Do you think it's strange to be making online friends with people under 18 as someone in their 20s?

Thyunda

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FalloutJack said:
Uhh, no. Getting too involved with younger online acquaintances in an unhealthy fashion is. If you're just being a cool guy or gal, you're a role model.
I was playing Star Wars: The Old Republic and I wound up with a tagalong...as often happens, because I'm witty and an absolute joy to be around, but eventually the question of age came up, and they were hesitant to answer, and eventually said 12. That's a decade younger than me. That was a weird experience, and I have to say it sabotaged the conversation because I have literally nothing to talk about to a twelve-year-old.

I think it's less about the age as a number and more to do with the fact that, as a 23 year old, I have nothing to say to people that young. There are no relatable experiences, so if you are cultivating an online friendship with someone a decade your junior, you're putting an unhealthy amount of effort into maintaining that relationship, and that's weird.

Once they reach 17 or 18 the boundary blurs a bit, because they're adults and tend to be easier to relate to and talk to, and so once you've reached adulthood in that regard, it's not weird at all to have friends in their seventies. I guess a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you could have a drink at lunchtime at Wetherspoons with this person without it being weird.
 

Spaceman Spiff

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I'd say as long as you're not advocating morally wrong behavior, trying to hook up with them in real life, or sexting them online, then it's fine. You're just two or more people that enjoy chatting about a common interest(s).
 

Lil devils x_v1legacy

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It is perfectly normal to have friends all ages, even children. It is important to remember though they are still children and should be treated as such and you should be mindful of appropriate behavior around children. Laws vary greatly in different regions so as a basic rule it is better to keep things " G" rated around minors as well as if you are allowing them access to websites you should be aware that laws also vary greatly in what you would be legally responsible for. In California, for example, if a child has access to your website, you are legally required to allow them control over all their user data, including that which is normally only accessible through administration operations. Minors are not legally able to consent to contracts or user agreements and cannot even legally have their voice recorded as that is considered " personal data on children" and thus is protected by laws in different regions. Even having Youtube videos that have their voice recorded while gaming can be subject to child protection laws.

For example:
https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/childrens-online-privacy-protection-rule
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/26/net-us-usa-california-internet-idUSBRE98N15M20130926
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/lviii/571-b/571-b-mrg.htm
https://www.municode.com/library/tx/taylor/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=CICO_CH14LIPEBURE_ARTIIISEORBU_S14-73DISEEXMAMI
You can be friends with minors, but should always remember they are in fact children, and should be treated accordingly.
Also online behavior can be additionally covered under " contributing to the delinquency of a minor" charges as well as " solicitation of a minor" even for making sexual jokes and such to a minor online, so you should be aware they are children at all times when they are present and behave accordingly.
 

Smooth Operator

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Well internet law decrees that any interaction with a stranger is already sexual harassment, them being minors on top of that we will go ahead and call it pedophilia. So don't go anywhere, an internet policeman will be with you shortly to take you to internet prison.

OT: People of all ages share the same hobbies/interests, real world well adjusted adults will not find it weird because they grasp this concept, internet folk with no grasp on reality will as usual loose their shit at the drop of a hat. Pick your poison.
 

Vykrel

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no. i started playing Xbox Live when i was eleven and most of my XBL friends were adults.
 

Lil devils x_v1legacy

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Smooth Operator said:
Well internet law decrees that any interaction with a stranger it's already sexual harassment, them being minors on top of that we will go ahead and call it pedophilia. So don't go anywhere, an internet policeman will be with you shortly to take you to internet prison.

OT: People of all ages share the same hobbies/interests, real world well adjusted adults will not find it weird because they grasp this concept, internet folk with no grasp on reality will as usual loose their shit at the drop of a hat. Pick your poison.
No, no no.. you go to REAL prison, not internet prison.

http://www.nbc29.com/story/29275669/three-arrested-in-internet-crimes-against-children-sting
http://abc13.com/news/sting-targeting-internet-predators-nets-23-arrests/766182/
http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/sep/13/internet-troll-jailed-mocking-teenagers
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-29678989
http://www.katv.com/story/26508892/hot-springs-man-arrested-for-internet-stalking-of-a-minor

The real policemen killed the internet police and take you to jail now for harassing people and stalking children online. If you are in a jurisdiction where they can get you, they will now. The days of 'it doesn't matter it is just the internet" are past.
 

Eclipse Dragon

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Nope, especially something that a wide range of ages enjoys, like gaming.

Encountering people older or younger than yourself is almost a given and even if you didn't want to associate with people of a different age group, it would be extremely hard to avoid since you can't even be sure of what age a person is anyway.

I think it's actually pretty awesome that games can bring people together in this way and you'll never know until someone needs to log off to cook dinner for their twelve year old kid (who also plays the game).


(Should we have a sound off of age now, because this thread is making me curious?)
I'm 26
 

iLikeHippos

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I do find it a bit... Creepy or disappointing. I always assume the worst of people, you see, and I'll take any small piece of hint as proof of their hidden ambitions or lack thereof.
If I have a younger friend, I get disappointed in their lack of tact or knowledge. We can't talk on even grounds.
If I have an older friend, I get suspicious if they are trying to bed me or something with every personal question (although I understand that's part banter). We can't talk on even grounds.

Hell, even If I have a friend of close equal age, I can't bring myself to care for them.

The only time I can really be comfortable with people is if we know almost nothing about each other. That's why I never ask any personal questions like age or work, or try follow up on their stories of... whatever that they bring up.

Having Aspergers is hard. : /
 

happyninja42

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Considering I'm in my 30's, and have made friends with people that age online, no I don't think it's wrong/weird.

Now, if you are using the word "friends" to mean "sexual playmates", then yeah it's a bit squicky. But "friend" as in "person I like and talk to about random shit we have in common" Nope, that's fine.
 

Quazimofo

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Hardly. When I was 15 most of my friends where fellow warhammer hobbyists, the youngest of which is a solid 8 years older than I am. There's no law that says you can't be friends with people significantly younger or older than you are. It's only creepy if you exclusively interact with/seek out people that much younger than you, and it's only illegal if you do so in a sexual sense.
If you're friends with teenagers, just don't fiddle their diddlies and you're golden.
 

AT God

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I rarely find out the age of the people I interact with online, especially because when I was a teenager, I would lie about how old I was to the people I played online with because I wanted to appear cool. Now that I am older I generally expect the same. I have someone I play games on Steam with who is online 18 hours per day, usually playing something or other. Now I assume he is either a kid in school or some aristocrat who has no need for money, especially because he always gets the newest games soon after they come out, plays them for a few hours, and then moves on.

I do find it interesting when I find out someone I play games with and can generally tolerate is a teenager, especially since all the teenagers I knew as a teenager were insufferable. Also a big shock when I find out that someone I play with is a girl because I still hold that cultural sexism and assume that anyone playing a game about shooting people is another miserable fat man.

I must admit, I would be a little bothered if I found out that I was playing an M game with someone under age 10, mainly because of my jealousy in that I wasn't even playing T rated games at age 10. Plus I cannot assure myself I won't get mouthy if something goes wrong in the game and I would feel uncomfortable saying awful things around a child.
 

Atrocious Joystick

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It's funny how quick age barriers become blurry and then dissapear when you leave primary/secondary school and get out into real life. You used think people just a bit older than you where so old and people just a bit younger than you where just so little. And then suddenly you are working/studying both with people that would have left secondary school before you even started and people who started just as you left and not only do you get along with everybody but the youngers get along with oldies too. Although of course I'm talking ages spanning 18 to late twenties. The teens are sort of like dog years, when I was 18 I found it easier to talk to people who where 27 than people who where 14.

To actually answer the question, no it is not weird. It's not like you are coming to their houses and giving them candy or behaving like one of their same age friends. But I'm european, we give wine to children and have dangerous relations with our cousins so maybe society where you are from is different.
 

Tsun Tzu

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So long as you're not like...trying to E-diddle some 14 year old, I think it's fine?

Hell, half of my friends are a good 10-15 years older than I am. Have been for like a decade. No worries.
 

Neverhoodian

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I don't have a problem with it as long as there's nothing untoward going on. Age isn't an issue when it comes to platonic friendships. I have an interest in World War II history, and many people I've considered friends over the years have been vets that were a good 60-70 years older than me.
 

FPLOON

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Nope... and I should know... I dated a derp-eyed peagsus on Skype... :p

But seriously, it's not because it's great to have friends both in and out of your age range... You get to see different perspectives and shit like that... Plus, there's the act of bonding over similar things, which is always worth the expected age gap at times...
 
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A lot of the times when the subject of someone marrying a decade or plus age difference partner, people speak of almost the same thing:

What do they have in common?

It's the same argument that people used to apply to almost everything. Before interracial interaction was the norm, people would say that those other people are different and have different ideas. People from different belief systems or what have you are fundamentally different therefore are incompatible. Likewise with age. Why would you talk to that person? They are from a different generation. They have different norms and ideas.

All of these are outdated modes of thinking, but none more especially outdated than the age thing. Because this is the age of the internet. All interests are interwoven. Any one can click some pixels on their magic electrode box and be connected to people who like martial arts as much as they do, video games as much as they do, or even dream interpretation as much as they do.

As long as it doesn't become sexually inappropriate, it's fine.
 

Alarien

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There is no age on the internet, there is only how you behave. Either you behave mature or you don't. Hopefully, if you do behave maturely, you can encourage others to do the same.

I remember being 24 and playing EQ1 with a very tight group. I found out that one of the ladies we played with was 50. She was great. I wouldn't have guessed either way and didn't care either.
 

Olas

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Dec 24, 2011
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Are you having sex with them? If not then I think you're fine.

Frankly it seems a little insulting that you think so little of highschool aged kids that you're embarrassed to be friends with them. Some people in their mid-to-late teens are more mature and intelligent than your average adult.
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

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People get worked up about the age gap too much. Unless you're not breaking the law, there's no problem with being friends with anyone of any age. Just be appropriate about it. o: