I've met many people through Facebook and Twitter that I would now consider friends. I've never met them and probably never will - some of them live at the other end of the country or in another country entirely - yet I chat to them and share common interests with them - isn't that what friends are?
Most of you that know me, know that amongst other interests, one of my favoured ones is comping (entering competitions for fun). Through this, I've won a lot of prizes and met a lot of new people who share my hobby.
I have a separate account on Facebook for comping than my personal account. On my personal account, I have several "friends" that I used to know at school that I have hardly spoken to since I added them or they added me - so I put "friends" in speech marks as I have to ask - can they really be considered friends? On my comping account, I've got a lots of friends, many of them I speak to a lot more often than some of those added on my personal account - and most importantly, we share a current common interest - entering competitions - does this not qualify them for friend status?
The thing that inspired me to write this blog post, was voting competitions. I see a lot of people complaining about vote exchanges being a cheating way of gaining votes, and I disagree. A voting group is a group of people with a mutual interest/hobby - competitions. If one real person is asking for a vote - the other people are not obliged to vote and do it out of choice should they want to and you can vote on theirs if you want to. What I don't agree with about voting competitions is buying votes or those people that make numerous fake accounts. I don't see where the problem lies with a vote exchange as long as it is genuine people, who share a mutual hobby, helping each other out in a competition. Just because you are in a voting group, it doesn't, and shouldn't, invalidate you as a real person.
There is no-one in the world who is born with friends. You meet and make new friends usually through shared hobbies and interests. The same rules can be applied to comping friends. If you share an interest, why should you be called a cheat when it comes to voting competitions for voting on each others competitions? The competitions often state "ask your friends to vote" - they are no less friends just because you don't personally know them (i.e. have met).
It is often other compers who complain about it the most as well - they state they are not interested and don't enter - so why does it matter so much to them to have a go at voting comps with a vengeance? I know at the end of the day, the bigger the prize, the worse the cheat and that's not fair, so I equally would prefer no voting comps - but I don't think it is right for people to go bad-mouthing fellow compers just because they choose not to enter into it. I have my own voting group on Facebook - Competition Likes - it's a bunch of mutual friends and family, who all vote for each others competitions - where's the crime in that? We're all real people and it just saves on sending each other a lot of e-mails or posting a lot on each others walls - we're all there because we want to be and none of us have fake accounts or try to cheat - we just want to help each other out.
Copyright ©2011-2012 Yvonne Brownsea