The last five years have been a bit of a roller coaster ride when it comes to online friendships.
In turns it has been fun, educational, uplifting, frightening, disheartening, devastating and back again,
Here are some things I have learned. Who knows? They might help someone out there avoid some of the pitfalls I have run into.
1. Don’t ever give anyone you only know from online total trust unless they are able to prove they deserve it (very few will ever be able to).
2. If something feels wrong… it is! ALWAYS trust your instincts.
3. If your friendship requires a go-between/middle man for communication… it’s not a friendship. Let it go.
4. If you have a question or a concern about a friend, go directly to the source… don’t ask someone else.
5. Don’t believe that everyone you know online always has your best interests at heart, even when they say they do.
6. NEVER trust “but I’m the only one you can trust”.
7. A friend who is truly loyal and trustworthy and will back you come hell or high water, doesn’t need to constantly remind you of it. They already know you’re well aware of it because they’ve proven it.
8. If you have a friend who does need to keep reminding you how great a friend they are… find out what they’re saying about you when your back is turned, so to speak. And be prepared for fallout from others if you decide to keep them as friends. 10 to 1, they’re reminding you how great they are to divert attention from the fact that they’re running you down to everyone else.
9. Trust yourself before you trust anyone else. Follow your heart… it will very seldom steer you wrong.
I let the wrong people interfere with friendships I had with others. I’ve lost a lot of friends I truly cared about because of it and I hurt a lot of people I care about because of it.
With any luck, I may be able to recover and start over with some of those friends. There are others I know I will never get back.
The only person I can blame in this is myself. I let the wrong people influence me. I trusted them. I decided I was going to listen even when something inside me was telling me something was off. That was my mistake and no one else’s.
Just be careful out there in World Wide Web.