Social Question

jca's avatar

If you had an "internet friend" that you never met in real life, and they suddenly stopped sending you emails and IM's, would you ask them why?

Asked by jca (36059points) December 2nd, 2009

I “met” this guy on a website (not a singles or dating website) and we started corresponding and became email friends. We had several nights of IM’ing and we were planning to meet. All of a sudden, when he was typing out a joke (you know how it says the person “is typing”) he stopped and said he had to go, very quickly, totally out of the blue. He was still showing as “available,” in other words, he was still on Yahoo after that. To me, it was apparent that someone else started messaging him. I had to admit I was kind of insulted (whether or not that’s justified, I don’t know).

That was about a week ago, and I often see him on Yahoo as “available” but he no longer tries to contact me. Should i ask him what happened, why he no longer gets in touch? or should I just let it go?

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34 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I’d ask, but I bet he got caught by his wife.

poofandmook's avatar

I had a friend like that… we did meet once, and we talked for a really long time before he dropped off the face of the planet. I can’t find him anymore. Actually no that’s not true.. I have his street address… but I don’t want to write him in case he’s in a relationship… I don’t think it would be received well.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I’d him ask, too. But yeah, SOMETHING happened there that was unexpected. If, after you ask him what the deal is, you don’t get a response, let it go & leave him alone.

drClaw's avatar

No, internet friends are expendable.

poofandmook's avatar

@drClaw: I beg to differ. The love of my life started out as an internet friend.

J0E's avatar

@augustlan Hey now, no one likes stereotypes.

Especially when they are right.

mary84's avatar

I’d let it go. If you never met in real life and haven’t known each other for too long I’d just leave him be. Internet friendships are different than real friendships, it seems, unfortunately! You could ask him in a friendly tone out of curiousity but after that I’d leave it. Whatever happened it’s not worth making a fuss about, and if he wants to talk to you again he’ll get in touch.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@drClaw I also disagree. Some of the best & closest friends I now have I’ve met on the internet. Some of them right here.

global_nomad's avatar

I met someone online once and we quickly became friends and began emailing each other. This lasted for about a year and then she just never emailed me back. Then I found her on facebook and we kind of talked on and off. I’ve tried to start the conversation back up and everything but it never seems to work. I think you should contact him next time he shows up as “available”. Maybe don’t question him right away, but definitely talk to him again. If he keeps acting weird I would ask what’s up.

drClaw's avatar

@poofandmook & @jbfletcherfan The real answer to this question is another question “Does @jca really care for this person?” if the answer is yes then you should do whatever you can (including reaching out) for these people. If the answer is no then who cares.

I was just saying my opinion and I really don’t connect with people online the way I do with people in the real world so I could give a shit if someone I chat with never contacted me again.

Pcrecords's avatar

I’d ask. But if a reply isn’t forthcoming I’d let it go.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

If he was IM’ing from work then maybe he stayed logged in but couldn’t correspond anymore. This happens to me all the time where I might be logged into several sites but the windows are all closed until I get a sneak peek. Sometimes I even get home hours later and find where people tried to open chats but I never got to see them.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’d email and ask how they were and mention that I hadn’t heard from them in a while, and that I hope they were OK. If I still didn’t get a response, or I got one that set my warning bells off, then that would be that.

chyna's avatar

My first thought was what @augustlan said. But I would ask.

Chatfe's avatar

Yes, of course. A friend is a friend no matter how you know them.

iRemy_y's avatar

This is happening to me now! and it sucks because were starting to grow apart. don’t get mad about it! They will always find a way to make it your fault and you’ll just feel guilty. For example, my friend told me she was depressed and didn’t want me to think of her like that, so she stopped talking to me for a week, then when i got mad she got mad and it got awkward. If Talking to them really makes you happy, then you should be happy when they do. But try not to think of them when they don’t. It makes it that much more special when you talk.

janbb's avatar

I think drClaw is spot on – it depends how much meaning this person has for you. If this person has meaning for you, I would contact him and ask if anything is going on. If there is no response, you probably have to drop it. And I agree with @jbfletcherfan, internet friends can have a great deal of meaning for each other. Friends is friends.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@janbb You’re right on that. It DOES depend on how close you are to them. Some I talk to every now & then & I can take them or leave them. Others, I’m very close to & I want to have some kind of contact with them at least every other day. It depends on the relationship.

Narl's avatar

I would send him an IM while he is available that just says, ”???” If he doesn’t respond to that, I would write him off and never contact him again.

jackm's avatar

I have never had an internet friend.

jrpowell's avatar

He might have accidentally deleted you from his friends list so he doesn’t even know that you are around. I have done this a few times. I never look at the entire list. I just look at active people.

At least he didn’t block you. That is a good sign. I would just send a message like, “Long time no chat. How are you?”

edit :: I should add that I take off all the time without saying “BRB”. If one of the twins screams I am going to see what is wrong before informing you that I should see what the scream is about. And sometimes it takes an hour to get the problem resolved. Or I realize that my pizza is burning and it needs to get out of the oven ASAP.

And I always forget to set my status as away. I need to take a shower and switch laundry pretty soon and I am sure I will forget to change it before I do those tasks.

And I always forget to change it before bed.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I actually have a good internet buddy. We started talking 6 years ago and then went through a spell where we didn’t talk for 2 or 3 years and then started talking again. we correspond on a weekly basis now and refer to each other as “Bestest Internet Friends.”

All the other suggestions on here are the best, I think. Try IMing him again and maybe something will come of it. If it doesn’t, maybe wait a few months and try again. Good luck!

Narl's avatar

@jackm Internet friends are fun.

YARNLADY's avatar

If it was a personal friendship, where you share things about your life and feelings, then yes. I have had several internet contacts that were regular, daily and then dropped off, but not really personal friends.

deni's avatar

i would. you might as well. why not? i would at least like some closure or a reason why.

laaaa's avatar

i would. :]

Phobia's avatar

If it was someone I cared about, of course I would ask why, internet or not.

If you care about him, ask him why he’s hasn’t responded or tried getting in touch with you. If he was a true friend, he would tell you why.

rooeytoo's avatar

I would rather ask than wonder.

Supacase's avatar

I would ask, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect an answer.

beautifulbobby193's avatar

The fact that you never met would suggest that he was probably involved in some
form of relationship that may or may not have existed when you first began contact.

Most times when people just suddenly stop keeping in touch will be because when people are getting on great online they sometimes build up an almost perfect image in their mind of the other person.

Meeting the person in real life or even getting a picture will always show the person as being very different to how you expected to be. Sometimes it can be surprisingly more positive than imagined, sometimes more disappointing.

But if it is casual sex you are after then all you need is a little bit of honesty, dint set your hopes sky high, and as long as one doesn’t completely gross out the other, it’s game on!

Berserker's avatar

I suppose if it were me, I would. If they were a friend enough to be called a friend, then I would obviously wonder why the sudden lack of correspondence.

I wouldn’t assume right away that they’re dead, hurt or whatever else, although it could happen, but if I pissed them off somehow, I’d like to know.
The whole suspension effect with online communication can be confusing at best, and often misleading, so you prolly won’t know until you ask, unless he pops back into the picture somehow.

jjflsh's avatar

Well, this hits home. and relates to what I was searching about when I came across this blog. I have been involved with a lady in Ghana for several months talking 3 times every day for about an hour each time. We have really connected and feel as though we are soulmates and she wants to come to America to be my wife it seemed. I am very excited about meeting her. I got a phone call from a man claiming to be her cousin Dec. 23,2009 asking if I had heard anything from Martha because she had not returned home and it was getting late. The next morning he called again to say he found her in the hospital and she had been attacked by an appaerant robber.I gave him my email address and received one email the next day saying she had regained consciousness but was very frail and staying in the hospital a while. That was 5 days ago and not a word has been communicated to me since even though I email twice a day for an update to his and her address and IM. The message when I call her phone is that it is switched off.
I am beginning to feel that it was never real and this is a way of ending it for her/him.

janbb's avatar

@jjflsh Oh – that’s a very painful story. I hope you get some resolution.

beautifulbobby193's avatar

Lady in Ghana? PMSL

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