DM. A lot of people just stop using twitter (weird I know...) but if you're genuinely concerned then try to contact her a different way. x

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks ladies for your quick responses.

Yes, I've tweeted her and sent a DM but last DM was a couple of weeks ago. I'll try again- maybe she didn't see the email?

I did see on her Twitter feed that she was considering stopping blogging so that gives me hope that she's just stopped (although I'll dearly miss her hilarious posts) and maybe her Twitter account is connected to her blog email and she's just gone cold turkey?!?

Liska said...

I hope that's the case and that she's okay. I stopped blogging on Liska Life when I got pregnant and 2 followers there did DM and I got back to them. I hope you can find a way of staying in touch xxx

Anonymous said...

I hope your friend is OK and that she will respond to your DM/tweet. She probably is just taking some time out from what her tweet said, though it's impossible not to worry isn't it.

I was once part of an online community where people would disappear after you'd been talking to them for years. In fact I did it myself once when life events meant I couldn't be around as much. I think we all need time to breathe and reassess sometimes xXx

Lady Estrogen said...

It can be frustrating! Hope all is OK :)

Anonymous said...

Have you tried her contact page on her blog? or leaving a comment on her blog?

its horrid when friends disappear..


Mrs E said...

I hope you find your friend- that is the thing with some cyberspace friendships, but you have to let people in otherwise you would be missing out! Great post highlighting it though. x

Mari's World said...

I hope she reads this post and gets in touch but sometimes our other halves get really mad with our fixation with cyberworld. I know mine does. He's not PC addicted at all and constantly tells me to get offline and enjoy 'real life'. Maybe she's taking a step back to concentrate on her family? Hope she gets in touch soon.
PS. I used Babycentre too (and Babyworld!)

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Yes, this has happened with a couple of my cyber-relationships and luckily I did eventually get a response. It would be great if there was an etiquette to this - some people do great farewell posts when they close their blog down, or post up a "I may be gone for a while" post. That doesn't work so well on Twitter as people may not see it - perhaps it would be good to change your profile on twitter if you are going to be gone? Lots of food for thought and I hope your friend is okay x

Anonymous said...

I do hope everything is ok. I know what you mean about building friendships through blogging. Visiting your blog and the others I follow is like stopping by for coffee to catch up with a friend. I'd be very concerned if someone wasn't 'home' too.

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks for your concern ladies. I've managed to contact her and all okay x


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