Guest Posts (1)

I’ve recently arrived in Seattle and over the coming two weeks will be slowly making my way down to San Francisco. I’m on holiday; life is good.

I’m aware that things have been quiet around here lately, so as a prelude to the “return” of Lone Gun­man I’ve got a couple of fine guest writers lined up while I’m away.

For the com­ing week your host is david (b) hayes.

David recently got his own tag here on Lone Gun­man thanks to his wonderful post, Why You Hate Your Facebook Friends [LG]. However it’s David’s linkblog, Link Banana, which has made the most impact here as it’s been the source of many of my favourite posts over the last few years.

His long form blog, Frozen Toothpaste, is another a favourite read of mine. Of course, David is also on Twit­ter so fol­low him here.

Join me in wel­com­ing David by leav­ing com­ments on his posts.

Thanks to David and to you.

Advantages of Internet Friendships

The methods through which we create and maintain relationships are constantly changing, with recent decades boosting the move from a purely location-based model to one where relationships can spawn and develop remotely, thanks to the Internet (and, to a lesser degree, the telephone and mail systems). However, while this new way of creating and maintaining relationships has distinct advantages over the ‘traditional’ concept of location-based friendship creation, many perceive it as inferior.

Taking his cue from a quote that did the rounds on Twitter last year–Twitter makes me like people I’ve never met and Facebook makes me hate people I know in real life–David Hayes attempts to shed light on the advantages of Internet-originating relationships by perfectly describing the way friendship creation has evolved over time (by means of describing the constraints to doing so). The conclusion echoes my sentiments exactly:

I view the higher value placed on place-originating (or “real-life”) friendships as wrongheaded. It seems only logical to me that it is better to build your relationships from a pool of people who speak your language and have similar soft-qualities to you, than to attempt to start from a geographically constrained group and then attempt to find soft-quality matches in a face-to-face series of interactions. This is fundamentally what the internet allows: the friendship process to start from a set of commonalities around soft attributes, and then potentially aim for geographic matching. This is the opposite of the standard process, but certainly the one more likely to yield deep and long-lasting relationships.

Interestingly, even though our only communication has been through numerous backlinks and a couple of tweets, I wouldn’t hesitate in calling David a friend. Most likely, the majority of my Facebook friends (i.e. my physical world originating friends) would not understand this.