Tag Archives: friends

What next, 2012.

So, what next for 2012?

Am writing this sitting in Starbucks, Christmas 2011 has come and gone and New Year will be with us shortly.

It’s been a year of mixed fortune. A time when one or two who I would class as close friends seem to have drifted away, and though one or two acquaintances have become good friends, there is still a feeling of overall loss.

Finances have been tight, so a lot less adventuring out to things like YouTube Gatherings and those other social events that happen around the place.

This time last year I felt reasonably secure in work, but that has changed over the last few months.

It’s not all been negative; so glad I went down to the Summer in the City YouTube gathering and I’m very happy with my new lap-top and camera. New friends have been discovered (do you ‘discover’ friends?), however I won’t be sorry to see the back of 2011.

As for next year, that all depends on work. If the job security situation improves, then this will provide the foundation for rebuilding a more positive outlook on life. If the job situation deteriorates, then who’s to say what may happen.

Gatherings. Friends & Relationships.

A few thoughts on Gatherings, friends & relationships.

So, three Gatherings over three consecutive week-ends. First a run down to Birmingham and the ‘Boomingham’ birthday gathering. The last one a run down to Bristol and Jacob Dyer’s gathering. With in the middle the Summer in the City gathering in central London.
Every Gathering has its own style and character, but this SitC was something different. An event spread over three days with people coming from all over the world to attend. On the Saturday I counted just over 200 people that had formed one large circle. Add to that those not in the circle, those who turned up later, those who just attended on the Friday or Sunday; I will guess overall something around 300 there at one time or another. I only met a very few of those I had hoped to meet, but with so many there with different groups forming doing different things, that was only to be expected.

However it did get me thinking as to what actually is a ‘friend’, and where do you differentiate between acquaintance, friend, and good friend. Now, I know how I see others, with various people I know falling into any one of these three groups (a bit arbitrary perhaps just having three groups, but you have to start somewhere), but how do others see me? Or more importantly from my perspective, how do *I perceive* their relationship is to me. If everything is on an equal level, then no problem. Even if it is on a lopsided relationship – I’ve watched their many YouTube videos (both entertainment and personal vlog stuff), seen them on BlogTV or Stickam, maybe even met them briefly at a Gathering – I may see them as a ‘friend’, however I do realise that their only contact with me is probably by a couple of chat comments on BlogTV and the brief Gathering meeting, so to them I will be no more than ‘an acquaintance’. That gives me no problems what so ever. So long as I know where I stand and can act accordingly and know what level of action I expect from them.

However what happens when you believe they see you on one level, but ‘things happen’. Say a group activity of some sort where you know everyone in the group and believe that they see you as a friend, but when you ask to join in, they turn their backs on you (and for no apparent reason). Or you help someone or do them a favour as friends do, but at the end they just walk off as if you meant nothing to them. How do you handle that sort of thing, and what in the first place led you to think that they saw you as a friend? No answers for you I’m afraid. It’s no good saying that they probably are not the people you want as friends anyway, it’s too late, the (emotional) damage has been done. The only thing you can do is to lick your proverbial wounds and just get on with things as best as you can.

Ah, getting on with things as best as you can brings me back to SitC. People have said that it has been the best time of their life / most wonderful week-end ever / etcetera, but I’m going to buck the trend and say that though it was a good gathering, I have been to better. I definitely have no regrets in going and though next year’s is 11 months away I’ve already been looking at flights down for it. However if I change as much in the next year as (because of YouTube!!!) I have changed over the last year, I will be a very different person at the next SitC (and I kind of hope one or two others may have changed too).

Something else I must say – Sometimes life is not always what it seems.

Friends and the Internet.

Had a bit of fun last week-end. Friday morning and hire a car here in Glasgow and then head across to Edinburgh airport to pick up a friend flying across from America. I guess I’d better be careful on the use of the word ‘friend’. This was someone I’d never physically met before, but had got to know recently through things like YouTube – one of those ‘internet friends’ that so many uninformed adults seem so paranoid over.
Back to Glasgow to pick up another friend (someone who I now regularly share a coffee with, but first noticed through BlogTV – internet contact again). Then head off down to Bury St. Edmunds to meet Tom and Ed. These are two brilliant musicians I know, and no prizes for guessing that my first contact with them was internet related (YouTube; Tom – Hexachordal, Ed – Eddplant). Down there they were performing some of their music to a small crowd of others, most of whom I know and had also initially met through things like YouTube.

Drive back up on Sunday, then Monday around Glasgow meeting up with one or two others. Again, one way or another, these others were first met because of the internet. Tuesday, and it’s time for Americans to head back to America.
I now have more ‘Real Life Friends’ who mean something to me and that I meet and socialise with on a regular basis but who I first discovered through the internet, than ‘Real Life Friends’ who were just met in ‘real life’. The same goes for my contact list on my mobile phone – dominated by internet related contacts.
Social networking through the internet is rapidly becoming a very physical-social situation. Social networking sites are no longer just made up of individuals, but of interacting social groups. People know people, groups know groups. New individuals making contact can be quickly checked out and if anything suspicious found, then others can be alerted.

I now feel *far safer* when first meeting someone if I have already made some sort of contact with them through the internet compared to meeting some stranger in the pub or any ‘real’ location where I just don’t know who this person is.

YouTube friends

I’ve met some amazing people through YouTube, I’ve had great fun, I’ve learnt lots – especially about myself!!! It has helped me to gain self-confidence; gatherings have got me to travel to places I would never have bothered to go to – and found them nice places. However all is not roses and happiness in the proverbial garden, there is a darker side to it. I’ve seen abuse and harassment. I’ve seen people have to leave suddenly – not out of choice. I’ve seen new people arrive and be accepted by the established crowd, only to be dropped as soon as the next ‘new’ crowd of people arrive. The trouble is that the established crowd often don’t see it. They have their core element of principle friends, and they have this flow of new people coming and going providing a bit of novelty and extra spice to things. Of course, some of the new crowd will become ‘accepted’ into the established group (and will pick up the ways of that group), but so many can get dropped by the way-side.

However these things all just have to be taken on as part of life. You can’t let them get to you otherwise you’re going to have problems. But then so many people use YouTube for socialising because they already do have problems. So don’t rush things, and don’t go ‘chasing’ people. Get up a video or two, don’t try to impress – just be yourself. In time people will come to you and you will develop your own networks of contacts.
Ahhh… but of course, all this is easier said than done – but at least try.