Defending Virtual Friendships by Susan Mac Nicol
I want to talk a little bit about virtual friendships and making friends via social networks. Yep, those ones you make on Facebook and other social networking sites.
Now some people have questioned the use of the word ‘friend’. They say, ‘How can someone you’ve never met be your ‘friend’, someone you only know over the ether waves and even then, you have no idea who they really are. Man, woman, pervert, pedophile, priest, business man, serial killer—true, you have no idea who they really are. A lot of them you have no idea of their gender, and the number of nom de plumes abound. There are super heroes, book characters, film-stars and even cartoon characters.
The word friend is defined in the dictionary as ‘a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.’ It’s a very broad and sweeping definition and in my mind, it certainly applies to those people with whom we strike up a relationship over the social airwaves.
I talk to people every day who I consider friends. People who share their stories and their lives with me, their ups and downs, their successes and failures, their daily strife and their dreams and aspirations. I have people I know in ‘real life’ who are not as good as friends as these others. I have people who know me personally and face to face yet have never bought or read any of my books and aren’t really interested in what I do because it’s out of their comfort zone.
And then I have people who private message me, sending me personal voice messages of support and whenever I’m down, seem to pick up on it and let me know they are thinking of me.
Personally, I have made some of the best friends ever via Twitter and Facebook. People who are now face-to-face friends and where the relationship has developed to such an extent that it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling.
I have wonderful fellow authors who give me advice on areas they are more expert in and others, professionals in their field, who do the same and give up their time to make a meaningful contribution to something I’ve written. I have fellow authors who give me their time and knowledge and expertise and counsel to try and make me a better and more marketable writer despite the fact they have their own books to promote and their own businesses and lives to live.
So the next time someone face-to-face says’ You and your stupid Facebook and Twitter friends, why don’t you get a proper life’, just look them in the eye, and say ‘Have you read my books, the ones I slave over? Have you helped me out recently when I was feeling down, sent me a funny message to cheer me up? Have you heard my tales of woe and actually listened instead of telling me all yours?”
If the answer is No, then don’t feel guilty for having this world of virtual friendships. Whatever keeps you going and happy, it’s worth it if it means something to you.
About Susan Mac Nicol
Sue writes steamy, sexy and fun contemporary gay romance stories, some suspenseful, some gritty and dark, and others just plain ahhhh….
Lover of angst and conflict, she enjoys putting her characters through the emotional wringer and bringing them out the other side with an HEA or at the very least, a HFN.
Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and also of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She’s also Editor in Chief at http://www.divinemagazine.biz, an online LGBTQ e-zine, and she’s a Charity Board trustee at http://www.beingmecampaign.com in London.
She’s passionate about research for her books and has stayed in a circus, taken lessons from a blind person on how it feels to be non-sighted, and travelled to a lighthouse with maintenance crew to see first-hand what it’s like inside. She’s also written a screen play with Hollywood actor and heart-throb Nicholas Downs, with a view to taking her latest release, Sight Unseen, to the big screen.
Title: Survival Game Men of London Book 9 by Susan Mac Nicol
Genre: M/M Romance
Kyle Tripper has led an interesting life. Currently the manager of London’s famous Club Delish, he used to be a croupier extraordinaire in Las Vegas. But not everything in that life was so glamorous; his ex was a piece of work. Now gun-shy, Kyle hopes there is someone special out there for him, and secretly wishes it’s luscious paramedic, Eric Kirby.
Every day Eric Kirby goes through the motions. Yeah, he saves lives, and, sure, he makes a difference, but he doesn’t feel it anymore – not since he lost his one true. But, when he meets wild, flamboyant Kyle Tripper and learns there’s a skittish, apprehensive man beneath the bold façade, the best of Eric’s protective nature kicks in and opens his heart to a new love.
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