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Email Friendships

People talk about the pros and cons of email, the ‘net, social media and the like. Some insist it interferes with ‘real’ friendships because it eliminates the need for face-to-face communication.

I’ve always felt too much was made of that, particularly when I look at the friends I have around the ‘net I never would have met in a totally face-to-face world.

This comes to mind today because my friend Ellie, who teaches farmers marketing left today to persue her dream.

I met Ellie way back when when she was a trainer who taught me enough about exercise, weight lifting and exercise machines to help me be comfortable in any gym in the world, no matter who is grunting and sweating and grunting some more.

We didn’t see each other for more than a decade when she called and said she was back in the San Diego area. We met and reconnected – we have the sort of friendship that can pick up where and whenever.


Even though we lived maybe 10 miles apart most of our communication was by email. The 10 miles was a hard trek through construction, lots of traffic and generally was no fun at all. And it generally took at least 25 minutes each way. Neither Ellie nor I like to drive under those circumstances and we began to continue our friendship via email.

It was perfect for us. We each understood the other was working and never minded if the response was a long time coming. I found myself emailing her when the computer was doing something or when I needed a break.

We talked about everything from diet to philosophy, sometimes sending each other links, debating sometimes, but mostly just being friends.

Ellie has always wanted to live way out in the country and raise her own food. Life presented her with the opportunity and, with my encouragement although she didn’t need it, she jumped on it.

As of 5 this morning she and her cat Kit and all her worldly goods are headed to Oregon and an old school house, a farm house and a goat ready to be delivered as soon as she gets the fence built.

The problem, from my point of view, her only option for internet is satellite! At the moment and probably for quite awhile she’s unwilling to spend the  money. I understand. And we will probably call each other from time-to-time and maybe even snail mail each other. But it won’t be the same.


I miss her already… I miss her emails and knowing I can mutter at her and be heard.

I’m hoping when she gets there she’ll discover a way to hook up that wasn’t apparent long distance. But the truth is the ‘net means much more to me than it does to her. So who knows.

What has this got to do with freelance writing? Can’t think of a darn thing. On the other hand, it feels good to share it.

Tell us about your email friends.

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Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by planeta


{ 12 comments… add one }
  • jorgekafkazar

    I met someone via an internet search and email a few years ago. We had breakfast and exchanged presents. She lived a long way from my normal haunts, so we didn’t meet again, but it was still fun. She had taken ballet from my sister’s instructor, decades ago, and gave me her spare copy of his book. I loved the book and sent it on to my estranged sister. That and a thank you note were my last contact with my sister before her death not long after. I’m grateful for the brief friendship and the consequent outcome.

    • Yes, Jorge, aren’t short friendships sweet!

  • I still keep in contact with my Gilbert Arizona Writer’s Group via email. I miss them and Arizona! A few days ago, we had an email discussion about “50 Shades of Grey” that ranged from how having a marketable idea that sells is better than having a superbly written manuscript to the fact that women’s rights groups haven’t voiced their concern about the book (I haven’t heard or read anything about this). The discussion made me feel as if I never left Arizona. 🙂
    Amandah recently posted..Sink Your Teeth into Better Content Writing with the Vampires from True BloodMy Profile

    • Amandah, I’m on one of those lists too… and most of us have never met f2f.

  • Anne, I think any connection with a good person with a good spirit – online and virtual – are valuable. And yes, I miss those people when I don’t see or hear from them.

    And what does that message have to do with freelance writing? I found three ways:

    1) any thought, experience or feeling can be the subject for your next story
    2) any topic can attract an audience
    3) other people may have similar feelings and thoughts but don’t know how to express them, and you did it for them.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Marcie recently posted..I’m Speaking at Show Me the Blog!My Profile

    • Well look at that, Marcie… three ways my post applies to freelancing that I didn’t see. Thank you so much.

  • All they have to do is look at us. ?
    Cathy Miller recently posted..3 Business Writing Hits for the Summertime BluesMy Profile

  • I know how you feel, Anne. I’ve got a friend I made online who disappeared for a couple of months, and it left a big gap – who says online friendships aren’t real?
    Sharon Hurley Hall recently posted..Why No-Paying Writing Work Is Better Than Low-Paying WorkMy Profile

    • So glad you have had the same experience… well, that’s not exactly what I mean. So glad I’m not alone in knowing email relationships are real. (Much better!)

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