Call: How valuable is your online friendship?

Editor-in-chief Erica kicks off: “We understood each other through and through, from the first contact. At least that’s how it felt. That first contact was established through ICQ, a program that allowed you to chat with everyone – acquaintances and strangers – around the turn of the century. I was 18, he was 21. There was nothing amorous about it: we were both very happy in our relationship. For months we sent each other endless emails in which we shared joys and sorrows. Until we decided to meet in real life.”

“It was immediately clear from the moment he got off the train in my student city. I was waiting for him on the platform and saw in his eyes the same mix of disbelief and disappointment I felt. Have I been in contact with you all this time? We came from two different worlds, communicating on two different wavelengths. We took a very civilized walk through the city and had a drink somewhere before I dropped him off at the station. After that we never had contact again.”

“Twenty years later I can still think about it: what was real? The contact we had via email or the contact in reallife? Does that actually matter, if you are perfectly satisfied with the online contact that there is? Or does it only really count if that click is also there when you are face to face with each other?”

Share your story

Within the theme Your data and you, NEMO Kennislink is looking for the value of online friendships. For this we are looking for experience stories from our readers. Beautiful, moving or tragic stories about contacts, friendships or loves that did or did not survive outside the digital world – or that never made the step to the physical world. But also stories such as that of Gerita, whose daughter has a rare genetic disorder and who finds a lot of support online among fellow sufferers. Or from people who have been catfished: they fell in love online with someone who turned out not to exist. What did the contact mean to you?

Share your story below or send an email to [email protected]. Perhaps we will use your experience this summer in a background article in which scientists from different disciplines discuss the meaning of online friendships.

Source: Kennislink by

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